Remember, a graduate is looking to start their career – not get a job! And you are most likely looking for someone who can grow with your company. You both need to make the right choice. It’s a long-term commitment for both sides – employer and employee.
With my associates, I have been working for many years now with companies which recruit graduates. We have found that although the method of attraction changes – how much is online and offline – a number of constants remain.
It’s all about finding the perfect match
Because finding out about a person or a company is ridiculously easy now, as an employer you need to be up to scratch (OK – same goes for the graduate!). Nothing will discourage potential candidates, or customers for that matter, more than an organisation falling short of boasts or promises.
So what will a graduate be looking for? In our experience, to varying degrees they’ll typically be after the following qualities in a potential employer:
- to know what they will be doing day-to-day
- an identified training programme
- clear professional progression and future prospects
- friendly orienteers, buddies or mentors
- variety of work
- to feel valued
- to have travel opportunities
- to join a company that behaves ethically
- to join a company with a responsible environmental footprint
- to make friends
Did you think money was going to be in the list? Surprise! Although it’s obviously important, that’s NOT always a top priority!
Tips on attracting graduates
Be honest – or you’ll be found out! If you are a small company, you most likely won’t be able to tick all of the ‘want’ boxes, but that’s OK – just be clear about what you are offering. And if you’ve had bad press, get that dirty laundry out and wash it in public – everyone makes mistakes.
Don’t try to be hip – unless you are a company of recent graduates and that’s just the way you are. It’s like dad-dancing – don’t go there!
Be concise – a graduate needs to be able to make an informed decision.
Choose the right media platform – you need to be where your graduates are. This isn’t being trendy, it’s about being accessible. Being on social media platforms means that you are open for dialogue and collaboration – honesty and transparency are what graduates are looking for.
Write well – match the tone of your writing to the graduate – whether that’s on your website, Facebook page or in a brochure or exhibition stand. Write with your reader mind. Think about what they need to know, not what you want to tell them!
Show them what your organisation is like – use real (not stock!) images of people at work. Pay attention to aesthetics because that may be what first attracts an individual to look at your company.