December 13th, 2016 | Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions

Best Practices for Hiring Recent College Grads

Hiring Recent College Grads | Sterling Talent Solutions

The end of the fall college semester is drawing near and there will be a slew of new college graduates entering the workforce in the next month. The November 2016 U.S. employment rate, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics is 4.6%, the lowest it has been since 2007 and the job market has been slowly and steadily improving each month. As the job market heats up, competition for fresh college grads is getting fierce.

Are you doing all you can to groom students and new grads to become great hires for your organization? Career fairs are a fine place to start, but they are quickly becoming, well, old-school. From remote hiring events to market research and mock interviews, leading employers are creating bold new strategies to connect with the up-and-coming Generation Z. 2017 marks the first year that Generation Z is fully involved in the workforce with much different demands and outlooks from previous generations. Forbes recently reported on recruiting new talent trends for 2017 which include creating an employment experience for candidates, overtime and compensation, the end of the annual performance review, the rise of Generation Z and the shift to the on-demand workforce. These trends have impacted how companies recruit, retain, train and structure their workforce and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Best Practices for Hiring College Graduates

The entire work experience from filling out job applications to making an offer to what happens on the first day of work has changed dramatically over the years. Each generation changes the way organizations do their hiring and run their businesses. What will the new generation bring to the workforce? Companies need to be on top of the changes for modern college recruiting in order to get the best talent. Here are some best practices for hiring recent college grads:

  • Start early – Start the talent recruiting process earlier. Top students are engaging with employers who they want to work with earlier in their academic career. This could include interactions such as shadowing, mentorship and internships.
  • Create a virtual home base – Devote a section of your employment website to college recruiting. This will inform and attract new talent while giving them real insight into your company’s culture and values. The best college recruiting sites have these features in common:

    • A clear focus on employer culture and brand
    • Lists of upcoming recruitment events Information about scholarships and internships
    • A talent community where students can connect with you, even before they become active candidates
  • Offer real-life skills – Ease first-time jobseekers into your hiring process with information and advice they can use in their job search. Savvy recruiters offer mock interviews, resume-writing workshops and even skill-building workshops.
  • Get social – Students’ biggest complaint about employers is a lack of communication after they’ve applied for work. Meet students where they are by connecting with them and updating their progress through social media and other communication. It’s the best way to keep them engaged with your brand and culture.
  • Employee benefit programs – According to Forbes, fair compensation is most important to all age grounds, genders and ethnicities around the world. After pay, the top two most important employee benefits are healthcare coverage and work flexibility.
  • Employee Wellness Program – Companies are using wellness programs to attract talent, save on healthcare costs and lower absenteeism. Organizations realize that workplace stress is the biggest health issue that employees face, so they are beginning to invest in relaxing and healthier environments for their staffs.
  • Create a great candidate experience – Organizations should focus on improving their candidate and employee experiences. A recent study found that nearly 60% of job seekers had a bad candidate experience from difficulties with the job application, receiving no response from the employer to onboarding and 72% of those that had a bad experience then shared it on job seeking sites and social media. A bad candidate experience can turn away prospective employees. Creating great candidate experiences starts with their first day on the job and should continue as new employee learns and grows in their new position.

Welcome College Graduates With a Great Candidate Experience

Communicate to your company the value of attracting and hiring new college grads. What these recent college graduates lack in paid work experience, they compensate for in creativity, collaborative abilities and depth of diversity. This should prove to be an easier and easier task as Gen Z permeates the workforce and team-ups with like-minded millennial leaders.

College graduates just entering the workforce will find a much different world than those in previous generations. With technology at their fingertips via social networking and job sites, new grads have more opportunities than ever. Job candidates are looking at more than just pay, but are investigating deeper into company culture and values to find the perfect fit. Having the right candidate experience, including onboarding processes, will keep employees positive and productive. Learn how to revitalize your onboarding program to engage top talent with our eBook, Your Complete Guide to Onboarding From Decision to Day One.


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