Any organisation has top of mind to stay relevant and by ensuring that you have a constant influx of young, fresh talent is one way to achieve this goal. However, in today’s job market, it’s important that companies show why they are the best choice for their employees.

Since the aim is to target younger individuals who are constantly in the line of fire when it comes to external
influences and information sources, it’s important that you adopt new and innovative strategies to improve your attraction and recruitment efforts. These tips will help you find the perfect candidates and make your process more effective. Here are our 7 best tips on how to attract top graduate talent.

Graduate attraction

Communicate what’s in it for them clearly

The younger generations are excellent at knowing what they believe and what they value. Plus, with so many sources of information right at your fingertips, it’s critical for potential employers to ensure that their language suits the audience and also aligns with the purpose and values they are driving.

These individuals are largely influenced by brand influence and often easily engage and become loyal to a brand simply for what they stand for. In the same way, the opposite is true. Thinking back to some of the biggest companies in the world receiving massive amounts of backlash based on simple values and purpose misalignment. Do you remember the Pepsi and Dove ad sagas? You can avoid being shoved down the drain by potentially amazing candidates simply because they are not sure what your company stands for and what you value.

Pro tip

According to Link Humans: A well-implemented EVP can increase new hire commitment by up to 29%.

Take time to plot out a clear Employee Value Proposition for your graduates and match it with the element they value and seek in potential employers.

Graduate attraction

Start engaging early

This can be accomplished by attending campus conferences and recruiting nights, as well as by building partnerships with the respective university career advisers and student organizations. The most successful employers have also developed a student network of their own, reaching out to first-year and second-year students to establish employer brand awareness and build trust and loyalty.

Allocate a percentage of your graduate budget to target first and second-year students through initiatives like exam mentoring programs, and welcome gifts during induction week at the beginning of the year.

Pro tip

Think outside the box with career fairs

 

A career fair can be an excellent way for recruitment managers or other team members to meet the right graduates.

Career fairs will hopefully be back in full swing like they were pre-Covid, creating the perfect environment for you to be right in front of your ideal candidate.

Level up
Pro tip

Be intentional with the career fairs you attend through extensive research on which campuses might yield the largest group of potential candidates. In
addition, try to break the mold. Invest in an attention-grabbing booth that breeds and welcomes conversation. We love the idea of adding a
competition, snacks, or even a virtual reality experience at some of your top career fairs. This will certainly leave graduates with a world-class experience.

Key

Reconsider the old criteria

 

So often organizations lose some of the best candidates by sticking to the old, biased criteria set out by programme leads before them.

A typical pitfall is setting a standard cut-off mark like the minimum of 65% as the final mark achieved to even be considered. Upon proper investigation, one will find two things:

  1. Academic performance is not always the best indicator of competence.
  2. Academic cut-offs cannot be compared from the one university to the next. A 65% at university A might be the equivalent of a 75% at university B.

Focus on a list of critical competencies and skills based on the job role rather than missing potentially great candidates because of an outdated, biased, and irrelevant indicator.

Pro tip

Embrace social media

While social media is no longer new, there are still many companies that haven’t embraced it.

Employers who are visible on trending social media platforms increase their pool of candidates and create an opportunity to build brand awareness from early on.

Stats

Listen actively to your audience and identify the social media platforms they are most active on. Compile a library of suitable content to share and
promote your pages through in-person events and other print media. Employers who intentionally create gripping, relevant, and fun content consistently will foster an emotional connection with candidates.

Gamified assessment

Go digital

 

Younger generations are extremely digitally savvy. Studies show that a recruitment process that incorporates a fun and engaging platform reduces the drop-out rate significantly.

Since we are catering to a group of people who seek simplicity and instant gratification, there are some steps you as a potential employer can take to increase your odds of being the chosen one.

Gamified assessments are taking the industry by storm. We suggest considering a gamified assessment platform that allows other digital
elements and engaging user experiences. Another critical consideration is ensuring that your application caters to all devices, but most importantly offers a seamless mobile experience.

Pro tip

Offer internship experience

Many recruitment processes only show the tip of the iceberg. Graduates love attending internship opportunities or even vacation programmes to give them a better look at the organization internally.

Some of the most successful employers narrow their candidate lists down and end up increasing their accuracy in hiring through vacation programmes where stakeholders can engage with candidates within the work environment through various touchpoints.

Pro tip

Brainstorm ideas on how a vacation programme or internship might look for your organization and work towards
the necessary capacity and buy-in from the broader business. Map out a comprehensive programme running
over a few days allowing the candidates to get a real-life experience of your company, its structure, and culture.

Our final and potentially most valuable piece of advice would be to create a modern brand that places you ahead of the competitors. We are visual beings.

For world-class employers to meet their perfect match might seem daunting and overwhelming, but having a well-thought-through strategy and a capable recruitment team will open up doors many can only dream of!

Written by:

Nqobile Radebe

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