The competition surrounding graduate recruitment is getting more and more fierce, especially with the reported skills shortage in the engineering and manufacturing industries.
The key to recruiting the best graduates starts by getting to know your target audience.
Excluding mature students, you’ll find that a huge percentage of graduates this summer are members of Generation Z (those born between 1993 and 1999).
Slightly different to Millennials, Generation Z are very tech-savvy and usually come with an abundance of work experience on their CVs.
A graduate’s enthusiasm and digital prowess are essential in today’s market, making this new generation hugely valuable commodities for any business.
The question is: how can you attract them? Cue the list.
1. Make development a priority
Generation Z graduates are interested in developing themselves.
That’s why it’s vital that you offer a level of support which reassures graduates that they’ll be nurtured.
For instance, if you’re an accountancy firm without a route to chartered status in place, you might find graduates happily accepting a lower salary elsewhere just so they can attain this qualification.
Graduates are keen to make themselves more marketable, so showcasing what’s on offer in the future will allow them to mull over whether the position is right for them or not.
And as a result, you’ll only attract the most dedicated graduates.
The fact is, a great many graduates are planning for the long game, meaning your business needs to as well if you want to get them applying for your next job.
According to the Gen Z Rising report, graduates are 3X more likely to commit to a company for over five years if the business rewards them with a practical and personalised employee experience.
Invest time in a graduate and you’ll receive a higher standard of work, better commitment and an increase in loyalty in return.
2. Get social
While wine and cheese nights or monthly pub lunches may not feel like the biggest priority when things are busy in your workplace, the importance of socialising should not be underestimated.
Fresh out of university, graduates often follow work and relocate to different places around the country giving them a lot more scope to look for something extra special – but also they’ll also have to start from scratch, in terms of building a social group.
So it’s a pretty good idea to highlight any social events your company offers.
It’s also advisable to give graduates the opportunity to speak to current employees who went through the same process.
This will not only help them learn, but will give them the peace of mind that there is a prize waiting for them in the future.
Promote these social elements and you’ll spark interest from graduates.
Recruiter Pro Tip
Creating a social atmosphere within a busy work environment is challenging at times.
So to help you achieve this and make your business more desirable to graduates, you might want to look at this blog we posted last year. (Ignore the Christmas element.)
3. Provide case studies
Whether you’re trying to attract a customer to buy your goods or recruit a top graduate, case studies help build a level of trust.
If a graduate can see a clear road to success through the eyes of someone like them, they’ll start to believe that your business is willing to invest the time and resource into their own development.
Including details about salary increases and a clear structure of the company to show where they could end up can also give these case studies more credibility as well.
4. Reach out to universities
Building rapport with universities is key to showcasing your company to Generation Z.
As graduates start to focus on the future in their third or fourth years, most of them will be actively looking for their first employer.
Reach out to the head of faculty and set up some kind of marketing activity.
For example you could offer an opportunity for undergrads to win something in exchange for some action.
For instance, if you’re a film or television studio, you could ask film and media students to create a short movie for a chance to win a high-tech camera.
Alternatively, you could provide the students with the use of some of your equipment on campus. These ideas are beneficial to the student and the university.
Plus, when they graduate, your business will be firmly on their mind AND you’ll already have identified some of the best talent up for grabs…
5. Consider placements and internships
An inexpensive option to attract the best graduates is to offer placements or internships.
A placement is a great option to offer students a chance to work for your business in between their university course for six months or a year.
While an internship is an ideal method to attract graduates who like the idea of a contract as opposed to a permanent position.
Kind of like a ‘try before you buy’ policy, these schemes are an ideal way to figure out whether you are a great fit for each other or not.
It also means you won’t need to invest heavily in training and marketing from the outset.
On the whole, recruiting the best graduates should be a relatively simple process.
Generation Z is looking for a clear and structured path to progression and a social work environment.
To achieve this, your company needs to lay all your cards on the table and give these young professionals a real insight into the future with you.
Start by creating a top recruitment ad optimised for the digital generation and the rest will fall into place.
For further recruitment tips, subscribe to our blog today.