3 Tips to Use to Attract Recent Grads

Joe Weinlick
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Do your job openings stand out enough to attract recent college grads? Young workers have different priorities than mid- to late-career professionals, and your recruitment strategies should reflect what matters to them. No one expects entry-level jobs to be glamorous, but you can win top talent by selling your work culture as a rewarding experience. Stay ahead of the competition by appealing to college grads with these simple hiring tips.

1. Build a Referral Network

Many college grads have never dealt with a full-scale job search before, and they might not know the best ways to network or research prospective employers. Don't rely solely on online job postings to get applicants. Use your current employees as an ongoing source of quality referrals. In a 2018 survey of 1,000 companies, SilkRoad reported that 78 percent of total hires come from offline recruiting, and 54 percent are specifically from referrals.

Create a structured referral program that clearly defines your target audience and offers incentives to employees for bringing in great candidates. Employees have firsthand knowledge of your work culture and are more likely to recommend people with the right qualities to thrive in your environment. Host open house hiring events and job shadowing opportunities throughout the year, so referred applicants can interact with key team members and find out if the company is a good fit.

2. Create an Engaging Hiring Process

A cold, drawn-out hiring process either inspires frustration and stress in candidates, or it paints your company as rigid, boring and conventional. Show talented college grads you value their time and make your hiring process more engaging and friendly right from the start.

For example, instead of just sticking static job postings all other the web, use a video message to introduce your team and provide a quick preview of your work culture. Companies such as Deloitte and Marriott let employees create videos describing their experiences, offering a high level of authenticity that can win over good candidates.

Move beyond the traditional interrogative interview and use short screenings and interactive events to get to know candidates. You can invite small groups to participate in assessment workshops that offer a deeper look at daily operations while letting you see which candidates are fast learners who take initiative.

3. Highlight the Benefits

Make entry-level jobs more attractive by offering perks that set you apart from competitors. Beyond salary, employees care about benefits such as work-life balance, vacation time, mentoring and tuition reimbursement. Recent college grads are also saddled with hefty student loan debt, and they have greater motivation to work for companies that help with loan repayment.

Not all perks have to be an expense. If you have a social culture where employees organize team sports or host game nights, post photos on your social media pages and career website to get college grads excited about applying.

To improve your recruiting game, look to employees for insight about what makes your workplace special. Use their feedback to develop a strong business brand targeted to college grads with the right skills and personality traits to succeed on your team. Over time, you should get better at refining your candidate pool, so you can make hires faster and more efficiently. What are some ways you're currently improving your hiring process to attract better candidates?

Photo courtesy of MSL Global at Flickr.com


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