• How to create virtual events

  • How to promote virtual events

  • How to host virtual events

  • How to make virtual events more engaging

  • How to start your public presentation / virtual events

  • How to end your public presentation / virtual events

  • How to follow-up after your presentation / virtual events

Imagine a quick scenario with me today. Let’s imagine that you’re a fantastic singer and that amazing artists like Beyonce, Lizzo, Taylor Swift, Drake, and others have at one point come to you for vocal lessons. Yes, you’re that good.

Now, let’s pretend that you’re set to headline a show after COVID-19 has become a thing of the past. You have raving fans across all demographics and the crowd that once gathered for the Beatles was a walk in the park compared to the chaos your presence brings to an arena.

The cheers are so loud it’s hard to hear your own thoughts. Their excitement radiates to your room backstage and the vibration that’s caused by the screams starts rattling your wardrobe set. You can’t even put your glass of water down on the table without it spilling out. Chaos is an understatement.

You take a deep breath and the curtains open.

It’s incredibly blinding and there you are hoping you don’t trip your way to the microphone. Your vocal cords are warm and ready to sing!

And as you lunge into the microphone, belting your voice that’s coming up from your stomach to your cords, the screams that once rattled your wardrobe set, instead turned into millions of fans harmoniously booing you off the stage.

Now, let’s diagnose this scenario. Can you guess what happened?

Any ideas why your excited fans suddenly turned into an angry mob?

Any ideas why you disappointed so many people so quickly?

Okay, okay. No more rhetorical questions and let’s assess why this happened.

When you find yourself in a scenario where hundreds of people are anxiously waiting for an incredible performance and you deliver a catastrophic failure that becomes a worldwide meme, it’s usually due to 3 things:

  1. Fantasy: Your alarm starts ringing and you wake up from a horrific nightmare that you have to do something in front of an audience because you can’t fathom the idea of having a fraction of the influence it takes to create that type of atmosphere so you quickly realize that it was just a dream.

  2. Failed Expectations: The audience expected a crazy, energetic show and as soon as you stepped up, it went from a performance to a filibuster that’s sure to put even the fussiest babies to sleep.

  3. Fake: You didn't stray from your audience’s expectations, but your delivery as well as your timing was as miscalculated as the early astronomers who believed that the Earth was once at the center of the universe.

Now, if you haven’t made the connection yet between this hypothetical scenario and the way you think about virtual events, let’s make it abundantly clear.

When you find yourself in a scenario where hundreds of students are anxiously waiting for an incredible virtual event and you deliver a catastrophic failure that becomes a meme within their group chats, it’s usually due to three things:

  1. Fantasy: Your alarm starts ringing and you wake up from a horrific nightmare that you have to do something in front of students because you can’t fathom the idea of having a tenth of the influence it takes to create an atmosphere where you have hundreds of students joining your virtual event so you quickly realize that it was just a dream.

  2. Failed Expectations: The students expected a crazy, energetic show and as soon as you stepped up, it went from a performance to a filibuster that’s sure to put even the fussiest babies to sleep.

  3. Fake: You didn't stray from the student’s expectations, but your delivery as well as your timing was as miscalculated as the early astronomers who believed that the Earth was once at the center of the universe.

As you read this blog, my goals for you here are simple. It’s to:

  1. Develop a fundamental understanding of how to market and host virtual events that is not dependent on a platform you use; this strategy transcends needing a specific technology besides PowerPoint and an internet connection

  2. Execute my 6-step guide on how to generate a ton of buzz for your next recruitment marketing event

  3. Understand a 7 step-structure on how to execute an engaging event

  4. Learn the art of continuing to stay engaged with your attendees even after the event is over

  5. Get over the fears that are holding you and your company back from exponential success when hosting virtual events with my tactical plug and play examples

I put my heart and my soul into this blog.

I started writing this blog the day before Thanksgiving. I felt compelled to jot my thoughts down on paper to answer this important question -

“How do I host a virtual event without students falling asleep after I’ve finished?”

I’m also a firm believer that you should only take advice from people who already have what you want.

If I were in your shoes, I’d want to know that the advice I was implementing had actually worked in the past. My name is Rishav Khanal and here’s my LinkedIn “resume” (a.k.a. why I’m qualified to speak about this):

  • I co-authored a bestselling book on the college to career space, Experience Over Degrees that distributed over 1,000 copies in just 48 hours

  • I personally led a pilot initiative at LinkedIn to have sales representatives host events to educate HR professionals on the talent landscape and had attendees such as the VP of HR from Leo Burnett

  • I presented alongside my co-founder, Alex Strathdee at an Experience Leadership Institute across that received testimonials such as:

So, let's get started eh?

Besides the obvious stay at home orders and a global pandemic, in my opinion, if done right, virtual events give companies the ability to cut costs drastically since you don’t have to travel 500+ miles to speak to your target audience and it can open you up to talent pools you may not have considered before.

This sounds great in theory, but we recently surveyed college students, and close to 60% of those participants said that they found the information shared at a virtual event to be useless.

If the goal of the event is to promote your company as an employer of choice, right now, 6 out of 10 students from our survey indicated that they’re quite disinterested in your event and in turn, the way you market your company.

Check out our infographic that highlights these findings:

So, how do you fix this? How do provide an experience for your potential employees to have a rare and memorable experience?

For the remainder of this blog, we’re going to focus on one specific scenario to bring the tactical examples to life. Now, just because your situation may not fit into this example doesn’t mean that the steps shared here aren’t relevant for you. In fact, it may mean that you’re a few steps ahead of others, but in order to take the next leap, fine-tuning your craft from the advice shared here can elevate your employer brand.

The scenario: Janet works for a 3,000 person company. Her company has primarily attended college fairs and her time for the past few years during September-December was primarily spent in hotels, airports, and stuffy college gymnasiums to potentially meet hundreds of students. Due to the fact that she was attending fairs and building a few relationships with student leaders, she never had the exposure to “proactive sourcing” and “digital recruitment marketing.” Needless to say, the transition to virtual recruitment for her has been met with technical challenges on learning new platforms every few days and strategic challenges due to a lack of engagement from students.

Her company spent the majority of their university recruiting budget on travel therefore, she doesn’t have a premium LinkedIn or a Handshake membership. It’s a recruiting model where she has been assigned core schools that she travels to every fall instead.

If you’re an HR leader and this perfectly describes your situation, great! Keep reading as we dig into the strategies.

If you’re an HR leader and this is the opposite, keep reading as well. While some of the strategies may not be as applicable to your situation, the contents shared during the “During” section will be right for you!

Now, that we’ve outlined a specific scenario, it might be assumed that we’re going to want to talk about marketing the event and discussing the logistics of delivering a great presentation, but if you’re catching on at this point, we’re not going to skip any steps here!

A mistake I want you to avoid from here on out is to operate your early talent strategy as a “feelings industry.”

Let’s face it, campus recruiting is such a “feelings” industry sometimes. Recruiters doing what they “feel” is right, or what they were told to do, almost always without a lot of data points

I’m all for gut instinct, but at a certain point, you have to measure and assess the impact of your activities. This starts by properly aligning on the “why” of your strategy and by answering just 2 fundamental questions about your virtual events.

  1. What is your goal when hosting virtual events? Look I get it. Every event will have its own sets of goals and objectives, but failing to document why your organization specifically hosts virtual events will leave a lot of room for interpretation especially from full-time employees you invite to the event since they’re not recruiting like you 24/7. Even if it’s implied that your goal is to use virtual events as a way to recruit more candidates, document it! Share it! Get aligned with your organization on your objectives.

