Event Management

10 Unique Recruiting Event Ideas to Find the Best & Brightest College Students

March 26th, 2019

Move over millennials, Gen Z is the next generation to graduate. And with this new graduating class, comes the need to recruit them. The college industry is beginning to change, the rising cost of higher education, the abundance of online classes, and the heightened substitute-ability of colleges give businesses and colleges a greater difficulty in drawing in the best talent for open positions.

Larger companies are finding unique and fun ways of identifying candidates for their openings. So we cobbled together 10 unique recruiting event ideas that are sure to attract not just the best students, but also the best companies to the floor.

A Little Friendly Competition

winning chess competition with crown

One of the best ways to win over college students is playing a game to win free rewards. These various competitions will help you decide who is the best candidate for a certain job, while they are seeing how fun working at your company can be.

Pitch Event

Allow students to give 1-minute elevator pitches to sell their idea, company, or anything you throw at them. You can even throw a curve ball and see who can best pitch themselves. Teach them the best tactics for selling their ideas.

Startup Engine

Give students 2 hours, 24 hours, a week, or any amount of time to come up with an idea for a company. Give them the chance to design a business plan, MVP, pitch, or anything that can sell a company, and have them present it to a team of judges. Watch out for students with the ability to lead, follow, or work under pressure.

Consulting Competiton

Call it an innovation challenge, a case competition, or something fun, but this is a classic competition put on by the large consulting firms. Give students between 4 hours and 3 months to research a problem and come up with a solution. Make sure to give them enough freedom so you can see solutions evolve to questions you can’t even answer.

Example: Accenture Innovation Challenge

Business Plan

A more formal competition: this will allow students to prove to you they know how to work through every aspect of running a business. Look for new possible investments, amazing talent, or the next big company.

Example: McKinsey Venture Academy


A hack-a-thon is the perfect tech-based competition that can incentivize your recruiting event and company. This event will identify the best of the best as they prove their exquisite computer programming, science, or engineering background. Awarding winners with offers to your company will ensure the strong potential of your business.

Examples: PayPal’s Money2020 Hackathon, NBA Hackathon

Sponsor Some Fun

Instead of a full-blown recruiting event, attaching your name to something may be enough to put your company’s name in the head of recruits. This is a cheaper way to connect with students without compromising your image.


music concert

Almost every medium to large college will have at least one concert that draws a large crowd. Give the student body a little extra dough so they can host someone everybody knows. Putting your name on an event outside of the career fair will lock that name in their brains as somewhere they want to work, especially if it attached to their favorite artist. Working with the student union may also help you find students who already know how to do the role you are looking to fill.


Shelters love to bring their animals to campus to show students that they need their help. Sponsor an event that connects your business with cute dogs.

Clear Their Minds

Meditation and Yoga

beach yoga in the sunset

Teach healthy habits with mindfulness by forcing students to take a break from their stress-educing lives. University can be hard and letting them take a break from their work by killing two birds with one stone will draw in the best and the brightest. Recruit and refresh.


Not everyone is going to be skilled at sports so choosing something relativity easy will make it fun for everyone. Prove to these youngsters that your company is not full of boring robots in an office. Have fun with the recruits and let them enjoy some downtime with some friendly sports.

Help Them Help You with Workshops

white board workshop

Hosting workshops will show potential recruits that you are here to help them improve just as much as they are going to help you. Find those who are willing and ready to learn and sort out those too cocky to ask for help.

How to interview (case, behavioral, and technical)

Behavioral interviews are the easiest to prepare for, but the easiest to slip up on. Case and technical take a ton of practice and require someone to work with. Come to campuses and show students how its done while giving them the chance to test their skills on actual interviewers.

Searching for diversity and inclusion

diversity people

Show that your company cares about hiring anyone by showing awards to look for, percentages to strive for, and people to know.

