How to Build Connections on Campus as a Campus Recruiter

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.

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