  1. What is the single most important thing you want the audience to remember after every single one of your events? Again, the answer may change a bit depending on the type of event you’re hosting, but for the most part, what do you want the students to always keep in mind after they’ve attended the event. Get together as a university recruiting team and document this answer. Whatever answer you all come up with, share it with any external full-time employees or executives that co-host the event alongside you and your team. Use this answer as a way to prep those employees and what you want them to share in order to get to your desired end result.

After you’ve defined the broad goals around hosting virtual events and what you want your audience to remember, the next step is to determine the logistics of how you’ll get an event scheduled in the first place.

Remember our scenario?

Janet’s company has assigned her a list of schools that she oversees and therefore, she’s planning to host events at all of her schools to substitute for her inability to travel to these colleges.

One of the colleges Janet oversees is our alma mater, Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!). Before she would either just attend a virtual fair hosted by the Career Services department or she would find a way to post the event on Handshake and just wait for students to join the event.

Just like I would share with her if she were asking me these questions today, I would advise you to do the following.

Step 1

Check your ATS for students who already accepted your offer that come from Virginia Tech and tap into their expertise as well as their relationships on campus to find out about highly engaged student clubs and organizations. (This is one of the many benefits of formalizing a campus ambassador program so you can harness the power of your returning interns as opposed to ignoring them for 7+ months). In addition to this, seek out any recent full-time employees who attended Virginia Tech so you can simply ask, “When you were a student last year, what clubs were you aware of or involved in that had a lot of enthusiastic students?”

Step 2

As you get these insights, simultaneously go to Google and type in “Virginia Tech Student Organization Directory.” Depending on the university, you should have access to oversee a list of student organizations and find ones that appeal to the goals you have for your virtual event.

Step 3

If there were any organizations that caught your eye from this directory, ask your returning interns or candidates who accepted your offer to see if they can introduce you to their executive members.

Side note: Whenever you ask for an introduction, always send the person who is making the introduction a sample email that they can use to introduce you and the point of contact that you want to get in touch with. This will save them the hassle of having to write an email and will increase your chances of getting an email sent.

Here’s a sample template:

[Insert the name of the person making the introduction]- thanks so much for this! Warm introductions are almost always better so I appreciate your help. Feel free to edit the blurb however you'd like.


[insert the name of the person you’re being introduced to]- hope you're having a great week!

This week, I connected with [insert your name], campus recruiting lead at [insert your company name] (on copy). We met after my experience with [insert your company’s name]. [insert your name] oversees all the recruitment marketing efforts and is responsible for connecting with leaders like you in a relevant way.

Since you lead some efforts at [insert the organization name], I figure a conversation might spur an interesting dialogue between you two regardless of whether or not you choose to bring them in for an event since the way they provide value to student organizations like yours is a bit unusual.

I will leave you two to connect!


[Insert Your Name]

Step 4

In order to diversify your connections, ask your returning interns, candidates who accepted your offer, or employees who recently graduated from that university to introduce you to their professors or career center directors. You can use the email above as a template that you can send to them to facilitate the introduction.

If these individuals respond, try and carve 30 minutes on their calendar to genuinely build a relationship with them where you can learn about their goals and ways that you can provide value to them.

The tactics of how to do this will be saved for another blog since it’s a separate topic, but once introduced, ask them if they would be open to sharing your event with their students. A simple ask such as,

“[Insert the administrator’s name]- feel free to say no, but would you be against the idea of sharing an event we’re hosting where we’re hoping to talk to students about [insert topics]? Happy to make things easy and send over a quick blurb that you can either email or talk to your students about if that’s okay?”

Step 5

In order for the next steps and the following sections to work, make sure you’re connecting with a student organization leader about possibly hosting an event.

Now, many companies will either deliver a virtual info-session that turns into a virtual “info-session” or speak with the organization for 20 minutes without having any understanding of what the student organization does. You’d never show up to a meeting with your CHRO unprepared so why should a fundamental aspect of your job be any different?

Instead of showing up on the day of the event or just corresponding via email, ask to set up a 30-minute conversation to align expectations. In addition to the time you’re allotted for the event, you should also be able to answer the following questions about the organization:

  • What does the student organization do and what does the student organization care about the most?

  • When it comes to having companies speak at an event, what do the students want to learn more about?

  • When it comes to having companies speak at an event, what type of events are the students tired of attending?

  • How many members are in the student organization and how is it broken down by class and major?

  • When companies have hosted an event with the student organization before, what type of events have yielded the biggest turnout, and why?

After the 30 minutes are up, you may not have the opportunity to solidify an event right away. If that is the case, that is perfectly okay. Schedule another 30-minute chat to present your ideas to the student organization leader so that they can vote on an event that they prefer the most.

To make the brainstorming session productive, here are the questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What is your goal for this event?

  • Based on your previous conversations, what can you teach the members of this student organization in order to add value to them?

  • From that event, what is the single most important thing you want the audience to remember besides just your company’s hiring plans?

  • What are the one, two, or three points you’d like to make to help the audience remember that single thing?

  • If you’re successful, what will the audience think/feel/do after your speech?

These questions should help you come up with some unique ideas that are relevant to the student organization so you can get a great turn-out. Afterward, this is the easy part. It’s answering questions like:

  • How will you open your talk?

  • How will you close your talk?

  • What is your call to action?

  • Will you use visuals to accompany your speech?

  • If yes, what types? (e.g. PowerPoint, video clips, testimonials)

Step 6

Before we dive into conducting the event, let’s not forget about marketing the event. You’ve spent all this time getting the event secured, but there’s no guarantee that the 100+ members will show up for your event so you have to market it effectively in order to get the return you’re seeking for.

A great place to start is to solidify your event with the student organization that this is an event that can be open to other students from that university as well. Once you’ve confirmed this, here are a few things you need to do in order to market your event successfully.

  1. Re-connect with professors, academic advisors, or career center directors that you developed a relationship with on Step 4 to market your event. Send them an email to make it easier for them

  2. Source candidates either on LinkedIn or Handshake and send them a personalized invitation to your upcoming events

  3. When executing the strategy above, ruthlessly prioritize personalization. A RippleMatch survey showed that the main reason why some students hesitate to attend virtual recruitment events is that they fear that online events will not be effective for making personalized connections. Targeted LinkedIn outreach and personalized email messages (“Dear John- noticed that you are in XYZ” rather than “Dear Student”) are a few tactics that show students that you care about them specifically.

How to make virtual events more engaging

If you follow the steps outlined above, this process becomes extremely easy. It’s because you have developed such a keen understanding of how you can provide value that your event will automatically answer the question in the audience’s eyes of “what’s in it for me?”

However, there are still a few factors to consider when executing an online event in order to keep it engaging and light-hearted for the candidates that are joining your event.

In this section, we’ll focus on your delivery and the framework you need to consider in order to deliver an engaging presentation.

Step One: Leave the boring introductions at home

“Good evening everyone, thanks for joining us”

“I know these are unusual times….”

“Thanks, everyone for joining us…”


People’s attention spans are getting incredibly short and you can’t waste these precious moments on empty statements. Instead, open up your presentation with either a fact (Did you know that 60% of students don’t know what they want to do after college - I made this up, but you get the point), a quote, a story, or a question.

You must always keep in mind and ask yourself, “How can I break the student’s expectations of how a normal presentation begins?”

Step Two: Connect on the “why”

After many presenters open up their event with a boring introduction, they dive right into the content without getting their audience emotionally invested.

