It’s almost that time of year again, the time when a fresh new batch of college grads enter the professional workforce. These new recruits come to organizations as completely moldable, tech savvy, learning sponges that are ready and willing to hear what you have to offer. They bring energy, innovation and perhaps best of all are more than willing to take on the grunt work that experienced workers are above doing. These workforce newbs come with a lot of benefits, but recruiters need to tweak their methods just slightly to nab these low cost, team players.
Cut ‘Em Some Slack
Recruiters need to realize that for many of these youngsters, this may be their first stab at creating a professional resume, applying for a job that doesn’t involve using Windex and probably even their first interview for which showing up with a severe hangover will be a deal breaker. Take it easy on these guys, professionalism is learned.
Currently, 92% of recruiters are using or planning to use social media as a recruitment tool. While it’s true social media has become an indispensable recruiting medium, some recruiters have gotten carried away with using it as an assessment tool. I’m not saying you should ignore the fact that the applicant’s LinkedIn picture comes with a red Solo cup but recruiters could be a little less judge-y when it comes to social media-based candidate assessments. For instance, 54% of recruiters had a negative reaction to grammar and spelling mistakes, and 47% of recruiters had a negative reaction to mentions of alcohol consumption.
Focus On Strengths, Not Majors
Unless we’re talking about non-negotiable experience and hard skills (which can, by the way, be taught and learned), we all agreed a while ago that your degree doesn’t necessarily dictate the direction of your professional career. How many of us are in the career field of our major today? Major aside; focus your assessments on basic skills, such as problem solving, critical thinking, trainability and writing.
“There is a creeping consumerism invading universities today, and part of that phenomenon is that both recruiters and students are focusing on majors instead of passions. For every student who chooses marketing when they would have been more interested in English, we all lose a more engaged student. That student could easily have been taught business writing once he or she had mastered poetics. My thesis is that the jingle writer who has studied poetics may be a better marketing writer than one who has studied psychographics. Some of them certainly will be.” - Donald Asher, International Speaker on Higher Education and Career Planning.
Lead With Your Culture
If you don’t want your new graduate hires to become part of a job-hopping statistic, you better get crystal clear about your company values and culture. As it stands, 70% of Gen Y hires leave their jobs within two years of starting the job. Turnover is full of high upfront and hidden costs. Be honest about expectations from the job description on, instead of paying the price of turnover not too far down the road. Beyond that, a healthy culture is an attractive culture to every generation.
A report from Millennial Branding revealed 45% of Millennials will choose workplace flexibility over pay. Go ahead; let that one sink in. One of the strongest attraction factors you can offer college grads is something as simple as offering more flexibility in your workplace.
Flexibility is a core Gen Y need. They don’t live to work; they work to live. They want an employer that values their time just as much as their work. Beyond using flexibility as a graduate attraction method, you should focus on offering flexibility and a clear path for graduates to earn that privilege. While not every company can offer a full on telecommuting plan (ROWE was famously canned by Best Buy and Yahoo showed some impressive numbers around pulling all work from home employees back into the office), there are ways to ensure that your workers have the tools and plans they need to have some options when it comes to their schedule. At Broadbean, we have flexible vacation and goal-focused schedules.
Well, that’s it. It’s not hard, it’s not costly and it certainly isn’t without benefit to slightly modify traditional recruiting practices to land the attention of this ever-replenishing talent pool. Additionally, each of these tips for Millennial attraction are applicable to everyday recruiting anyhow. While errors in an application matter, they shouldn’t be a deal breaker While hard skills are required, don’t overlook the core competencies of a strong candidate. Now get out there and recruit some cost-effective, energized graduate candidates!
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