The summer is a busy time for campus recruitment professionals across Canada as you prepare to launch new on-campus and online campus recruitment campaigns for the 2013-2014 school year.

Due to labour shortages and skills gaps, competition for talent continues to heat up in many industries, including natural resources (mining, oil and gas, forest products, etc.), financial services and technology.

According to the latest TalentEgg360 poll, more than one third of campus recruitment professionals (36%) are focusing on new employer branding as their top priority for the coming year.

That majority isn’t too surprising, as many organizations have not updated their employer branding for students since the economic downturn. However, that was five years ago now and pre-recession branding isn’t looking so fresh anymore.

After Grant Thornton swept the 2013 TalentEgg National Campus Recruitment Excellence Awards in May, chosen by students as a finalist in four categories and the winner of Best Campus Recruitment Brochure and Campus Recruiting Program of the Year, with the firm’s fun “What will your advice be?” campaign, we expect to see even more colourful, edgy employer branding on-campus and online this fall.

Social media strategy was a close second, with 29% of campus recruiters indicating that it was their top priority. Much has been said about using social media for campus recruitment in recent years, however only a select few employers are now actually using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks to engage with student and recent graduate candidates. A few big brands have made a big splash on social media over the last year or so, including RBC, TJX Canada, Accenture, Target and Freedom 55 Financial, setting a strong pace for other organizations to follow.

Other priorities include increasing retention (17%) and improving your campus careers website (14%). Only 5% of respondents said their top priority is reaching traditionally-excluded groups, such as Aboriginal youth, recent immigrants, minorities, women, members of the LGBTQ community, etc.

Most important campus recruitment priority for 2013-14

How do your campus recruitment priorities compare? Which is your top priority?