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Attracting the Right Candidates can be a challenge... even on campus!


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The Dalhousie University Student Union had a challenge. There are always jobs on campus that need to be filled. The rumour on campus among the students was that to get the best jobs you had to know someone. Subsequently, many jobs were short staffed because they could not get enough students to apply.

Adding to the challenge: students have other work options. Although the Student Union has a mandate that only allows them to hire currently registered students at the university, the students can work off campus or not work at all. The Student Union has to compete with other employers for the desired students without having access to the candidate pool off campus.


Getting The Message Out

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Dalhousie University Student Union partnered with HiringSmart to set up as a central recruitment centre on the Internet. The first wave of activity was to get the message out to the students that the website existed.

A poster campaign was launched throughout the spring exam period.  appeared in the campus newspaper, electronic information boards and other high traffic locations around campus. Links were placed at Career Services and other websites that students visit. Finally, the existing student employees were encouraged to communicate through facebook, instant messaging and other tools.


Selection is More Than Who You Know

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When the Student Union was using the traditional resume-based system to decide which students to spend time with, they all looked the same. They should have! They all were at the same university, they were all taking the same courses on how to write a resume, they all had limited work experience (less than in past years) and they all had scheduling issues with class time and exam/assignment requirements.

Now they are looking at information that does vary by student. The critical information that gets a person through the first stage of the HiringSmart process at the Dalhousie University Student Union is a candidate's attitudes towards types of work, styles of supervision, co-workers  - and only if the fit is right do they consider the candidate's availability. The days of hiring someone because they can work Monday at 3PM are over. With all the new applicants who are now completing the online interviews, recruiters and managers can be more selective improving the qualtiy of service provided to campus while reducing turnover and frustrations of the managers.

Thanks to this new approach recruitment no longer needs to be completed by the end of April when the students leave campus for the summer. Communication is open all summer long. Students can complete their on-line interview whenever they want and the Student Union has the tools to communicate with them all summer reducing the stress at the end of August when everyone comes back and expect the services on campus to be fully functioning.

The True Cost of Getting it Wrong

chartNobody ever sets out to make a poor decision, and yet it happens all the time. Hiring mistakes are costly, resulting in either an untimely exit ? or worse, living with a bad decision. What are the h...

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