Are you looking to engage with HBS students and share why your company is a great place to work? Consider hosting a company conversation.

Company Conversations provide the perfect platform for organizations to engage students in discussion around company values, job opportunities, and potential career paths. You and your team have the option to facilitate conversations 1:1 in person or virtually, in a small group or a large classroom setting. The key to a successful event is the dialogue between students and recruiters!

Here are four ways to effectively engage with students during your Company Conversations this year. Implement these best practices, and you may find you never want to go back to presentation-style recruiting.

1. Post Materials in Advance
Organizations should design their Company Conversations to be interactive and engaging. Students can learn a lot about a company by looking at its website and social media accounts. Focus your Company Conversations on questions that the students have prepared in advance after doing their initial research. We encourage you to share details about your company and hiring process before the event takes place.

Quick Tips:

  • You can directly attach slides, sample project outlines, details about your interview process, and social media links in your 12twenty event.
  • Try sharing videos of your office space or the surrounding local area to help students better understand what it might be like to work there.
  • Consider asking a senior leader in your organization to record and send a brief message to prospective candidates.

2. Choose Your Best Company Representatives
The option for virtual recruiting offers you more flexibility because you can select your most engaging speakers regardless of their location or ability to travel. Evaluate who on your team is good at engaging in conversation and will ultimately get students excited about your organization. Can they come in person? Fantastic. Can they connect with students online? Great. Both options offer a chance for your company to stand out based on the enthusiasm that person has for your organization.

Quick Tips:

  • Who is an inspiring speaker and great at building personal relationships? Who is the person you are always excited to work with because they bring your energy level up? The people who exude authentic excitement about your organization make the best ambassadors.
  • Who is in the role you are hiring for right now? Students love to hear from employees working in a job you may post on our recruiting platform. This “day in the life” perspective from recent interns or current full-time employees is invaluable.
  • What is your company’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and belonging? Diverse representation in recruiting helps candidates picture how they could comfortably bring their authentic selves and thrive in their work environment.

3. Collect Questions in Advance
We encourage you to collect student questions ahead of your Company Conversation to help guide your team’s discussion. Providing students with an email address or an external feedback survey in your event details can help you gather intel on what interests students about your organization. Below are three benefits to polling students in advance.

Quick Tips:

  • Your company representative is better prepared to engage in a meaningful conversation by acknowledging the questions sent in advance.
  • You can provide a couple of slides or a one-page PDF providing answers to your most commonly asked questions.
  • Soliciting student questions ahead of time can also help clarify what they are looking for in their job searches, allowing you to craft a more tailored recruiting approach.

4. Facilitate the Conversation
Company conversations facilitated by one or two company representatives in a conference room naturally allows for increased participation. Company conversations held in a large classroom may take extra time to prepare to ensure students engage throughout the event.

Quick Tips:

  • For conversations held in a classroom, ask students about their experience to get to know the audience. For example, raise your hand if…
  • For all conversations, spend time thinking about engaging students in discussion. What questions can you ask students to promote a meaningful dialogue? For example, ask students how they would think about a project you have worked on and guide a discussion around how you approached it.
  • For conversations held virtually, create a process for addressing questions. For example, utilize the hand-raising feature, or encourage students to submit their questions via the chat function.

With virtual recruiting gaining more popularity than ever, organizations may be struggling with the decision to come to campus or to recruit remotely. Successful recruiting is about meaningful connections, whether you facilitate the session remotely or in person.

If you have any additional questions about how to make your Company Conversations successful this year, contact your Recruiting Relations Manager