Campus Recruiting 2017: Welcome To The Great Convergence

February 15

This month Steve and Gary discuss campus recruiting in 2017.

Who could have imagined, in 1969, that a home video game system, the Xbox, would contain more computer power than the Lunar Landing Capsule? Better yet, in 1969 who would have imagined a home video game system? Today, we have social networking taking place amongst diverse, geographically disparate audiences, using tools that ten years ago would never have been envisioned.

Ten years from now, today's emerging trends will continue to manifest themselves in a battle of the "irresistible force" (Technology) vs. the "immovable object" (Demographics). How will these forces impact the interchange amongst employers and the campus recruits they are attempting to reach? No one can say with certainty, however, it is an absolute that the way in which dialogues are conducted, relationships are built, and students are recruited will be much different than today.

We live in a society that is driven by information, but more importantly, it is a society that is driven by the action of accessing that information. With searchable databases, blogging, podcasting, virtual worlds, and enhanced social networks, information is multiplying at a rate far beyond our ability to parse it, process, it, and store it for future use. To cope with this, we have built devices that are simply the start of the "convergence" phenomenon. For example, the new iPhone from Apple provides access not only to a cellular phone, email, and the Web, but more importantly, it has become a mobile digital hub. For the first time, a single device integrates a cell phone, email, and PDA functions with true HTML web browsing, a digital camera, access to integrated Google Maps and Yahoo Search, and an iPod. And this is just the beginning.

Today's iPhone will be a primitive example of what will be in use in 2017. Students will pin on tiny Personal Data Devices (PDDs) - think iPod Shuffle or smaller - to "feel" the music, unlock their dorm suites, debit their visit to the university vegan-teria, pay for beer (18-21 drinking is allowed, but only on campus), get their grades, store their academic records...and communicate with their career counseling center and potential employers. Whoever owns the most robust link to the PDD will own the fastest and most direct path to graduating students.

Job placement will be more competitive than ever - for the employer. As early as grade school, students will be opted-in by their parents and have their entire education record monitored by colleges and employers. Every year, every quarter, every grade and teacher evaluation will be logged by a for-pay database via an anonymous student EDN (Educational Development Number). Colleges, universities, and employers seeking the best and brightest talent will compete for the privilege of recruiting the "Cream of the EDNs" to their campus and workplace.

An efficient electronic evaluation system will now be in full swing, sparking a highly competitive and lucrative job market. Think NFL draft - with the most promising talent going to the organizations with the deepest pockets and greatest potential. Employers will even start to negotiate financially with the career placement offices of the most prestigious colleges and universities for the honor of making campus visits.

More than ever, well-articulated and meaningful employer brands will be the cornerstone upon which decisions will be made. Prospective employees, in the driver's seat, will make their choices based upon work-life balance issues, connection to an organization's core values, and diversity of the workforce, amongst many other factors. Immersion in these employer brands - through video, audio, and other engaging technologies - will allow prospective employees to narrow down the consideration set early in the process and will enable them to focus on the "auction" for their talent.

The retiring of the Baby Boomers and the continuation of the 2-child family will accelerate and create a student shortage as well as workplace crisis. Secretary of Labor Chelsea Clinton will propose government intervention, nationalize the EDN Database and suggest the formation of an Americas Workforce. Post 9/11 Immigration restrictions are a thing of the past as borders, cultures, and governments blur in order to address the migratory supply and demand for human capital across the Americas.

The competition for talent will be over. Graduating students will claim total victory.

Steve can be reached at

Gary can be reached at

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