How to Attract and Retain Recent Graduates

Most businesses are struggling with acute labor shortages. There are over 10 million job openings in the U.S. with a pool of only 6 million unemployed workers. This is in response to the global pandemic which temporarily shut down 120,000 businesses, leaving 30 million U.S. workers unemployed. The gradual reopening of some businesses has led to a slight decline in unemployment. However, the numbers are much less than pre-pandemic levels. Many U.S. workers left their jobs, and some took early retirement during the “great resignation.” Additionally, retirement is witnessing expansive trends. As such, leaders and executives need to invest in fresh talent and attract recent graduates to ensure the sustainable growth of their companies. 

Recent graduates bring value to the business with their new perspectives, updated knowledge of the latest technologies, and enthusiasm. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, recent graduates receive 1.14 job offers before their formal graduation –  the highest number since the Great Recession. Additionally, college counselors say that graduating students are more interested in higher education, starting their own businesses, and internships, which means they have more options. Career counselors and services are also seeing a high attendance at career fairs. While the competition to hire the best talent is tough, here are some strategies companies can use to target the best fresh employees.

Partner with Colleges to Attract Recent Graduates

Working with colleges is a great way for businesses to attract potential employees. They can participate in college job fairs and collaborate with campus job posting services. Additionally, businesses can get referrals from professors who teach courses relevant to their area to locate the best candidates. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers are planning to hire 32% more college graduates directly after graduation. 

Design an Internship Program

An internship allows businesses to find and nurture fresh talent while students get valuable learning experiences. It acts as a pipeline for organizations looking to recruit new talent. One of the biggest challenges for organizations is finding candidates that fit well within the company’s culture. The company can eventually hire interns who perform well. Additionally, students will get a good idea of the day-to-day work and the company culture, many times inclining them to accept a job instead of looking elsewhere. Since these candidates are already invested in the company, it is easier to hire them. 

Make a Good Offer

Fresh graduates are starting out their professional journey, so a good salary is one of their priorities. Often, they have student loans to pay back. As such, companies should not offer below-par pay to candidates. In such a competitive market, candidates can easily look for jobs elsewhere if you do not provide fair compensation. Companies should ensure fair starting salaries make new employees aware that their compensation will increase as their responsibilities grow. 

However, a good salary is not enough for the modern workforce. Companies should offer other benefits to attract new talent, including greater flexibility, options for remote work, medical insurance, and so on. 

Write a Strong Job Description

To find the best talent among recent graduates, companies need to write an exciting job description that resonates with young workers. Craft a fun, jargon-free job description that makes prospective candidates want to apply. Do not include too much industry-specific jargon, as young workers may not be familiar with them. They might think they are unsuitable for the job and might not apply. Keep the job description catchy and specific. If the description is vague, it might confuse potential candidates instead. The key is to maintain a balance between a fun, intriguing tone while highlighting the specificities of the role. 

Mapping Development Opportunities for Recent Graduates

You should clearly communicate to your potential candidates (and with advertisements) about any available development opportunities in the company. If candidates are aware of the pathways for promotions and career opportunities, it will encourage them to apply. It also demonstrates to potential candidates that your company cares about their professional growth. 

KangarooStar is your one-hop stop for data-driven job matching, career development, hiring trends, and professional assessment. Learn more about how you can hire and retain recent graduates today!