Hiring

6 Strategies to Hire the Best New Graduates

6 Strategies to Hire the Best New Graduates
Image credit: InnerSpirit | Flickr

College graduations are just a few months off, and new grads have to make life-altering decisions -- what industry to join, which jobs to apply to, whether or not to move their search to a new city and everything in between.

Fortunately, a new survey from Michigan State University has some good news for employers and job seekers alike: Hiring is expected to jump 15 percent next year. It’s time to prepare for this jump by doing some research to figure out how to reach the newest batch of job seekers entering the market.

Related: 3 Ways to Identify Outstanding College Graduates

Here are six things hiring managers need to know when looking to hire talented new graduates.

1. Do some research.

There are a number of opportunities to gain real-world experience while in college. Find out how recent graduates gained their experience and take note.

Have new graduates produced anything in a previous broadcasting class? Do they contribute to any online magazines? Have they won any awards for software design? Did they contribute to a startup idea?

Look for online portfolios for past experience. Many social professional networks allow users to upload samples of their projects. Personal blogs are also a popular way to show off recent work. These media bases can help indicate the project quality job seekers are capable of producing.

2. Figure out their lingo....

What’s trending with recent graduates? What do they read about ? What types of jobs are considered most appealing? What do they care about? These are all important questions to consider when looking for candidates.

The majority of today’s job seekers are millennial and Gen Z graduates. They’ve grown alongside technology since they were born -- technology that connects them to the people and places that matter. In order to reach fresh, young talent today, it’s important that companies can connect with them -- and that they can relate to employers, too.

3. ...and speak it.

Understanding what graduates care about most makes it easier for employers to help these job seekers connect the dots to their company. Figure out what topics are trending on social media, apply those topics to job posts, where fitting, and attract job seekers that way.

If employers want to hire talented graduates, they need to get inside the graduate mind. No doubt these new candidates want a job, but they want to find work that has meaning behind it. Show them how the company measures up.

Employers can do this by advertising company perks and benefits on job postings. Also, create a company blog about how giving back is important and what the company does to contribute. If the company cares about the community, there’s a good chance the company cares about its employees.

4. Get on their friends list.

Don’t just be a blip on the job seeker radar. The CareerBuilder 2015 Candidate Behavior Study found that candidates consult up to 18 resources throughout their job search. These resources include job boards, social networking sites, search engines and online referrals.

Convince them to care about the job by producing fun videos of company culture and reasons why they should want to work for the company. Also, write about and share topics they are interested in, such as student loans, work-life balance, giving back and resume and interview tips.

Today’s job seekers are using much more than the traditional resume to apply for job openings, which actually is saving the company time and resources. Snapchat is an easy way to tell a quick story about the company brand through images.

Related: Hire the Right Recent Graduates for Your Startup With These 4 Tips

5. Cater to their mobile lifestyle.

Job seekers are more connected. What’s more, a spring 2015 survey from Careerbuilder found that 52 percent of the 2,000 employers who responded use social networking sites to research job candidates. This is because the job search has gone mobile. Recent graduates, in particular, are searching for employment literally everywhere they go.

Job seekers are only interested if they can apply with just a few clicks on their phone or tablet.

So, applicants are turning to job platforms such as Levo for inspiration on their professional journey. This platform is for new job seekers who are passionate about developing their talent, building connections with peers, mentors and applying for jobs.

Employers can bring that same interest into the hiring process through video interviews.

Video interviews give both the employer and the candidate flexibility when it comes to interviewing. Use them to get the most in-depth look at a candidate’s personality and creativity, while asking those staple interview questions. One-way video interviews allow the candidate to answer questions on their own time, solving any scheduling issues.

The job search never sleeps -- especially for graduates just entering the workforce. They are determined to find their place.

6. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.    

Company culture and creative employee benefits will attract talented college graduates because they care about the total package -- not just the money. Things like more paid time off, schedule flexibility and being able to work from home are all benefits new graduates are interested in.

In fact, a survey from Strategic Human Resource Management's (SHRM) Employee Job Engagement Survey of 600 U.S. employees, conducted in November of 2014 found that 55 percent of employees reported that a work-life balance was very important to their overall job satisfaction.

Keep this in mind when creating an employee benefits package, and include them on the job posts, as well. Graduates like to know what is available from the start and whether the company can give them the work-life balance they are looking for.

Company culture is also a hot commodity when it comes to the job search. It’s important to design a culture around a fun, friendly and hard-working environment. New graduates want to work with people who are just as passionate and innovative as they are. Going to work everyday needs to be fulfilling and needs to give them a greater sense of purpose.

Unfortunately, a cubicle just isn’t going to cut it.  A traditional office can seem old and outdated to them. Breathe life into the office with creative spaces. After all, graduates grew used to working in places that inspired their creativity in college -- oversized armchairs, coffee shops, lounge rooms, etc.

When looking to hire new graduates, find out what they want most out of their career and where they are looking. Then, be there.

In what other ways are employers reaching out to new college graduates?

Related: 6 Ways to Prevent Your Talented New Hire From Getting Poached