Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire
New Graduates Talent Pool

Don’t Wait – Next Year’s Graduates Are This Year’s Talent Pool

It’s that time of year again. New graduates are entering the workforce ready to make a difference. Some recruiters think this merits a break in college recruitment. The truth is, it’s now time to focus on the class of 2019. In fact, it might already be too late to land top graduates for next year.

A 2018 CareerBuilder survey of over a 1,000 employers found that 80 percent are looking to hire new graduates. That’s the highest level of interest in over 10 years.

If you want to be able to compete for the greatest talent of next year’s class, you need to start strategizing now. And the best way to start is by better understanding the needs and expectations of the class of 2019.

1. Show them where they can go

New graduates might be just starting out on their career paths, but they doesn’t mean they don’t know which direction they want to go. Luckily, for employers, most of them plan to stay with the first company that hires them. That is, as long as that organization offers development opportunities.

A 2016 Randstad survey found that 29 percent of Generation Z (who make up the class of 2019) plan to stay with their first company for three to four years. If you can show them what possibilities await them during the hiring process, you’ll strengthen that dedication.

Have candidates meet with young employees who have been with the company for a few years. Encourage them to share their story of how they’ve grown with the candidates. This will help new graduates envision what their career path can be if they choose your organization.

2. Branch out beyond career fairs

For years, job fairs have been the bread and butter for recruiting college students. But if that’s the only way you try to meet potential employees, you’ll miss out on great talent. Afterall, a job fair is just one day and not every student at a school will attend. It’s better to cast a wider net.

Start attending a variety of events and approaching them as recruiting opportunities. Networking events for diverse students and leadership conferences are a great place to start. Just be sure to contribute to the conversation.

Instead of setting up a table and passing out recruiting material, get involved. For example, volunteer to host a small discussion group about ways young people can develop their leadership skills.

Come prepared with advice, but also invite participants to share what actions they’ve taken so others can learn from their peers. This will help support students career development and give you a look at what these young professionals are capable of.

3. Go all the way mobile

There’s no denying that young people rely heavily on their smartphones. Their approach to the job search is no different. They want to be able to research and apply for vacancies via their mobile devices.

Luckily, there are plenty of tools and resources that you can use to appeal to younger job seekers. The more steps in the hiring process that you can make mobile the better. This way busy students can complete the process whenever they have the opportunity.

For example, encourage candidates to record their video interviews from their mobile device. This will allow them to get creative in how they present themselves. They can choose a location that better reflects who they are, giving you a deeper understanding of what makes them unique.

4. Dial in on social media

In the Randstad survey, 41 percent of respondents said they’d like for companies to take better advantage of social media. They see these sites as valuable insights into the organizations for which they are considering working.

Use social media recruiting to expand the company’s employer brand. Share employee testimonials and pictures of team functions. Also, set a designated time each week to post about job openings. You can even create a unique hashtag to gain students’ attention. This way your followers will know where to look once they’ve realized how great the organization is.

As a recruiter, you know how valuable young employees can be for a company. But in order to tap into that talent pipeline, you need to understand what makes these individuals special. Once you see how to approach them, you can be more effective at recruiting new graduates.

Josh Tolan

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, a video interviewing platform used by 6,000+ customers in over 100 countries.