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6 Proven Recruiting Strategies to Attract New Graduates

Written By Guest Author | June 30, 2021

Graphic depicting recruiting strategies

Employers are always on the lookout for eager and hard-working candidates to join the team. As a recruiter, seeking out candidates that have recently graduated can bring a fresh perspective and eagerness to the team. It comes as no surprise that new graduates are excited to get out into the growing world of technology.

Current graduates entering the job market are coming in with a variety of new skills, a diverse knowledge base, and up-to-date training on the technologies that are available in different IT careers. As a recruiter, your job is to find the top candidates for your company. 

There are certain strategies that work well to appeal to new graduates as they enter the job market. With aggressive marketing on social media, a strong online presence, and a focus on relationships, you can appeal to the new graduates that are on the hunt for a job. 

Strategy #1: Focus on social media

It should come as no surprise that the current generation of future employees has a very active presence on social media. This is especially true for graduates well versed and interested in technology. What better way to target your prospective audience than to use the tool they are already actively engaged in on a consistent basis? 

Current graduates will tell you that many of them found their new jobs through social media platforms. If your recruiting company is not using social media as one of its top tools for recruiting, you are missing out on top candidates. 

As you work to improve your social media presence online, think about the best way to market your business. It is important to get involved on a variety of different social media platforms to target a wider audience of candidates. Using social media as a tool in recruiting shows graduates that you see the need for an online presence for your business.

Strategy #2: Personalization matters 

When future employees are job searching, one of the top things they look for in a potential employer is a personal connection. If there is no name or face behind a company, it's hard for a potential candidate to feel connected to that organization. Recruitment experts have seen that including a video on the company’s website can go a long way. 

A video is a great way to show that your development team isn’t all about hard skills. Highlight the work culture, teamwork, and positive aspects of morale. This will help you attract technology grads with the tangible skills you need as well as the soft skills that make them team players.

Including a personalized video for future candidates also shows new graduates that you are serious about having a connection with your employees. When you take the time to record a video, you show that building a connection with your team matters to you and your company. 

Strategy #3: Have a professional development plan in place

Any new graduate that is eager to start their career is also eager to be successful once they are hired. One of the most common questions that candidates ask their potential employers during an interview is about the professional growth and training opportunities that are available once they are hired. 

As an employer, your business should have a plan in place for training new hires and supporting professional development throughout their career. Having this plan in place not only ensures that you will be appealing to ambitious future employees but also benefits both parties by ensuring the success of the employee. 

Paid time off for training and compensation for certifications can be a big win for both you and your candidates. You will have employees with knowledge of the latest development tools and the willingness to expand their knowledge base. Make sure to communicate this benefit to provide an understanding that this practice is both expected and encouraged.

Strategy #4: Bring your best to a Campus Career Fair 

Believe it or not, some of the companies that have the most success with hiring recent graduates tend to find a large candidate pool at the campus career fair. Career fairs are the perfect opportunity to screen potential candidates and offer a follow-up interview. 

Graduates can tell whether a company takes the career fair seriously or not. If your company is not represented well at the fair, many strong future candidates will lose interest and move on to a company that took the recruiting at the career fair seriously. You’re likely going up against a large number of employers in the technological industry. Find what makes your company stand out and capitalize on it.

No career fairs near you? Sign up for a virtual career fair to get access to an even larger pool of candidates all without the travel and logistics costs of an in-person event. 

Strategy #5: Offer a competitive package

As college graduates seek out the starting point for their careers, many of them are looking for certain perks in a job. Your job as a recruiter is to showcase the benefits of the job and company so the potential candidate wants nothing more than to work for your company. Even if there are certain parts of the position that aren’t ideal, focus on what positives you bring to the table.

If the salary starts off smaller, remind the candidate that there will be room for growth and that flexibility is offered which is something many college graduates are looking for. Competitive wages, attractive benefits packages, and a strong work-life balance are all attractive to new grads. Whatever perks your company has, make sure the candidates know the benefits of working for your business. 

Strategy #6: Implement an internship program 

It may seem counterintuitive to start an internship program when you are searching for a full-time employee, but putting an internship program in place is one of the most effective tools you can use for job retention and hiring strong employees. When a college student works as an intern before graduating, they are much more likely to want to continue working for the same company once they graduate. 

As an employer, you will be gaining an employee that knows the specifics about your company. Starting an internship program can be involved in the beginning, but it will be worth the investment once you begin retaining the interns you support throughout the program. Plus, your new hire will have improved development skills and already possess knowledge of your systems.

Finding your ideal candidate

Graduates are some of the most ideal candidates for employers as they are eager and committed to success in their careers. When recruiters spend time building a brand presence on social media and attend career fairs, your company will earn the reputation of taking college graduates seriously. 

When a future employee sees that you are invested in them from the beginning, your retention rate, as well as job satisfaction, will continue to rise. This will lead to an overall improvement of your tech team and a stronger company workforce as a whole.

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