Instead, after you defy the student’s expectations with your engaging introduction, tell your students why this content and this presentation is important to them. This part becomes easier to answer because you have already connected with the student organization leader and have asked, “What does the student organization do and what does the student organization care about the most?” even before the event.

Essentially, during this part, you need to become vulnerable.

Example: “Now, I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’re attending a presentation like this and I’m sure the ones you’ve attended before might not have been engaging. When I was a student, I was half haphazardly going to class, barely making time for the things that would teach me useful skills, but instead, I procrastinated every chance I got. I don’t like to live my life with a lot of regrets, but if I could go back and change my experience professionally during college, I wish I attended more of these events.”

It doesn’t have to be those exact words, but you need to get your audience emotionally invested in you and your presentation.

Step Three: Tell them what they’ll gain from listening to your presentation

If you haven’t noticed already, we’re spending a bit more time on the “lead-up” to the event and that’s because if you go straight into giving an agenda, you’re going to lose people a lot sooner than you think. Once you have them emotionally invested, this is your chance to tell the students what they can expect from you by the end of the presentation.

Are they going to have a better understanding of your topic? Are they going to be inspired to take action? Will you give them some simple how-to’s to practice?

As soon as you do so, then you want to introduce yourself and your role.

Example: “In order to make today’s topic relevant, I have this bucketed into 3 parts. We’ll break this industry down so you can speak eloquently about it moving forward, we’ll teach you how to manipulate data sets using a simple framework so you can tell a story with numbers for any presentation, and lastly, we’ll have an honest discussion about how these things tie into what we do at our company so you can learn a bit more about us and decide if applying here would be of interest to you. But before we do so, I’m a firm believer that you should only take advice from people that have what you want, and to give you some context, my name is Rishav Khanal. I’m a former Virginia Tech graduate and a best-selling author on the college to career space. I know this space pretty well given my experience (insert reasons why you’re qualified to speak on this topic)

Step Four: Dive into it

Now, your audience will be engaged and will want to know more about the “what.” This is where we’ll get roundabout answers, people wanting to talk just to hear themselves speak or they lose themselves in their thoughts.

You need to be concise. Less is more.

Select 3-5 key points you want to make. Avoid making more than 5 points. You’re better off picking fewer points and having your audience remember them, rather than making so many they can’t absorb them.

For each point, you’re going to utilize the PREP framework to deliver your message.

Point: Think of this as another mini introduction. Use a quote, fact, or a question to state your case. Afterward, articulate your hypothesis.

Reasons: Explain your reasoning. Data points or external research can go a long way in establishing your credibility in this section.

Example: Illustrate your point by sharing stories or providing a testimonial.

Point: Conclude your “mini introduction” that you made at the beginning and quickly summarize the point you made.

Rinse and repeat for 3-5 times depending on the time that’s allocated.

After each points is made, engage the audience by asking them a question. Call them out by name, ask them to unmute their mic and get their take on how they feel about the point you just brought up, and get them to provide their own commentary on the topic.

Step Five: Address your doubters

Students are increasingly skeptical about a lot of things these days, but can you blame them? It’s no secret that a percentage of your audience will start to ask “But if what X happens?” What about Y?” “Yeah, that won’t work.”

Before getting into the conclusion, address any and all doubts around your topic by addressing the objections people may have proactively.

For example: “Some of you may be thinking ‘Yeah, but isn’t just full of boring people?’ It’s ok, we’ve heard that before, but even though we may bias, we like to think we’re different because…. Etc.”

Take a few minutes to address these objections so you can proactively retract the power that they hold with your audience. If you do this, you’ll certainly earn a lot of their trust.

Step Six: Drop the mic!

After all this hard work you’ve put in to engage your audience, don’t let it go to waste with a weak, floppy ending! Similar to the PREP framework, here’s a separate framework to follow for your introductions:

Remind them of the goals you outlined at the beginning of the presentation. Tie it back.

Summarise what you’ve talked about by only sharing the big takeaways.

Give your call to action by clearly answering the question, ”What should my audience do after listening? Sign up for something? Go to your website?” Make this very clear.

End with a punchy closing line. Preferably make it optimistic and uplifting so your audience walks away feeling good!

Don’t lose the connections you made

You’ve probably spent hours trying to create this presentation so the last thing you want to have happened is for students to forget who you are and what you do.

Express your gratitude. Remind them about you and your company.

Step Seven: Follow-up!!

Since this is a dense topic, I reserved another section that outlines the proper ways to follow up with an audience after the presentation.

Segment. Segment. Segment.

Look at your list of the total students that RSVP’d to the event. Batch them into two groups:

  • Ones that attended the event

  • Ones that didn’t attend the event

First, for the ones that didn’t attend the event, send a casual email to them asking if everything was okay?

Next, attached a brief description of what you talked about as well as your clearly defined call to action that you gave to the students that attended your event.

In the same email, attach a recording of the event if your company doesn’t have any restrictions at the bottom for them to watch as well as any supporting documentation.


Now for the students that attended, send them an EXCEPTIONAL email thanking them for attending the event.

Here’s how:

  1. Gather the list of attendees

  2. Find their LinkedIn profile

  3. Create a Google sheet that looks like this

Fill those cells and as you do, it should look like this:

4. If you’re using Excel, find the instructions to mail merge so you can send a massive email that is also personalized here.

If you’re using Google sheets, find the instructions to mail merge so you can send a massive email that is also personalized here.

5. If you do it right, you should have an email that looks something like:

And now, you’ve got a couple of testimonials that you can use on your website, share on LinkedIn as well as other mediums!

Outro & Conclusions


4,000+ words later you made it! Round of applause for yourself!

These 4,000 or so words are a lot to take in so here is a quick summary of what we covered.

The questions we answered are as follows:

  • How to create virtual events

  • How to promote virtual events

  • How to host virtual events

  • How to make virtual events more engaging

  • How to start your public presentation / virtual events

  • How to end your public presentation / virtual events

  • How to follow-up after your presentation / virtual events

Here’s a quick overview of what we covered:

  • It starts by answering the questions, “What is your goal when hosting virtual events?” and “What is the single most important thing you want the audience to remember after every single one of your events?”

  • Next, check your ATS for students who already accepted your offer that comes from the university you’re planning to host an event for and tap into their expertise as well as their relationships on campus to find out about highly engaged student clubs and organizations.

  • Search the university student organization directory and depending on the university, you should have access to oversee a list of student organizations and find ones that appeal to the goals you have for your virtual event.

  • If there were any organizations that caught your eye from this directory, ask your returning interns or candidates who accepted your offer to see if they can introduce you to their executive members.

  • In order to diversify your connections, ask your returning interns, candidates who accepted your offer, or employees who recently graduated from that university to introduce you to their professors or career center directors.

  • Instead of showing up on the day of the event or just corresponding via email, ask to set up a 30-minute conversation to align expectations and answer all the questions listed above.

  • Source candidates either on LinkedIn or Handshake and send them a personalized invitation to your upcoming events.

  • When you’re executing the event, you leave the boring introductions at home, align on the why, tell them what they’ll gain, dive into the content, address your doubters, practice your concluding remarks, and follow-up!

And with that, you’re off! Happy presenting!!

Updated: Dec 8, 2020

  • Is an early talent program right for you?

  • How can you provide value to your early talent?v

  • Should an internship be a part of your early talent program?

  • Is an early talent rotational program right for you?

  • How should management be involved in an early talent program?

  • How do you attract early talent?

  • How do you keep early talent happy?

I can remember our first intern, Alexis Cheatham. She had her internship rescinded and so she shot my cofounder a message asking if there was anything we needed help with.

