Classes, assignments, surprise tests, pre-placement talks & competitions – A typical day at a premium Business School in India. The life of a B-School student is one about bringing order into the topsy-turvy and creating masterpieces out of the abstract.
The student’s need to be adept at juggling multiple activities creates a chain reaction wherein companies, in turn, need to creatively conceive multiple points of connect, across the year to be salient in the student’s mind. By choosing the route of B-School competitions along with the more traditional campus engagement activities, companies are killing two birds with one stone – first is spotting talent through a device that tests application of knowledge and fit within the company and secondly, creating a platform for conveying its employer brand to the stakeholder that matters- the potential hire. After all, we live in an era where being qualified for the job is only half the battle won!
While the organisational rationale behind conducting campus competitions is obvious, it is important to understand what the customer – the student, thinks about this generous onslaught of contests. Do they deem these competitions to be necessary at all? Do they actually think this to be an opportunity to understand the employer brand better? Or they think it to be just another method to gain CV points? What is the real deal for them? With B-School competitions increasingly turning into a ‘red ocean’, what helps a company stand out in the eyes of a student looking to join an ‘ideal’ workplace? What disruption can companies bring into this space?
So true to style, we dived deep into the psyche of the ‘much in demand’ student – here is a sneak peek into what our exploration revealed:
Not just digital: The age-old recipe of multi-channel exposure for communication cuts ice here as well. For a student, the physical connect does matter a lot. And with digital launches or digital only contests, while the company may be saving costs, the connect can get lost in the wilderness.
PPO or PPI is King: For first-year students, new to the world of business school rigour, it is comforting to know that they could be getting a Pre-Placement Offer from a company if their idea. That is worth contesting for!
‘Bite’ sized competitions: In a world of ever decreasing attention spans, the company could do well conducting a campaign or an event in a shorter span of time. Remember, students are inundated and the T20 format works better than the Test format.
Show me the money! A typical B – school student is well versed with the concept of ROI. They can commercially evaluate the pros and cons of a contest. Make sure you understand this dimension, so your contest does not get a cold shoulder by the student fraternity
These are a just few pointers to whet your appetite if you are seeking to get that magical traction with students on campus. Our in-house campus expert could go on, but we had to put a word limit and stop him in his tracks!