Best Practices for Recruiting Students Engaged in NFPA Programs

The NFPA Education and Technology Foundation seeks to increase the number of technical college and university level students educated in fluid power and connect NFPA members with opportunities to recruit them. The students who participate in our workforce programs have a genuine interest in fluid power and valuable hands-on experience that many employers are seeking. To help you make the most of these recruitment opportunities, we’ve put together this list of easy-to-follow tips.

Best Practices for Recruiting Students Engaged in NFPA Programs:

  1. Schedule a time to speak to a class, a Vehicle Challenge team, or a Fluid Power Club. There are more than 20 universities involved in these programs and NFPA’s Workforce Team can assist you in making these arrangements.
    • Show applications, markets served, and demonstrate to students how the work they will do makes an impact in the world.
  2. Join a NFPA Workforce Engagement Group to further connect with the Power Partner universities and Fast Track Hubs. These are a collection of educational institutions that teach fluid power courses and actively coordinate with NFPA to connect their student population with NFPA members for youth career exploration and recruiting sessions. Workforce Engagement Groups will represent the following regions: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin.
  3. Participate in the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge (FPVC). It is a multidisciplinary design/build program designed for university engineering students to learn about fluid power applications and careers. NFPA members should:
    • Register on the NFPA Foundation website and create a company profile with relevant information.*
    • Invite HR and an engineer to staff a virtual table during the FPVC virtual Networking Mixer and plan to follow up with interested students. *
    • Invite an HR representative to attend at least one FPVC mentor meeting and/or attend the Final Competitions. This allows for them to meet the students and see first-hand how they work together as a team and tackle challenging project elements.*
  4. Review NFPA’s Fast Track and Power Partner schools and encourage alumni at your company to get involved in Workforce Programs that interest them. Recent alumni are the most equipped to speak about their educational experience and career path into our industry.
  5. Encourage HR and Technical/Sales/ Engineering staff to promote career opportunities together when speaking with students. In some instances, the students are unfamiliar with fluid power technology and do not understand the detail of the role and what to expect day-to-day when they see the job title. Utilize current staff in those roles, if possible, to ensure those topics are covered.
  6. Notify NFPA of internships, co-ops, job shadowing, and rotational programs. Consider recruiting freshmen and sophomores as well as upperclassmen into these roles and when possible, share details upfront about relocation benefits.
  7. Consider utilizing NFPA’s Workforce Programs as a staff team building or community impact initiative and engage with youth and emerging talent in a community near you.

*Participation in the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge events is restricted to Pascal Society Donors.

Career Fair Recruitment Tips:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the Career Services offices at the schools you are interested in. Some schools have specific career services offices for Engineering – check out the list of career services offices at our Educator Partner schools.
  2. Find out which student-recruitment app the school uses (like Handshake) and set up an account.
  3. Schedule a meeting with the Career Services Office to get questions answered, reserve interview space, meet relevant faculty, and learn more about the services they offer to employers.
  4. About four weeks before the career fair, consider hosting an informational session with a student organization, like a fluid power club, and post job openings on the school’s student
    recruitment app.
  5. Two weeks before the career fair, reach out to students through the app or LinkedIn, and invite them to visit your booth at the fair. Share direct links to your job postings.
  6. One week before the career fair, send reminders to targeted majors, invite faculty to meet you at the career fair, and check in with the event organizers.
  7. On the day of the career fair, arrive early, be engaged, ensure you always have personnel at the booth, and consider having a system to note positive/neutral/negative candidates.
  8. After the event, consider hosting an after-hours event, schedule interviews, and plan follow-up communications.
  9. If you cannot participate in a career fair, talk with the career services office about other ways they can help you connect with students, such as targeted emails to specific majors or speaking
    opportunities.

For more information or to get involved with NFPA’s Workforce Development programs, contact Stephanie Scaccianoce at sscaccianoce@nfpa.com.

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