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Using Current Employees to Recruit Entry-Level Hires

Many people have a strong sense of pride regarding the school they graduated from. It is nearly impossible to get through the day without seeing college stickers affixed to cars or people wearing clothing with a school logo emblazoned on the front. For your staff, reminiscing with former and current students at their alma mater will likely bring back many positive memories. It is important for organizations to recognize their employees' school spirit and leverage it as part of their entry-level recruitment strategy.

Employees are a great resource to tap into when attending on-campus networking events and for connecting with various alumni groups. If your organization is embarking upon a campus recruitment strategy, continue reading to learn how you can take advantage of your employees' high regard for their alma mater to help attract the best and brightest entry-level hires.

How to Engage Employees to Support Entry-Level Recruitment

It is important for organizations to engage employees in supporting their entry-level recruitment initiatives. There are a few reasons for this, including the fact that employee involvement in any type of organizational decision-making leads to increased engagement and morale. Employees can relate to students at schools they have graduated from, as they were once in their shoes. From the moment your employees show up at an on-campus event at their alma mater, they will be able to build rapport with students. Students will also be able to get a glimpse into their future prospective careers at your organization by chatting with staff and learning about their career progressions post-graduation.

It is important to first decide which target schools you will be recruiting from, then determine if you have employees who graduated from these schools. You can ask employees if they would consider helping recruit candidates from their former schools and if they would be willing to participate in recruiting activities. These activities can include:

  • Career fairs – Alumni can represent their current employer at career fairs arranged by campus career centers. Employees can act as company ambassadors and help explain an organization to entry-level employees, share promotional materials, and collect resumes and business cards from students.
  • Interview days – Consider engaging alumni in interviewing prospective hires from their former school. Students will appreciate learning about alumni experiences at your organization, and alumni can help recruiters during the interview by asking questions specific to the projects and courses the student is working on. Especially if you are recruiting for highly technical roles, it is important to have an alumnus who works in the same field who can properly assess a student’s level of knowledge in that field.
  • Alumni events – Employees are often involved in various alumni groups, some of which are specialized based on geographic location, academic program, or even ethnic background. These groups often have alumni networking events throughout the year that can be a great source of recruiting diverse new grads. Encourage your staff to attend these alumni events and have them promote current and future employment opportunities to their peers.

The Benefits of Engaging Staff in Entry-Level Recruitment

There are many benefits to leveraging employees to help recruit on campus beyond just channeling their passion for their alma mater.

  • Employee engagement: As stated previously, involving employees in the recruitment process will help build engagement and morale, as staff will feel their ideas and opinions are valued. It has been noted that it is empowering for employees to contribute to any type of organizational decision-making, no matter how big or small the decision is. Ensuring that employees have a say as to which networking events to attend, which academic programs to target, and how to best assess candidates will help them feel that their employers respect their opinions and input.
  • Cost savings: Traditional recruiting strategies are considerably costly. The average costs per hire can be anywhere between $4,000 and $18,000 for an organization. These fees include networking, advertising, signing bonuses, etc. Having employees support your recruitment process through positive word-of-mouth, informal networking and peer referrals are more cost-effective methods of recruiting. The only fee associated with this is a small employee referral bonus if your organization has a referral program.
  • Candidate quality: Studies show that candidates from employee referrals are of higher quality and stay with organizations longer compared to non-referrals. Using employees to refer entry-level hires from within their network will likely help you to have much higher retention rates. The reason for this is that your employees likely talk with their network about what it’s like to work at your organization. They can also assess these individuals based on whether or not they feel these individuals would fit in well with the organizational culture and possess the required skillsets. By the time your employee refers someone from within their network, this person has already been vetted by your employee and is knowledgeable on what it’s like to work for you as an employer.

Engage Staff in Entry-Level Recruitment With Employee Referral Programs

Entry-level referral incentives are one way to encourage employees to actively leverage their campus network to help identify candidates. An employee referral program typically offers a monetary reward to an employee who refers a new hire. Usually, anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 is offered depending on the level of expertise and niche skillsets a candidate brings with them. Alternatively, some organizations offer additional vacation days as an incentive for employees to suggest quality hires from within their network. Whatever type of reward an organization decides to go with, employees will have the incentive to dig deep within their networks to bring forward potential hires.

In summary, your employees are likely passionate about the schools and programs they graduated from. It is important to leverage this passion and utilize your staff as much as possible as a part of your entry-level recruiting strategy.

For additional support throughout your entry-level recruitment process, consider using Symplicity Recruit to simplify your posting and resume selection process.


Cornett, J.E. (2017, July 5). The Advantages of Including Employees In Decision Making. Retrieved from

Duke, S. (2015, March 31). 10 Employee Referral Program Fast Facts. Retrieved from