Espresso stands, free satchels and chic pens had students buzzing and signing recruitment applications from the various companies at the Wits career expo on Wednesday.

Corporate recruiters from the banking, insurance, accounting and the tobacco sectors were amongst the companies vying for the attention of students and all of them had a unique way of latching onto that aspirant eye.

Audrey Mbebe, 2nd year accounting science, said she was particularly impressed by the Grant Thornton stand and its recruiting strategy at the expo, because unlike other companies they did not limit their scope to 3rd year students. They offered applications for job-shadowing, vacation work and bursaries to students in the lower years of study as well.

Companies such as First National Bank (FNB) aligned their recruitment strategies and corporate culture to the stands in an effort to convey the kind of graduates they aim to exert a pull on.

FNB Graduate recruitment and development officer, Talent Preston said, “The reason we have espressos at our stand is very much a part of our campaign and on the cups is written, ‘there’s no nine to five’ so it’s part of a larger communication campaign to tell students what FNB is like.

“The espressos show that you need an espresso to come work at FNB because we are obsessed with entrepreneurship because the people that work for us are all passionate about what they do so they don’t log in at 8 and leave at 4:30. Some days they want to stay later, drink those espressos to get that innovation going.”

The misconception that companies are not interested in degrees from the humanities faculty was trumped as many companies at the expo indicated that they have a vested interest in students who can enter their human capital development, marketing and other support departments in their corporations.

Along with hip and happening stands, companies are now jumping onto the social media wave and reaching students via Facebook, and Twitter. Don’t be surprised if next year, bungee-jumping is incorporated into a recruitment strategy to illustrate how “taking the leap” is a part of the corporate jungle.