To attract the most talented young college graduates, businesses need more than just an intriguing offer with a large figure attached. Appealing to post-grad talent requires a creative approach that prioritises their wellbeing in the workplace today, while also appealing to their forward-thinking expectations of personal growth for tomorrow.
So here’s how businesses can create a connected office culture that helps recruit top college grads. Plus, by keeping them involved and interested during the onboarding process, you can also ensure they’ll remain committed over the long term.
Communicate your mission
It’s long been accepted that someone’s attitude, values, passion, and intelligence are just as important as their skillset. So why is the predominant approach to hiring based almost solely on a candidate’s resume? This is backwards from how it should be. It’s therefore important to convey the purpose and mission of your company to each graduate. Not only so that they can have an understanding, but also to ensure they share the same work ethic, moral behaviour, attention to detail, and overall vision. So, always consider each interaction with potential hires as an opportunity to ensure their values are a good match for the mission of your company.
Provide a flexible environment
With the number of baby boomers leaving the workforce increasing exponentially, employers need to become much more open-minded to non-traditional workplaces. Providing employees with a flexible workplace helps with both retaining and attracting graduating talent. In fact, most graduates are looking for relatively low-cost benefits, such as flexible hours and the option of working from home.
Daniel Ndukwu, cofounder of GrowthBoost, has this to say on offering a flexible workplace for his team – “While COVID-19 has had a negative impact on many industries, other industries have adapted, and it’s the year of the employee. People, especially the younger generation, want more than a large salary and instead want meaning behind their work and work-life balance. The employer that can provide one or both is the one that will continue to win top talent and push their organization forward. Things like generous maternity leave, remote work, and the freedom to make decisions on their own will impact how employees perceive the working environment, for better or for worse.”
So, by creating a flexible working environment, not only will you attract more employees who thrive in these conditions, but your teams will also end up contributing together better as well. There’s a lot to be said for the culture of working hard with flexibility.
Focus on their onboarding training
You need more than just a streamlined recruiting process with an informative onboarding strategy when wooing candidates, though that will obviously help set things in place for what's ahead. For a truly competitive edge over your competition, businesses need to lure the top graduating talent by presenting them with an exciting onboarding that transitions them from initial candidate to new employee.
Tawni Cranz, Chief Talent Officer at Netflix, has this to say about the importance of onboarding in a large company to ensure the internal culture is preserved – “Once you get in, then you experience the culture and marinate in it. But now we have these orientation meetings with 10 people, and it’s highly likely that six of them are new. If six of them are new, you need to do something to accelerate that feeling of marinating in the culture.”
The entire onboarding process should be treated with the same amount of enthusiasm as you expect from your new hire, if not more. It should feel like the momentum during onboarding becomes like a natural handoff which continues to fuel excitement for their new role that extends well beyond their first day on the job.
Offer a career path
With employee turnover costs so high, it’s necessary to show graduates a clear path for career progression mapped out from the outset. This will be highly valued by top graduates, as it provides them with transparency for how where they can be and when, as long as they contribute to the success of your company.
Lauren Sommer, director of Moi Moi Fine Jewellery, Australia’s leading Moissanite and Lab Grown Diamond jeweller, has this to say on how internships can benefit graduates once they gradate – “One of the best ways graduates can get practical workplace experience is to take up internships before they graduate. Learning theory in class is one thing, but nothing beats the skills you pick up when you have to deal with customers and real life business problems that come up everyday.”
Plus by developing these strategies early on, you can remain competitive with other firms while also combating the possibility of graduates experiencing job dissatisfaction. Incorporating a mentoring programme is another effective way of shaping, moulding, and developing graduates for career progression into higher roles and promotions in future.
Create a safe work environment
By creating a safe and enjoyable work environment, graduates can focus on collaborative connections with a sense of belonging they’ll want to become a part of. In other words, you need to find ways to create a supportive and motivating environment where each member you’re your team can work together as part of the same group. You want more of a community office space than having people working separately in sectioned departments on their own specific workload.
Partner with colleges
Today's graduates gravitate toward businesses who have spent time with them from early on in their schooling. Therefore, building meaningful partnerships within the college system is crucial for providing engagement opportunities with the best students well before graduation day. This means doing more than just meeting with professors a few weeks before they’re about to graduate. You need to show them that you are well-known as an expert in your field, your company is a step up in their knowledge, and that you are interested in them. This means creating lasting connections with teachers and professors, so you can make relevant presentations to classes. While this adds a feeling of relevancy, familiarity, and approachability to your firm, professors can also give you a heads up about their standout students in each graduating class.
These potential employees bring fantastic enthusiasm and fresh perspectives which genuinely helps value-add and infuse vitality of new life into any company. That’s the best part about hiring recent graduates. They understand the latest technologies and are across how their generation of consumers think. So, as long as you have strategies to attract and retain these potential employees, your business can look forward to a successful and lengthy working relationship with your new top graduates.
Guest post courtesy of Felix Yim