Affirm University – An Open Letter

This letter isn’t to provide advice on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to university recruiting - it’s to showcase some of Affirm’s initiatives during this crazy, but fulfilling, season!
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This letter isn’t to provide advice on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to university recruiting – it’s to showcase some of Affirm’s initiatives during this crazy, but fulfilling, season!

Hi Everyone,

It’s me again, your friendly neighborhood university recruiter! This was Affirm’s 5th year of university recruiting, and we’ve always tried our best to stand out and play with the big dogs. I think all of us know that we will never be able to recruit like some of the larger companies, at least not yet, but I’m extremely proud of our accomplishments this past year. This year, our approach to our Fall university tour was to scale back on schools and to build stronger relationships on campuses – old and new. As a result, we were able to hit 100% of our hiring goals by December, ended the season with a 72% close rate, and achieved our URG (underrepresented groups) goal at 46% – beating out all our past goals.

How did we do this? You might be wondering (If not, you can stop reading here). I won’t write out all the schools we attended and everything we did, but a few things below highlight how we met our goals last fall:

Relationships are a two-way street

We’ve learned from experience that you can’t just go to a university once and never return. In fact, most universities discourage this. Students remember the companies that are only there for “recruiting” and nothing more. Instead of going on campus purely to recruit, we at Affirm wanted to build relationships with the student groups, like ACM at NC A&T.

It’s been really rewarding seeing familiar faces and knowing that we’re building a relationship over time. This year, we partnered with ACM and threw a Paint Nite event which allowed us to get to know the students in a more casual, low stress setting as opposed to a more buttoned up interview setting. We plan on going back there this year as well!

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Max Tech Tour (MTT)

Every year we host a Max Tech Tour, which is a way for our founder and CEO, Max Levchin, to get in front of students. This event is unique to Affirm and no matter how busy Max’s schedule is or how big of a size we’ve gotten (800 employees and counting!), he makes university hiring a priority. Our Max Tech Tour is a great opportunity for Max to meet students and for students to learn more about Affirm and the story behind the company.

This year, we were excited to see so many students attend Max’s talk, and it was really inspiring to hear him talk about his own progression into tech and not being afraid to take risks.

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Lots of coffee

Looking back, I can’t believe our small team was able to pull off these events in such a short period of time. All these events happen within a 3-4 week span, with countless nights spent going through resumes, talking to students, passing out swag and lots and lots of coffee (for us and the students!).

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There’s always something to improve, and I’ve learned that our approach in being more intentional with our fall program has actually seen some really great results in both hiring and branding. The results do speak for themselves, with 52% of our hires coming directly from our university tour!

Most important takeaway for myself and my team – It’s not only about making hires, but also building a relationship with the students and universities while we’re on campus. We wouldn’t make these hires without the relationships we’ve built.

Our Affirm university team will be back on campus (virtually) again this Fall. We can’t wait to do this all over again!

Andy Huang is a Recruiter at Affirm.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn by Andy Huang, Recruiter at Affirm, with permission to post for OneReq.