New Hire Orientation Blog
Attracting Recent Graduates in a Tight Labor Market
- December 2, 2019
- Posted by: Sherman Morrison
- Category: Hiring
The labor market is tighter right now than most companies have ever had to deal with. Businesses of all types are scrambling to fill positions and tap into as many different pools of potential workers as possible. New attention has been given to attracting recent graduates who are eager to find their place in the workforce after finishing an undergraduate or graduate degree. What are companies doing that is effective in the race for attracting recent graduates?
Think Like a Startup When Attracting Recent Graduates
Startups have managed to capture the imagination of the public, and the Millennial generation seems nearly obsessed with startups. Entrepreneurial Studies has become a hugely popular major in colleges and universities across the country. It seems as if everybody wants to work at a startup. Where does this leave all the established companies looking for workers? It may well be worth re-learning how to think like a startup if your goal is attracting recent graduates.
Thinking like a startup in terms of hiring means understanding how to market your employer brand specifically to Millennials and younger potential workers. By necessity, startups have to focus on their vision, emphasizing impact and meaning since they can’t point to a long and storied history of successful operation. Millennials, by and large, crave work that is meaningful and makes a difference in the world. Many startups have that naturally in those early days when anything and everything feels possible. Capture some of that startup spirit when you’re crafting your recruitment materials and strategies.
What else is appealing at startups beyond meaning and impact? A few things that come to mind are humor, great perks, service opportunities, using trendy and creative language, and being tech-savvy throughout. It’s also worth considering giving recent graduates positions that you might normally fill with much more experienced workers. This is a hallmark of startups – giving young, fresh, inexperienced hires big responsibilities instead of facing down a long climb up the corporate ladder.
Focus on Health Beyond Great Insurance Benefits
Recent graduates are savvier these days in realizing that they won’t be on their parents’ health insurance plans much longer, if they’re still on them at all. They want to see robust health insurance plans at potential employers. But they want companies to go even further than the insurance benefit. They want to see how companies really put health and wellness front-and-center. After all, new graduates are more likely to be interested in staying fit more than most workers. Here are some ideas for programs to make it happen:
- Get in touch with local farmers and organize an on-site farmer’s market, or go in with other companies around you to make it happen.
- Put together a list of nearby restaurants that have a focus on healthier eating and distribute to your employees.
- Make healthier snack options available in the workplace.
- Encourage bicycling to work by making it easier for people to do it. Have a good covered bike rack available, actively promote biking to work, have changing rooms available, and find ways to reward employees who bike to work regularly.
- Coordinate exercise breaks at certain points during the day, such as a walking group, stretching session or other options that don’t require needing a shower and change of clothes afterwards.
- Provide people with training on how to effectively have walking meetings.
- Negotiate a good discount at a nearby gym or fitness boutique.
- Offer occasional cooking classes with a local chef.
- Make regular health screenings (blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.) and flu shot clinics a priority in your company.
- Solicit input from employees about what other kinds of health and wellness program offerings would work for them.
Integrated Technology for Attracting Recent Graduates
Today’s graduates are digital natives. They grew up being constantly online through their phones, tablets, and laptops. The love being connected, and they love the devices that let them stay connected anywhere at any time. And they expect this to be the case at work, too.
If your company has been slow to embrace many of the new social apps and sites for helping people get things done at work, now is the time to catch up. Collaboration tools, giving and receiving feedback, training and learning programs, and much more can all be happening on demand anytime and anywhere with all the incredible cloud-based apps available.
And if you’re not using social media networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to reach the college-age crowd in your recruiting efforts, you’re definitely missing out bigtime. That is where your future graduates are spending their time, including looking for employment opportunities. And they’re using these platforms from their smartphones, not desktop computers. Everything you do simply must be mobile-optimized.
Greater Flexibility in Remote Work
Millennials are enchanted with the idea of working from here, there, and everywhere. The more your company can be flexible around at least some work happening off-site, the better. In part this is because Millennials want to do better than their predecessors on achieving a healthy work-life balance, and this added flexibility makes them feel like they’re on the right path.
Modern Workplaces and Workstations
The younger generations also want to see workplaces that are more modern in terms of how workstations are laid out. Having an outdated workspace can really kill the vibe Millennials are looking for. Open floor plans are on the rise. Flexible areas where employees can go to do work instead of feeling chained to the same desk all the time also helps. These approaches facilitate collaboration, can spark innovation through chance encounters, and generally increase the level of communication among employees.
Building Your Employer Brand
Many companies still have taken the time to develop a distinct employer brand. But what does that even mean? The answer is simple, when you think about it. Whereas your company’s regular branding is all about what is presented to customers, your employer branding is what you present to potential employees to pique their interest in applying for a position. While some of this branding is necessarily about the company and its vision, mission, and values, it’s even more about what it is like to work there, and what it means to work there. Craft a compelling “unique selling position” or USP for attracting recent graduates. What is different about working at your company than others? What do you provide that other companies don’t, can’t, or won’t? If you haven’t nailed down details for some of the other ideas mentioned above, now is the time to do it because they could be the key to establishing the kind of USP recent graduates want to see in potential employers.
This site is all about making sure your company understands how important it is to get new hires started off on the right foot and properly trained for peak performance. But given how tight the labor market is right now, a lot of employers are having trouble getting enough new people into the recruiting and hiring pipeline. You can expect to see more articles on this site about drawing in candidates so you’ll have a reason to do better onboarding! We hope you found this initial article about attracting recent graduates useful. Keep an eye out for more articles like this one!