With May now in our rear view, the bulk of 2018 college graduates have just flooded the job market. In the Philadelphia area alone, there are over 100 colleges and more than 50,000 graduates, but over 40% of them graduated with a job ALREADY lined up. In fact, 20% of the graduating class of 2019 already has job offers in hand! Those who remain, well, they’re in extremely high demand. So, if you’re an employer seeking to hire a fresh, college graduate this year, the competition will be steep. There’s no way to tell at this point who will win the battle, and secure top talent from the remaining 2018 graduate class. But, if you’re in it to win it, learn the top 5 ways you can beat out the competition for the regions’ best and brightest this year!
1-Know who you are targeting
What types of new grads have been successful in your roles before? More analytical profiles? Great communicators? Be sure to consider who has worked best with your company’s culture, both in educational background and personality. Don’t discount a sociology or ancient history major just because the degree doesn’t seem to fit, because the person might! Then, craft a great job description that’s honest about the position, but also sparks the interest of a potential new graduate candidate by highlighting your core values, benefits, company mission/ vision, community involvement, career path of the position, etc.
2-Know where your target audience goes to find information
Where are new grads going now to find out about job opportunities and potential employers? We all know by now we’re living in a digital landscape, especially when it comes to this group! For one, make sure your website is fresh and mobile friendly. While you’re online, check out your company’s social media profiles. Do they appeal to college graduates and have your job opportunities listed? An active and engaging employer Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram account can make all the difference. Beyond social networking, be aware of what consumer review sites are saying about your company and staff. In today’s world, college grads want more to work at a company in line with their values than at a company trading well on the stock market. A negative review on a site like Glassdoor.com can result in candidates declining offers (even backing out of interview requests) from your organization. As far as online job postings: Indeed.com currently holds the top spot!
3-Freshen up (and showcase) your benefits
Are you lucky enough to work on Rittenhouse Square, or have a view of the Art Museum? Part of the “whole picture” is, as they say in real estate, location location location. Most college grads from the area already KNOW Philadelphia is a great place to lay their roots, but show them you too love and embrace the local culture by enjoying a team lunch at Reading Terminal or having a box of Tastykakes on hand in the kitchen common-area.
Speaking of food, many of your competitors offer free snacks… some even boast free lunch or breakfast too! Food is certainly one way to a recent grad’s heart, but don’t forget the importance of lifting the financial burden. To attract and secure a top recruit, your company will need to be on par with other local firms in regard to salaries (the average new grad salary in Philadelphia is an impressive $54,000). You’ll also need to be at the top of the pack with a strong health benefits package, and combine all of that with work-life balance and a true commitment to the community through volunteerism. One of the newest financial perks today is helping pay back student loans, relieving the newly-graduated from potentially crippling debt, which can negatively impact performance & retention. For more on this topic, listen to Emeka Oguh, CEO of Philadelphia-based PeopleJoy, discuss it on The Dubin Group’s monthly human resources-focused show, “HR Today Radio”.
4- Plan for the future by promoting your brand early
Next year, don’t wait until graduation to secure candidates from the class of 2019 (or even 2020). Gain access to them early on by developing a top-notch college recruiting program, combining both on and off-campus strategies. How can you get on campus to get in front of your potential, future employees? Aside from college job fairs, you can sponsor or host a mixer, or other event. You can also offer to be a guest speaker in a class, club or volunteer organization. Reach out to Career Planning Centers to post open jobs at your company and/ or to market your college recruiting events. As far as off-campus ideas: employ a strong, incentive-based employee referral program and develop a solid, fan/follower social media base to help multiply the reach of your message!
What does your company do to attract the best and brightest new grads? Need some more tips, or want to share yours on HR Today Radio? Contact us any time!