Campus recruitment by companies dropped 20 percent in 2010 after the economic downturn that started in 2009, according to Diana Middleton of "The Wall Street Journal." Although fewer positions available means companies have less need to advertise on campus, businesses still benefit by maintaining a strong presence on campus. Some colleges become desperate for companies to recruit on campus that the institution offers perks to companies that were not available before the recession.

Recruiting Talent

Reduced competition for presence on college campuses means smaller firms and companies without a significant amount of brand awareness have a better chance at recruiter top tier talent. Most baby boomers--people born after World War II--will retire between 2010 and 2020, according to, John Flato, vice president of research & consulting for the website, so companies need to groom talent now or face a labor gap in the future. Campus recruitment also helps with retention rates because employees tend to feel more loyal to their first employer.


Searching for talent using traditional methods costs about one and a half times the salary for the position and sometimes up to two and a half times the salary of the position in the case of high-level executives, according to Dana Shilling of American Business Media. On-campus recruitment reduces hiring costs down to an average of about $5,400 with some positions incurring less than $100 in expenses, according to NAS Insights. Grooming talent from the moment they graduate eliminates search fees and lets the company promote from within, which further raises the business's retention rate.


Businesses spend an average of $386,634 to recruit on college campuses, according to NAS Accounting. However, college career centers need students to meet recruiters and often agree to offset hiring expenses to send soon-to-be graduates to hiring managers. For example, many schools set up video systems so employers can hold video conferences with students. Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business paid for 50 students to travel across the country to meet hiring mangers in 2010, according to Middleton.


Limiting on campus recruiting can save a company thousands of dollars in recruiting fees, but maintaining a strong presence on campus results in a positive return on the investment. For example, IBM scaled back its on campus recruitment after the tech bubble in 2001, but the company considers this a mistake because the hiatus severely damaged IBM's recruiting goals for several years, according to Flato.