Get Ready for Fall Recruitment

By AgCareers.com

If your company has a commitment to recruiting young talent into your business, then you have probably spent some time in the recent weeks planning your fall recruitment travels. Plans likely include researching what campuses you want to visit, what career fairs or industry events are taking place, and considering sponsorship strategies that will put your company brand and opportunities in front of the most students. In an industry filled with opportunity and graduates filled with ambition, campus recruiting remains crucial to ensure that your company has a constant and effective presence among young graduates.

When deciding what events/campuses to attend/visit, your organization must begin by evaluating what’s available. Ask yourself:

  1. Does that school have a strong educational discipline that matches the type of candidates we’re looking for?
  2. Is there a club or organization on that campus providing opportunities to students that will make them stronger hires for our company?
  3. Does the campus offer a career fair specific to my industry that will draw students to the event?
  4. Do I have a strong campus ally either in career services or a faculty member/club advisor who can help me get in front of the students I want to recruit?
  5. Do I have outstanding young alum within my company from this school who could attend recruiting events to help draw positive attention from their peers?

Evaluating you’re responses to those questions will help you determine what career fairs to attend and what schools you want to begin building relationships with for future visits. AgCareers.com has compiled an online listing of career fairs at schools with strong agricultural programs; this listing includes event dates and links to the school webpage or contacts for more information. To view that listing, click here.

Industry related and professional events can also provide opportunities for your company to shine in front of young talent. These are groups who bring together elite young talent for two- and three-day conference activities that revolve around a specific educational discipline or student interest. For example, The National Agri-Marketing Association, the American Society of Agronomy, and the dairy, poultry and cattle industries all hold annual professional conferences and provide activities for collegiate students to attend and begin networking with companies who employ people with that background. The students who attend these events are typically the best and brightest in their educational program at their college or university. Often you will also see some of the same students you met during a campus visit, but this opportunity allows you the chance to continue evaluating these students in a professional setting. These events also allow you are able to network with students from across the nation at a central location.

Additionally, there are organizations like Alpha Zeta (AZ), Agriculture Future of America (AFA), Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) and the Post-Secondary Agricultural Student Organization (PAS) that provide students from all disciplines with professional development-orientated conferences. Attending these events will also provide employers with top candidates from across the nation at a central location. That opportunity to brand your company in front of student’s representing numerous schools from across the nation at one event can be critical in a time when travel budgets and recruiting resources are minimal.

Once you’ve decided what events to attend, you’ll want to start the process of registration, scheduling, and determining what you want to have available for attendees. Some things to consider are:

  • Be sure you get your registration in on time; many offer early-bird discounts. Be sure to plan ahead if you need electrical or internet access so arrangements can be made in advance.
  • Identify who will be attending from your company so they can mark their calendars, arrange travel, and schedule an internal meeting to plan event strategy.
  • Be sure everyone attending is knowledgeable about the open positions your company has and what the next step is for students to apply.
  • Order any supplies needed for company marketing, develop any new specific pieces for the location your visiting, make sure company reps have the correct attire and your booth is an up-to-date reflection of your company. Develop an event packing check-list and be sure to include information for getting any unused supplies back to your office. If shipping material ahead of time, be sure you have a back-up-plan in case items get lost.
  • Make sure your company website is up-to-date with the information you’re taking to the event.
  • Create an ‘at event’ schedule to ensure your booth is always adequately staffed and to accommodate for lunch/restroom breaks.
  • Determine if you want to conduct interviews immediately following the event while still on location and make needed arrangements.
  • Be sure you have an after event plan to follow up with potential candidates and other connections you’ve made.

Like many of you, AgCareers.com has also spent some time investigating which collegiate and university events we’ll attend in 2011. We ask ourselves the same questions listed above, and also evaluate the positions we are seeing advertised on our site, to which we provide traffic. We spend time listening to our Partnership Clients who share the desire to employ top talent for internships and entry level roles to understand what schools and professional organizations with whom we can partner so we can bring them that talent. Below we’ve included a list of the events where you may see us this year. As we have offered in past years, if you are an AgCareers.com Partnership client and you are unable to attend an event that you see we will be attending, we will be happy to promote your company and career opportunities from our booth. Please contact your account manager with information on the events of which you would like exposure and make arrangements to send in your company materials. Also, for all clients, be sure to update your job postings so they will be visible as we’re showcasing AgCareers.com at these events. Your AgCareers.com account manager can assist you with this.

2011 Fall Career Fair and Industry Event Schedule
  • Purdue University Student Workshop – September 1, 2011
  • Clemson University Student Workshop September 12, 2011
  • Canada Outdoor Farm Show – Woodstock, Ontario – September 13th – 15th, 2011
  • University of Guelph Ontario Agricultural College Job Fair – October 5, 2011
  • University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources Career Far – October 5, 2011
  • University of Manitoba ASE Career Fair – October 6, 2011
  • American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America Annual Meetings – October 16th – 19th
  • Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Ag Career Day- October 18, 2011
  • Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference and Opportunity Fair – November 3rd & 4th, 2011
  • Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College School of Agriculture and Natural Resources 2011 Career Connections – November 15, 2011
  • Jobs for America’s Graduates National Leadership Conference November 17th and 18th, 2011

We wish everyone safe and successful travels this fall. We’re already working on Spring Schedule so be sure to let us know if you have an event or career fair. If you have any questions about on-campus recruiting feel free to contact your account manager or email to agcareers@agcareers.com.

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