Well, of course, we had a million things we needed help with, but if we added an intern, the responsibility of providing this incredibly talented student with an internship that she would enjoy and learn from would be one of them.

The next issue: how would we pay her?

We grew up in this space and swore we would never have an unpaid internship program.

At the time, we had less than $1,000 in funding, way less than an average monthly salary for an intern in our space. Nonetheless, after confessing many of these things to Alexis, she persisted, and after realizing the potential on both sides, we launched our first internship class of 1.

Alexis was a fantastic intern, she brought a level of excitement and energy to our organization that was palpable. Luckily, we were able to scrape together some personal funds at the end of her summer to compensate her a little bit, and since our company lives in the talent space, could connect her with dozens of recruiters to ensure she was taken care of post-graduation.

Alexis re-defined a lot of our systems and how we did things, she made us look at things through another lens, and she also brought insights of the next generation (which when you live in the recruiting space, matters).

We were an organization of 2 people at the time, and based on the circumstances, an early talent program was right for us. The question is, is it right for you?

Is an early talent Program right for you?

What stage is your business in?

As long as it’s in a stage that can benefit early talent, it’s right for you. The upside for you goes without explanation. As long as you can provide one of the following, you should consider it:

  • Can afford to provide monetary compensation

  • Work in an industry where the early talent can benefit from your network

  • Have the time and resources to ensure the growth of your early talent (This one is key as the last thing you want to do is waste your time or the time of your organization)

Do you need specialized talent or a bright mind to train?

Coming from two guys who wrote the book, “Experience Over Degree’s” our belief that you need a degree or “Specialized education” to do most jobs is definitely limited. Yes, before you write to us explaining that a doctor needs formal training, we agree. So does the person building bridges and airplanes. For non-technical work where success or failure literally means life or death, we agree, a degree, and many years of schooling are very important. But, most roles, “Data Analytics”, “Analyst”, “Consultant”, etc. do not need to come with some type of technical skillset to be valuable. A bright mind with a few months of experience and can be way more valuable than a pencil pusher with a masters. Our point here is that if you don’t need true specialized talent that can’t be taught on the job then early talent can be a very good option for your growing needs.

Do you need talent in the short term or long term?

An early talent program shouldn’t be looked at like a monthly Spotify subscription. It’s not a, “Pay $7 a month” for a full functioning early talent program. To truly build a sustainable early talent program that’ll successfully fulfill your companies hiring needs, you should be planning at least a year out. There is a lot to consider, hence why this blog is so long. If your talent needs are in the short term and you can’t go without, you should not be looking at an early talent hiring program to fill your hiring needs.

If you’ve made it through the above checks:

  • You can provide value to early talent

  • You can fill your talent needs by hiring a bright mind that may not be super specialized

  • Your talent needs are for the longer term

You should continue reading on.

Otherwise, it’s been a pleasure getting to share these words with you and we look forward to chatting with you more as you check these boxes. For the rest of you who are continuing on with us here: Time to get actionable.

How to build an early talent program?

You’ve come to the conclusion that your company has a lot to gain from an early talent program and you’ve got a lot to offer your early talent.

Now what?

What are the first steps you take towards creating one?

What questions need to be answered to ensure it is well thought out?

What are the variables that change based on your organization and the industry it operates in?

Now we progress through these essential questions and many others that need to be answered.

Should an internship be a part of your early talent program?

The data is in -

According to SHRM:

“Research shows that former interns—even those who go on to work for other companies—stay longer at the company than employees who never had an internship.”

Internships are a great way to give both sides a chance to test the waters. Having an internship allows your organization to accomplish many things when planning for your early talent program such as:

  • Funneling potential young talent before graduation

  • Getting to try before you buy your early talent

  • Allowing them to get a better understanding of what life will be like working for your organization

  • Lowering your employee turnover rate

  • Energizing your company culture with bright minds

These are just a few of the many benefits of adding an internship to your early talent program.

Why should you not have an internship program?

You should not add an internship program if you don’t have the time and resources to provide them with real world experience, consistent feedback on performance, proper mentorship channels, or proper compensation.

In case you're planning a virtual internship, here's our blog about creating a virtual internship that will succeed. If this is a new concept altogether, you can learn how to make the jump towards a virtual internship here.

We won’t go into the building of an internship program here in this blog, but we do a complete and thorough breakdown of how to build your internship program here.

Is a rotational program right for you?

“94% of employees would stay with an employer longer if it invested in helping them learn”


Rotational programs can offer the following advantages:

  • Lower employee turnover

  • Provide a larger vision for how the company operates so that an employee understands the organizations’ needs

  • Provide a better employee/role fit

  • Teach employees to work with different management personas/teams

  • Foster deeper connections throughout the organization which can allow for a wider free flow of ideas

There are a few things to consider when building one out such as duration of time in each role and creating a support system to help guide them through each role.

There are many resources that cover rotational programs more in depth, like this one by training industry.

Co-Founder & CEO Rishav Khanal Participated in LinkedIn's rotational program right after school

Figure out your selection process and what your *NEED* to have’s

We touched on this up above when we decided if you need specialized talent or not but once you’ve made the decision that early talent is right for you, you must make sure you are absolutely focusing on the “Need to have’s” and not the “Nice to haves” or else you run the risk of limiting your candidate pool and excluding perfect candidates that look very different than the person you expected to need to fill the roll. Our goal here: Strip it down to the bare necessities. If it’s something that could be learned on YouTube in a couple weeks, it’s much more important to hire for things like curiosity and communication. For more advice for writing a good job description, check on this short blog by JobScore.

Involve management

Unless you have buy-in from the whole company, you are planning to fail. Early talent cares about growth, reference the LinkedIn statistic above if you need another reminder. They want to learn and gain experiences from people throughout the organizations who can pass along their experiences. The more you can get upper level management involved in interacting with the early talent, the more they will be bought in, and excited to be working towards the same goals.

Here are the steps for getting upper management involved in your early talent program:

  1. Get them involved early and ask them what their goals are for the early talent program

  2. Ask them what the top qualities they want in a candidate are

  3. Get them involved in the interviewing process.

(My co-founder, Alex, started his career at Appian, a multi billion dollar organization of around 1,000 employees at the time where the CEO would still jump into as many early talent hiring interviews as possible)

The difference that is made when upper management is involved is that it kept the CEO energized by getting to meet the fruits of your labor face to face. It keeps them reminded of the value that the early talent program brings and creates a culture where even the early talent feels listened-to, heard, and appreciated.

Figure out your USP and then get the stories/testimonials to back it up. Are you new, old, industry, people etc.

Learn about your organization’s brand and USP by talking to the people who know the most about it, your employees. Ask them:

What they enjoy?

What they don’t enjoy?

What their favorite things are about the organization?

What their least favorite thing is?

These are the questions you’ll want to start with when trying to figure out how you’re going to sell your brand to early talent and convince them to come work for you.

On top of this, there are inherent traits that come with most businesses such as:

If you’re a start up - your culture is usually sought by the youngest in the workforce for the ability to learn on a wide range of topics.

If you’re a big tech company, modern working practices are probably a strength such as remote work and a collaborative environment.

If your brand stretches into products and services used by the workforce you employ, such as Capital One or Boeing, you have the product/service as a USP in which people already know you for the work that you do. There’s a lot of inherent brand recognition which can work for you or against you depending on how you use it. In this recent blog, you can learn how to authentically pitch your company to a student.

You may not be able to fall back on one of the above, and that’s okay. It just means you’ll need to be smarter about how to build your brand. The good news: You’re starting with a clean slate. Check out our blog about developing your unique selling proposition if you're looking for more ways to stand out.

