If filling entry-level positions with skilled and experienced graduates is part of your company’s recruitment strategy, you'll be well on your way to seeing through your plans for the class of 2020 as they approach graduation this summer.
Keen to learn, willing to consider a lower salary in return for opportunity and development, bringing less baggage and bad habits from other employers into the workplace, and au fait with the latest technology – good graduates with reputable degrees can be a huge asset. So how can you cultivate a workplace that attracts and leverages graduate hires?
Here are five ways to successfully engage and recruit in the graduate market in 2020.
1. Offering mentoring, training and development opportunities
By developing a strong training and mentorship programme at your company, you’ll have a much greater chance of drawing in recent graduates. A big lure for this market is the ongoing opportunity for development, and access to engage with and learn from more experienced professionals in your industry. It’s relatively simple to set up and something that brings undoubted advantages for the company as a whole. At the very least, you’ll have more motivated employees who are invested in your company for the long run.
2. Invest in your benefits package
Even on a budget, businesses can provide tangible benefits that inspire greater employee engagement and productivity. Clearly this is something that makes your company desirable for all potential employees, but the best graduates entering the market will assess the benefits package in addition to the salary – in fact, recent studies show the benefits on offer often outweigh the remuneration. What benefits could you offer? Think bonus and commission scheme, flexible working arrangements, company car, golden hello, health insurance, pension plan, company devices and equipment, gym membership, free goodies and treats on site, retail discounts/vouchers, travel cards or free parking, wellbeing initiatives and generous holiday allowance - the sky’s the limit!
3. Provide a sociable working environment
Pub quizzes and team lunches might not feel like the biggest priority when things are busy in your workplace, but the importance of socialising should not be underestimated, especially with the graduate workforce. For starters, many graduates will be moving back in with parents or relocating to new areas for a job and won’t have their usual friends or social networks around them – often they’re starting from scratch in terms of building a social group and a workplace that offers plenty of extra-curricular opportunities is an attractive proposition. You don’t need to do a huge amount, but it’s a good idea to highlight any regular or seasonal social events your company offers in your recruitment advertising.
4. Feature graduate case studies on your website
You’ll probably have used case studies in some capacity, whether as a route to new business or to boost company credibility and profile – but have you ever used them specifically in your recruitment? Graduate case studies, in particular, can be a great tool in your recruitment arsenal as they enable you to share the experience of being part of your company as an entry level hire through the eyes of someone who was recently in their shoes. If a graduate can see a clear road to success from the story of someone like them, they’ll be more likely to believe that your business is willing to invest the time and resources into their own development.
5. Consider placements and internships
An inexpensive option to attract and assess the best graduates is to offer paid or unpaid placements and internships. These offer students a chance to work for your business as part of their university course, or for a set period of time during the holidays. In fact, many courses in the UK now require several weeks working in business as a compulsory element of the degree. Students get valuable experience and you get a reliable commitment of time and application from an invested employee. It also means you get first pick of those you’d be prepared to employ post-graduation. It’s low risk, low cost and could land you some of the best graduating talent in your industry.
In a nutshell...
Good quality graduates are looking for a company that’s sociable and supportive, offers a clear and structured path to progression, leads by example with a healthy attitude to work/life balance and offers a desirable package of benefits. These elements are often far more important than the salary, and could bring you a fresh wave of new and innovative talent on an annual basis.
We support many excellent graduates in their job search every year and would be happy to work with you on honing your graduate offering and recruitment – please give us a call on 01932 355000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.