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How To Recruit Talented Graduates Right Out Of University

Establishing a talent pipeline directly from colleges and universities enables you to create a reputation for your brand as a top employer

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When it comes to filling positions with the best hires, many employers seek to recruit directly from college campuses. Each graduation season always produces a group of young talent who are eager and ready to join the workforce and get started on building their career. Establishing a talent pipeline directly from colleges and universities enables you to create a reputation for your brand as a top employer while also closing any skill gaps. With so many jobs available, especially during and after this pandemic, employers really need to step up their game if they want to land the best talent from this year’s graduating class. So, how can you go about recruiting the most talented graduates possible?

Offer A Career, Not Just A Job

High-achieving and top-performing graduates most often will have a powerful sense of purpose as well as a pretty clear idea of their future. So, if you’re hoping to recruit the top graduates from each year and then retain them for the long term, it’s never going to be enough to simply sell them on the available position you’ve advertised by itself.

James Sinegal, Co-founder and former CEO of Costco Wholesale Corporation simplifies this “If you hire good people, give them good jobs, and pay them good wages, generally something good is going to happen.”

Instead, you need to make it clear to them how the role will provide them with the opportunities they need to accomplish both their short term and long term professional aspirations. If you do this properly, you’re going to be much more likely to find the best quality graduates to become employees who truly care about the work they’re doing for you because it aligns with their career goals.

Show Off Your Company Culture

Your employees are always going to be the best brand ambassadors any employer can get, so showing them off to your potential new candidates is an excellent strategy for attracting graduates. Remember that talent almost always breeds talent, so your company’s existing employees are highly likely to attract the attention of other top candidates who are looking for a solid work environment.

Bree Bensley, National Marketing Manager of Narellan Pools, talks about how talent is attracted from the image that is projected of the business.

“We have a comprehensive approach to its recruitment, with detailed and relevant job ads posted in a range of places.,” she says.

“As an organisation, we are all about providing opportunities for career growth, so we always seek to find and create career pathways for the right candidates.”

Go Where The Students Are

Another key strategy for companies looking to recruit the best graduating students is by building their image on university campuses. While you can always start by using techniques that have been successful for generations such as consistently advertising in campus publications, there are plenty of other ways you can spread knowledge of your brand at universities. One way is by training your existing employees to work as recruiters who can help you sell your company to students at job fairs as well as public speaking when appropriate on campuses.

While multinationals often have their sophisticated sponsorship programs available in universities for student activities, entrepreneurs can often still take advantage of building up their presence on campus with only minimal investment. Remember that the ultimate goal is for the top students to be aware of who your company are and what you have on offer. Show off your competitive advantages like working environment, job perks, salary packages, and career advancement opportunities. Whatever methods you decide to use, you want to ensure that you’re highly visible to the students you want to work for you.

Don’t Lowball Them

Negotiating the salary of graduates and other prospective employees is always a key part of the recruitment process. Offering them remuneration that is not considered competitive could imply to them that you don’t truly see the value in your employees or appreciate the hard work that they do for you. So, if you want to have the best employees, you need to be prepared to offer them an above average salary package.

If you’re unsure as to what salary expectations college graduates and other candidates may have, you need to research expected salaries in industry-specific guides and other places online. For example, you can search for the role that you’re trying to fill on job boards for any that are advertised with a salary range. This is often the most effective method of identifying the expected salary bracket to ensure you aren’t going to lowball when negotiating with prospective employees.

Create A Seamless Onboarding Process

Onboarding new employees is always part of the employment process, but there are plenty of employers out there who do not do it very well. All too often, the onboarding process consists of simply handing a pile of forms to new employees before having a supervisor from Human Resources walk them around the premises. This is not good enough.

Reid Hoffman, co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn has this to say on the onboarding process “The importance of onboarding is significantly increased these days since the average turnover at work is less than four years and lifetime employment strategies are out of date.” 

Organisations who have learned that having a seamless onboarding process manifests value by making new employees feel like they have made the right choice as they are part of the team. In fact, whenever the onboarding is executed correctly, it will lay some strong foundations for long-term success for the employee and the employer.

Final Thoughts

Recruiting students straight out of college requires effort and communication. As long as you are consistent with your recruiting process, you’ll find that the right graduates will often come to you. 

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Written By

Felix is the founder of Society of Speed, an automotive journal covering the unique lifestyle of supercar owners. Alongside automotive journalism, Felix recently graduated from university with a finance degree and enjoys helping students and other young founders grow their projects. Follow him on website.

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