How will you make sure your early talent grows and feels included while they’re with you? Who will be responsible for the growth of your early talent?

When you give your team members an outlet for expressing themselves in an environment where they feel understood due to equal representation, they stay. As a start up it can oftentimes be difficult (due to resource constraints) to represent all members of society. How we got around this to increase our ability to be an inclusive environment for all cultures was to bring on board members that looked different than us. As two males, the first person we added to our board was a female. With this representation and voice within our ecosystem we were able to bring onboard our first intern who also happened to be a female. On our team calls, it didn't feel like an overly masculine driven conversation and the things that can go along with that such as interrupting, overly firm statements, and topics of discussion that are traditionally had mostly by males. With our board members joining our calls we were able to make it a comfortable environment for everyone to speak their mind and to have very productive conversations and hear feedback on all areas of the business from various perspectives. In summary: The more your team members feel like their perspective is valued, the more they will provide you with feedback for improvement. It's that simple, make people feel listened to, and they'll talk.

Are you throwing titles on a job board or building relationships that get you in front of the right talent?

Ambassador Program. Ambassador Program. Ambassador Program. What do Microsoft, EY, and Garmin all have in common? Long lines (pre-covid) of eager, top talent students, waiting for a chance to hand over their resume in hopes that the employer gods might choose them lucky enough for a spot. We are in a post-advertising world. Unless you're lucky or a new offering, the only way to get anyone to buy anything today is referral marketing from a trusted peer. Whether it be selling Redbull to sleep deprived college kids, or the promise of a position at a coveted employer, ambassador programs separate the companies with long lines vs. the companies with a booth covered up by someone else's. Okay, so you already knew about ambassador programs? Does your ambassador program consist of giving your interns a water bottle and t shirt as they go back to campus or do you actually have an ambassador program? D.A.R.T. is the framework you can use to develop an ambassador program that'll give you the employer brand you're looking for.

D - Define what success looks like and figure out what your exact goals are

A - Accessible Communication and training that provides the intern with direction on what to do once they're back on campus such as building partnerships with organizations and university officials

R - Return on investment tracking and making sure you're tracking the numbers that will prove the effectiveness of the program to ensure it's longevity

T - Togetherness and making sure your ambassador feels like they belong to your organizationIf you have these 4, you're set to propel your brand to the top in a novel way that most companies have attempted but failed to actualize. Companies need not rely on the ability to step foot on college campuses nor bet on the fact that the campus ambassador will. The main point here is that you're looped in to someone who knows what's going on at school, whether it be virtual or on campus

We have a whole blog dedicated to the DART framework so you can get even more actionable with the creation of your Ambassador Program.

How do you train your recruiters to be better than most?

Recruiters are an extension of the brand and oftentimes the first face that future employees will see. Little attention seems to be paid to the importance of the candidate experience and so those companies who are able to be even 1% better have all the advantage when it comes to recruiting top talent. This is also why so many companies are now investing in campus ambassador programs so they can utilize the relatable voice of a past intern to attract top talent at their campuses.

Transparency is the most important trait a recruiter can have, and even more so, a company should have with their recruiter. This means being organized at the top as the first step. Oftentimes companies lack transparency not because they're trying to hide something, but because they don't even know what the final decision will be based on. So the first step is to get organized before placing blame on a recruiter.

As a recruiting agency ourselves, we put our team through a rigorous training process which includes D&I sensitivity training, authentic storytelling, and provide them with a platform to be fully transparent with the employer and vice versa. The impact of a recruiter on employer brand can not be understated in the war for talent. They need to be empowered to have meaningful transparent conversations about the organization with the prospect.

What modern working practices will you take into consideration? Mentoring? working remotely? 80/20?

Remote work

Regardless of your industry, there are ways to make the work attractive for the next generation. COVID has already gotten most companies over the hump of accepting remote work so this one doesn’t need to be driven home too hard. Make sure you are keeping up with workplace evolution that caters towards the brightest prospects of the early talent pool.


Having a firm mentoring structure in place, where employees are assigned a mentor (who actively signed on to the role) to support a new employee in their first month, is a great way to support your early talent. That mentor can be responsible for ensuring that the new hire feels supported and has their concerns voiced. They can also act as a conduit for making introductions to their network within the organization.

Co-Founder Alex was given a mentor as soon as he accepted his full-time position with Appain


Some companies now allow for 20% of an employee's time to be dedicated to a personal project whether that be improving the community, heading a new initiative within the organization, or even just investing in further self development. These programs are great for keeping new hires from burning out, keeps them growing, and allows them to pursue things they’re passionate about.

The balance Careers has a great piece about Employee Benefits Packages.

These are just a few of the latest trends. Be sure to look around at what other organizations are doing to make sure their workplace is evolving to meet the needs of early talent.

Do you have a path for promotion or growth?

This one is key. We’ve seen it play out many times before. Employee X feels lost because there is no set path for expanding their career. Their boss has alluded to some future promotion but there aren’t actionable goals to hit and it’s not clear how to have any control over this progression. This is NOT where you want to be. Unsatisfied employees who don’t feel like the path is clear and don’t know what needs to be done to get to the next level of responsibility oftentimes voice their discontentedness with other employees. Pretty quickly, the culture changes and the company no longer has the reputation of being a place that supports the growth of its employees. Avoid setting arbitrary boundaries for promotion. Make sure there is a clear expectation of experiences that can be checked off, that the employee knows they can work towards. Otherwise, you’ll not only loose early talent, you’ll create a negative culture within your organization.

Do you have a plan to continuously refresh your talent hiring process/internal growth processes?

As mentioned in this HBR article on Blackrock practices, they’ve been able to draw in the top talent because they don’t take a passive approach to their early talent program. They don’t just plan their early talent program, they plan to evolve it, month after month, year after year. They know when they began that it wasn't a one time thing. It’s not a set it-and forget it. Having an early talent program means planning to review and improve it on a regular basis based on industry best practices

How to measure if your early talent program is working?

2 simple questions can be asked for you to iteratively review whether or not you’ve succeeded in the creation of your early talent program.

Have you built sustainable relationships?

Season after season, do you find it difficult to get in front of early talent? If your answer here is yes, you should think about how you’re building relationships with gatekeepers. Here, we address how to build relationships with early talent gatekeepers. Keeping it simple: Are you finding ways to consistently provide value to career services, professors, and campus organizations. You want to reach out in a way that provides value to the person you’re trying to get something from. Here’s one thing that each entity wants:

Career services - GOOD virtual events, building of the talent they oversee, high placement rates. Depending on the campus, they may be more or less willing to work with your brand but if you can show that you’re interested in more than just, “Hey send me your best students” but instead looking to uplift the whole talent pool through relevant, career growth based events and information sessions about working life instead of a “Your company - Marketing Event” you’ll be a lot more likely to get through to them.

Professors - Relevant content to the class. DO NOT just ask to sell your company for 10 minutes at the beginning of class. INSTEAD ask what content they are currently covering and find someone at the organization who can give a relevant presentation on how they are implementing what the professor is teaching in the classroom.

While working for Appian, Alex often reached out to professors with their goals in mind

Relevant Organizations - GOOD virtual events, consistent pipelining relationships, funding. Organizations, run by students, are great to partner with because year after year, they have fresh talent, oftentimes focused on growing in the industry you’re in. If you can provide them with resume-enhancing real world experience such as small projects, you immediately become front of mind for a lot of the exact early talent you’re looking for.