Deciding if you’re the right fit

Interviewing allows the interviewee to have an inside look at what the company wants. They have to want to work at the company as much as you want them to work for the company. Showing them how to align their interests with the potential job will single out the best clients to be hired by your company.

Let Them Work

Watch recruits in action. See if they can problem solve and learn quickly by throwing actual work at them.

Mock consulting cases

Rather than a challenge, watch undergrads lead and follow as a team to formulate a solution to a problem you give them. Guide them along the way so they know if they are heading in a good direction but let them slip up along the way. Then, have them present in front of the company like they would as a real employee.


Don’t fear, less commitment is here. Give them a chance to test the internship by only hosting them for a week or weekend. Watch them get their hands on a project and see what they can do under pressure. Sometimes the brightest candidates are the dullest employees.

Philanthropic Events

Members of newer generations find improving the world for the better as a key trait for their life. Prove to them that your company loves helping people, cleaning the world, or raising money for organizations that need it by recruiting through philanthropy.


Collect cans from students that they don’t know what to do with at the end of the semester or have potential recruits provide a helping hand at local food banks. Both will point out students with a mindset that includes values outside of a salary.

Habitat for Humanity

Look for students who are wanting to spend a Saturday building houses rather than attend a darty (day-party). They are the ones who want to see the world improve and are willing to help.

Run for _____

runner race gravel

Host a 5k, 10k, or half-marathon to find recruits who care about their body and whatever organization you are raising money for. Join some students on the run and find out why they are running. You will learn a lot about students as neither of you can wait to cross the finish line.

Be Creative

Many Fortune 500 Companies focus on one or two ways to help the world and choosing something specific will help choose an event to start. Gilead Sciences works to eradicate HIV/AIDS and liver disease, Walmart helps the anti-hunger charity Feeding America, and JPMorgan Chase has a “service corps” of employees that assist Detroit nonprofits in developing strategic plans, financial models for earned revenue, and improved human resources systems. All of these companies can work to include potential recruits in some way to better their company and their philanthropic endeavors.


Connect several students each with an employee so they can get help from someone in their potential field of work. Let them ask what classes they should take, what extracurricular are meaningful, how to write a resume, how to network, and so on. Spending 30 minutes each week will create a lifelong expert worker.

Speed Dating

networking speed dating

Bring several employees to campus to help recruit by talking with many students for 5/10/15 minutes. Determine who can spend their time wisely while learning about the max number of students in a short amount of time.


Let them ask a few questions so they can learn if the company is right for them.


Just have a casual conversation with the student to learn their personality type and let them maintain contact with employees.

Resume review

Do fast resume reviews to show the students that they have limited time to make an impression with a piece of paper.


Do a mock interview to ask the essential questions and give feedback on good or bad responses.

Free Food!

free food berries


A great way to bridge the gap between a college student who never sleeps and someone who works around the clock. Free coffee will attract students to attend your events by making it worth-it to escape their “books” and grab a much-needed energy boost.


Gen Z’ers are just like millennials when it comes to nutrition. Finding good fruit on campus may be difficult for secluded campuses. Bribing students with vitamins will attract students who care about their body and will care about your company.

Just Desserts

Let’s get the students out of bed and trick them into grabbing a treat while having a worth-while conversation to find the perfect candidate.

Grill some dogs

Show students you care and have a great community by grilling hot dogs for students who never stop eating. Ketchup, Mustard, and Recruiting anyone? Relish this connection.

Fancy Dinner

Now for the perfect candidates, take them out to dinner. They will say yes to their out-of-budget restaurant allowing them to brag to their friends. This gives you 2-hours to have a positive connection with the few students you need on your team.

Planning your own recruiting event is essential to connecting with the best and brightest of recruits. In-person connections will always beat the job board websites that are seemingly taking over this field. Let EventBank do the heavy lifting for your next event with a built-in CRM, Email Campaign tools, event web page builder, and much, much more. Book a Demo to see it for yourself.

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