In this recent blog we talk about effectively building campus connections.

A final note here is also the importance of tracking. Season after season, leadership positions change, career services changes, so how are you ensuring that these contacts are getting updated month after month. Our simple advice: Keep a Google sheet with 3 tabs - one for professors, organizations, and career services. As new recruiters are added, simply add them to the sheet and remind them to update it. Although our managed service is always the best way to do this, if you’re bootstrapping this with limited resources, create a Google Sheet that gets passed down and updated regularly.

Are you retaining your skills and talent?

Are your early talent hires sticking around? If not, you may have missed an important step above such as not providing enough resources for an enjoyable work environment, providing clear expectations for achieving growth, or aren’t creating systems for including them in the organizational culture, early on enough.

Read more on our recent blog about finding out whether or not your early talent program is working


Alright. Take a breath. At this point you deserve it. These 4,000 or so words are a lot to take in so here is a quick summary of what we covered.

Is an early talent program right for you?

  • As long as it’s in a stage that can benefit early talent, it’s right for you.

  • If you don’t need true specialized talent that can’t be learned on the job then early talent can be a very good option for your growing needs.

  • If your talent needs are in the short term and you can’t go without, you should not be looking at an early talent hiring program to fill your hiring needs.

How do you build an early talent program?

  • Internships are a great way to give both sides a chance to test the waters.

  • Don’t add an internship program if you don’t have the time and resources to provide them with real world experience, consistent feedback on performance, proper mentorship channels, or proper compensation.

  • Rotational programs can offer the following advantages: Lower employee turnover, Provide a larger vision for how the company operates so that an employee understands the organizations needs more, better employee/role fit, Teach employees to work with different management personas/teams, Foster deeper connections throughout the organization which can allow for a wider free flow of ideas

  • Strip job requirements down to the bare necessities. If it’s something that could be learned on YouTube in a couple weeks, it’s much more important to hire for things like curiosity and communication.

  • Get upper level management involved in interacting with the early talent, the more they will be bought in, and excited to be working towards the same goals.

  • Learn about your organization’s brand by and USP by talking to the people who know the most about it, your employees

  • Find out why people gravitate towards your industry, what is it known for, and can you include that in your branding?

  • Build an ambassador program that builds meaningful relationships with stakeholders on campus and keeps your pipeline evergreen.

  • What modern practices will you include as you continue to evolve your program

  • Make sure you’re consistently evolving your program

  • Make sure the path to growth and promotion is crystal clear

How to measure if your early talent program is working?

  • At the beginning of each season are you struggling to get in front of talent?

  • Make sure to approach gatekeepers from the perspective of what they want

  • Make sure you have some sort of formal tracking, such as a google sheet so these relationships that have been built season after season don’t get lost.

In a recent podcast with Dan Black, Head of Global recruiting for EY, you can read/listen to more about winning the early talent war from one of the experts.

And with that, you’re off. Happy building!

I had a friend who always texted me whenever he wanted something

"Rishav, can I borrow your laptop?"

"Rishav, can I borrow a book?"

Now when he messages me, I either pretend I'm offline or didn't see the text Sounds harsh, but that's because he's maxed out He's made too many withdrawals and not enough deposits Most campus recruiters make too many withdrawals in their cold emails to college administrators "Can I have 20 minutes to speak in front of your class?" "Did you get my email?" "Can we chat today or tomorrow?"




When you've maxed out, people avoid you Instead of making withdrawals, make deposits One way to make deposits is to loop in your colleague/the college's alumni into your emails and talk about the things the college administrator may care about (i.e. the things they teach in their class, the subject at hand, the industry) When trying to build relationships at a new school, don't neglect the connections your own employees may have and for your own sake, don't max out These deposits build credit With digital recruiting taking precedence, I get that it's easy to overlook, but when all your competitors are on the same platforms, how are you going to stand out? Where can you go where you're the only employer? So, why are you still here scrolling and reading? Go take a listen to Michael drop some value bombs on making an impact as a campus recruiter!

Companies that will do virtual recruiting for the 2020-21 academic year, by company size

Source: NACE Report: COVID-19 Quick Poll Series, National Association of Colleges and Employers

Rishav Khanal 0:02

Boom. Alrighty, so listeners, everybody that is watching this on their computer screens, or however you do it. Welcome back to your recruitingU, Michael, super excited to have you on board. And as our listeners know, I'm not sure if you're aware, but you love to start off these things. They're really, really nice however you want to categorize it. Fun fact. So I'm not sure if you're aware, but the shortest sentence in the English vocabulary is go. But it also has the longest implicated meaning. Hmm, that was the reaction I was hoping for.

Michael Nuttle 0:45

I watched a couple of the other episodes and you had the one about I think it was with, with cam when it was like the, you don't use the letter A when you're spelling out words or numbers until like 1000. I was like, why would I have ever thought of that? Like my mind was blown. But then I was like, why would I ever ever think about

Rishav Khanal 1:08

You got the point of those? Yeah, I started absolutely right. Right. Yeah. But yeah, turning the mic over to you. To give us a little background introduction. And something I feel like your colleagues or anybody listening to this one Exactly. Pick up on as far as something about you.

Michael Nuttle 1:23

Yeah, absolutely. Uh, so I'm Michael? No, I'm a campus recruiter, which is why I'm on this podcast, right. So I'm a little bit more unique of a background. I heard some somebody else on one of your episodes make the content is like, does anybody actually ever plan on going into campus recruiting when, you know, like when they come out of college, and like, I've definitely fit into that category of not planning on that. I got an accounting degree from Miami, and I graduated in 2014. Miami University, the real one in Oxford, Ohio, not the fake one down in Florida. And I did the whole CPA track, and so did the did the CPA exam. The summer after I graduated summer 2014. It was probably the most boring, but most rewarding summer that I've ever had a, and then started my career with, with bkd. So it's a public accounting firm. And I started in the tax department there in Cincinnati, and did that for a couple of years, then just really kind of figured out that it's not what I wanted to do long term, but like a lot of people, I was like, oh, what do I like, what do I want to do? So I actually tried to dabble in a little NFL scouting for a little bit.

The salary for an NFL scout ranges from $45,000 to $95,000


That didn't go well. And so in that time, I ended up transitioning over to the campus recruiter role with bkd. And that's where I've been for about three years now, actually. And so just, you know, not really what I plan on doing with my career, but it's one of those things that it's like, you know, you got into it. And I said, I tried out for six months and six months turned into three years. And now I'm on a podcast talking about recruiting, because this is this is where my life has taken me and it's great. So as far as you know, like, things that you know, something interesting about me, I don't know if it's interesting, but I'm a pretty open book. So like, I know, you've like prepped me for this, like, share, like a interesting fact that people would know, I'm like, man, I tell everybody everything, which may not be a good thing. Um, there's like really unique. Like, when I'm talking to somebody, or like any situation, the way I'm processing it in my head is like, if I were to write this into, like a news article, how, how would that be read? Like, how would that look as a news article? I know, I don't like writing. I don't do a lot of writing. But just the way that I process things and the way that I process informations are kind of like conversations I have with people or situations I find myself and I'm just like, man, if this was a news article, like, what would that look like? Um, and that's not really something I share with a lot of people probably for obvious reasons.

Rishav Khanal 4:01

Well, I thought you had me with the NFL scout. And yeah, and throw this curveballs.

Michael Nuttle 4:08

Man, I I could we could do a whole separate podcast on that. There's

Rishav Khanal 4:14

a zig zags. Well, let me ask you then, just real quick, cuz I gotta know. And it's, I'm getting this itch. Um, what is the classic NFL scout? Look? I mean, how are you? What's your kaki game like what you know, right? polos where you're rocking for those few months?

Michael Nuttle 4:31

Well, it was funny. So I went down to I did a couple. I went down to the senior bowl, sit down in Mobile Alabama a couple of times and so I did like an online like scouting school and everything. That was great. It was super educational was awesome process and it got me down there and I got to network and stuff and they actually told me they're like, you know, don't dress up for this. They're like, try to look as normal or casual as possible. And so like, I'm, you know, I like I was like, I guess I'll just wear t shirts the entire time. I didn't have to, like run out and like change my whole wardrobe or anything. But if you want to paint like a stereotypical picture, like you're definitely gonna see like, Yeah, probably like athletic looking like Quarter Zip. With either jeans or khaki pants, maybe a hat. You're probably walking around with either a notebook or a clipboard or something like that. So

Rishav Khanal 5:22

your campus recruiting look as well. Where you are scouting, right?

Michael Nuttle 5:27

Somebody made that connection to me, one of one of the managing partners for the office, one of the offices that I recruit for he made that comment. He's like, you know, you're just doing that, but for accountants, right. I was like, I hadn't put that together, but

Rishav Khanal 5:40

I like it. It's good. There you go. And then give me 30 seconds. I'm gonna do a 40 yard dash. Yeah, it's larger to my outlet, so it doesn't die. All right, you

Michael Nuttle 6:01

That was good. Was that was, that was the best charger to charge her to computer time I've seen so straight straight to the pros.

Rishav Khanal 6:11

There you go. I didn't say you said it. But let's let's dive right into it. Because I know people are excited. So Michael, I mean, you know, I've come in this hypothetical scenario, I've come to your workshop where you help other campus recruiters like me really hone in on their craft. And for me, right now I'm in a weird predicament where I know I need to have a lot of partnerships with my university partners. But I just don't really have that network. So I hear recruiters go and say, Hey, talk to faculty, Career Services, talk to yada yada. But it's zero in my virtual Rolodex, right? I got nobody and I kind of feel alone. So how do I start to even initiate those relationships and then get to a point where I can strengthen them?

Michael Nuttle 6:58

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I think you, you, you started off, right, in the sense of like, where you want to start and the idea of connecting with faculty connecting with, with, with, you know, people in career services, because I know, so like, when I look back into when I first started my career in public, or Well, in campus recruiting, I should say, um, you know, my thought is like, how do I just start meeting students, and the thing that you quickly find out and campus recruiting is that students come in, they go, and they come in, they go, and they come and go. So if you're relying strictly on those relationships with students, you're going to have to be re creating a lot of relationships over and over. And so that's where, like you said, meeting the faculty meeting, in the Career Service folks, is a key really to sustaining your campus recruiting process, I would say, um, but so yeah, so you're starting off, you're brand new, you know, where do you Where do you go? I think the biggest thing that you that you need to do is take a look at your network, your own personal network, doesn't even have to be through the scope of campus recruiting, look at who you know, and then start to figure out how can I tie this into a connection into into like, a campus or something like that, um, you know, it's, it's, it's one of those things where you never know who knows somebody. And so much of campus recruiting so much of getting connected with folks is being able to just just get connected to them and then start talking is one of the things you'll find especially with Career Services, like people who work in career services, there's their jobs are to are to get their students jobs, that's why they're in career services, right? And so they're wanting to connect with people that can get their students to jobs. But how do you go about meeting them? Again, that's where you're looking at your current network is like can I do I know anybody who maybe has a strong connection to a strong connection to a university have a strong connection to somebody in the Career Services things like that and it starts to utilize those relationships that you have there

Rishav Khanal 10:10

Okay, you know, start from my own personal network? Yeah.

Michael Nuttle 10:18

Yes. Um, so pretty much. So like what I was saying. So the idea is, I think with anything, check your network, you never know who is connected to where? Right? Um, so look, look and see, you know, is there anybody key that maybe already has relationships with, with somebody, you know, a key individual on a university, whether that's faculty, whether that's in the Career Services or things like that, you know, maybe, maybe they're just a prominent alumni, or they give a lot of money or something like that, you know, you just don't know. So take a look at your network and see, and then start to figure out Yeah, like, Where, where can I add in that, that value, by layering in some, some new people and everything. So I'm utilizing someone already connection, or somebody already in your network, I think is the strongest way to go. But then if you don't, um, don't be afraid to just reach out to folks on campus, one of the things you'll find out very, very quickly, is that people that work in career services, a lot of faculty and things like that, they want their students to get hired, right, that's, that's their goal. That's what gets them out of bed. And so if you're a campus recruiter, saying, Hey, I'm hiring for jobs, I want to hire your students, people are going to be pretty, pretty open to meeting with you, right? Um, so. So I think then it's, again, it's understanding those key relationships. So understanding that you need to have those relationships with folks in the Career Services, you need to have those relationships with the faculty and things like that, um, and then start to just reach out, how do you find these people, if you don't have the connections, I mean, go on every website for a school, you know, check out the career section there. A lot of a lot of universities are using handshake, things like that, I mean, you can find the contact information anywhere, and then don't be afraid to just reach out to this person and introduce yourself. But I think the big thing then is what do you do once you have that connection, and that's where then becomes actually strengthening that relationship. And right now we find ourselves obviously, in a very unique time, we're all on zoom, we're all on, you know, Skype, and Google Hangouts and everything, and we're all connected via LinkedIn and everything, but, but at some point, you actually have to be a person. And like, that person has to be a person to you. And so you need to still take that time. And, and, and invest 30 minutes in a phone call, invest 30 minutes in a in a video call or something like that, so that they get to know you, because at the end of the day, what you're doing is you're building your, your own personal brand with that person who then feels comfortable with who you are, what you're selling, what you're recruiting for, and then be able to then direct your direct their students to that. So it's I, you know, as we as we all get longer into this stay at home thing and the quarantine, whether you're getting lifted or not, that's again, another discussion, but it's still so important to be more than just somebody who posts a lot on LinkedIn, you know, you got to still be the recruiter you still got, you still have to take the time to connect with people and build the relationships, the actual relationships, and not just emails back and forth and things like that. I had a, one of the managing partners I worked for, made a comment that he's like, you know, especially public accounting, he's like, this is such a people business is like, if we get down to just numbers, he said, we'll lose every time we charge too much money like blah, blah, he said, but he makes the point that he's like, you can be anybody at anything, you or whatever he's like, so you can create whatever picture you like, but at the end of the day, they're only going to buy and buy that. And if that's not what you're actually selling,

eventually, like that's gonna catch up to you, right? Like, that's not gonna, that's not going to be good enough, you need to still make that person to person connection, socially distance or not, you know, so, uh, so yeah, I think that, that starting, getting those connections there are are huge. And kind of going from there. And then I think it's then starting to look at how you can utilize those relationships, right, once that connection is made, you know, where, where can you start to fit in as far as getting connected to key students or student organizations and things like that. So, you know, I think about one of my own personal connections at a university that I recruit at. She's a career coach. And so, you know, we got connected early on, and I got connected to her through another connection. at another university, she used to work for this Director of Career Services at university, this other university and everything. Through that relationship, I then ended up getting connected with, you know, the president of this accounting organization. You know, and then next thing I know, like, I'm able to start presenting to their opening meeting for the semester, like the first, first, the recruiter that a lot of these students ever meet, is me, and they're hearing about my company and things like that. And so it's, you know, it's starting with, like, like, we didn't say it started with the faculty, it's starting with those Career Service folks, then utilizing that to then get you tied into some of those key students and things like that.

Rishav Khanal 15:40

So I guess, let me double down on it. Because I think where, like, the why behind my question came from why, specifically around faculty, and I have heard horror stories, right from other recruiters saying, Hey, I have sent out, you know, some emails here and there to Career Services, folks, the faculty, they never get back to me. Yeah. And we usually come to the reason that it's one of two things. One, the email is the same cookie cutter template, right? And so it's like, Okay, well, what do I do there? or second? It's hard, because they just come back kind of just bouncing around to different areas, like, hey, talk to so and so or talk to so yeah. So I guess addressing the first point of the M personalized messages. I mean, what what messages in your world have really worked for you or other recruiters? Would you say that gotten Career Services folks back?

Michael Nuttle 16:42

Yeah, um, I would say, well, so specifically with faculty, so when we're talking about the professor's I think you really need to rely on alumni. So like, I agree with you that I don't think any email that I send on my own is going to work. Hey, I'm Michael, I'm not an alumni of the school. I recruit at 10 different schools, right? I've not an alumni of 10 different schools are like don't have that card, right. So if I'm just coming at him, Mike, well, I'm a recruiter, when I hear kids are like everybody does great. I'm adding that personal element to it. Right? Hey, I'm Michael Nuttle. I work with Rashad, he is an alumni of the school he talked about your taxation class, and he loved it. loved it, I would love to talk to you more about your taxation class, you know, it's something that I recruit for, and like I have a decent understanding of and I would love to hear what what the students are interested in, you know, don't even make it about hiring students at first, you know, how can we? How can we just connect, right? How can we have more of a relationship than just, hey, help me do my job? Right? You know, because because at the end of the day, too, as a recruiter you have in, like, you have resources, and you have information that they want to know, to, hey, how do I how do I make my students better for the jobs that you're hiring for? How do I prepare my students better and things like that. And so I really think having again, that that connecting piece of maybe like an alumni or somebody that they know, really is going to make a huge difference. I think even more so with the faculty in the Career Services, I I personally, just think the Career Service folks, if they're just if you're if you're hiring folks, they definitely want to at least meet you and everything. But the more that the more personal element that you can put with it. I think I think the better better chance that you have at success. Because I spent a lot of time the my first first six months as a recruiter just sent an email to schools, to people that I didn't know. And yeah, I got the runaround, right. And so I think then, like once you can meet like one or two, then expanding like, you know, don't try to just meet all 20 faculty, right? One or two, get connected with them, get to know them, well, they'll start to introduce you. Things like that, I think is probably the best, best way to go. So inch wide, about a mile deep. I like it.

Rishav Khanal 19:10

So let's go on a great line. This is a brief surface this to make sure I didn't miss anything. So I'm kind of starting from zero. Even though I think a lot of people say that what you're saying is, hey, audit your own professional audit. There you go. Yeah, learning accounting things.Probably got it.

Michael Nuttle 19:27

Yeah. Are you sure you don't want to do accounting? So you basically got it all figured out?

Rishav Khanal 19:31

Yeah, that's the only thing I need to know. Right? It's really revisit and look at my professional network to see hey, even if it's not somebody that is a direct faculty member or a directory services member, maybe they're an influential alumni who can that be used as a bridge are a conduit to these folks. Hmm. And once I get there, once I start sending out those messages, taking a step back and saying, Okay, if I'm writing emails that has just helped me do that. My job better than the successes just isn't going to be there. Right. But instead tying in the value of their class or what they do, and the resources that you can provide to them to then say, okay, maybe there's something here, especially for schools where I don't know anybody, any ground to stand on. And then the last thing is, as opposed to spray and pray across all my relationships, finding the ones that I can really lean on the one to two influential folks that that can then point me towards other tangential people, such as like a career coach, or influential students. So all three of those, so I got a pretty good idea of what to do. Because that seems like it's not, it's easier said than done.

Michael Nuttle 20:43

It always is, isn't it, though? Yeah.

Rishav Khanal 20:47

So anything I might have missed? Or anything that you'd like to add on to instead of that, because it seems like I have a lot of work to do?

Michael Nuttle 20:54

No, I mean, I think it's one of those things, I think, this job, being a recruiter, because you deal with people so much. It's, it's really unique. It's, it's so much more than just filling positions, right? I, I get asked to do a fill for internships, I was like, I can fill for internship spots, but like, are they going to be good candidates are they gonna be backends. And that's where it's like, you know, again, dealing with the people, it's such a, it's such a people thing. And so, you know, having the right attitude about that remembering that you're working with people I think is the is the biggest thing, because, you know, we all have feelings, and we all have, you know, hopes and desires and things like that. And so remembering that about the people, not only that you're trying to connect with the people that you're recruiting and everything, but just just keeping that in the forefront of your mind, I think is, is huge. But then also just, you know, like I said, you know, taking the time to really get to know, get to know people, it does take time, right? You're not going to create this network in a week. You know, I've been doing this recruiting for three years now. And I still feel like my network could expand well beyond where it is now. But like, at all the while, I'm still like, needing to spend the time fostering little relationships I've built to continue to build those, you know, don't don't meet somebody just to meet somebody else, and then forgot about that first person, right? You know, remember those folks whose you don't know who that person then is it going to be able to then connect you with so that one person can connect connect you to five or six more people. But if you just go from one to the next to the next, you know, where's the value in that and everything. And again, it gets back to the human element. I mean, it's, if if I come here, and I'm trying to not make it seem like I'm just getting to know you so that I can do my job well, and as soon as you connect me with somebody else, and I'm like, I think see, yeah, I'm, I'm sending the exact message, what I'm not trying to do, you know, and so don't forget the human element in it. I think so many, I've listened to a few of the other folks that have been on your podcast, you got it. You've had some really good people on this podcast. Honestly,

Rishav Khanal 23:09

I'm adding one more to the list. One this guy

Michael Nuttle 23:11

appreciate that. I appreciate that. But no, I mean, just, you know, you hear you hear recruit like these recruiters talk and everything. And it's like, you know, there's so much more than being a recruiter, it's so much more about helping find the right people for the right jobs, whether that's with your company or not, you know, like, like I said, like, I would love to hire the best people every single time. But sometimes the best people out there are not the best people for my company and everything. And so it's it's, it's huge. To me, that's where you got to completely like, look at it more than just a numbers thing. Right? Which, as a former accountant,

little tough to do sometimes.

Rishav Khanal 23:52

Yeah, seriously, no, I think this has been super valuable to realize that, yes, this is an exercise in patience, but at the same time to do it in a way where, again, you're not using people as a stepping stone. Because if you're gonna get frustrated and say, Hey, people are using me as a stepping stone, right? It's kind of like, well, am I using people as a stepping stone? That's a little bit of a gut check moment. But seriously, Michael, thanks for coming on. Learning not only how you recruit and recruit so well, but I can see that coming from your scout days. Seriously, this was a blast. I and I'm excited for our listeners to either follow up with you or just kind of put it out to the world to get a little daily reminder of how to make this into a people business rather than just spraying practice.

Michael Nuttle 24:39

Absolutely, yeah. No, I mean, my job is to connect with people. So if anybody wants to find me on LinkedIn, I'm around. It's about to be the summertime. So campus recruiting is definitely at its lowest point right now. So I'm always looking to talk with folks whether it's about campus recruitment or about positions or things like that. So happy to connect with anybody.

Connect with Michael HERE

Rishav Khanal 25:00

Sweet. All right, thanks again. Excellent. Thank you.