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Recruiting New Grads: 4 Strategies to Implement

New graduate recruiting strategy

As with recruiting experienced professionals with years under their belt working at various companies, new-grad recruiting requires a well-planned approach so talent specialists know how to effectively source, nurture, and interview these new-to-the-workforce individuals.

New-grad recruiting: 4 ways to identify and engage graduates for open roles at your business

Here are a few strategies you and your talent acquisition team can put into play to build and continually refine your respective new-grad recruiting program.

Strategy #1: Build relationships with (and a talent pool of) new grads.

Behavioral, semi-structured interviewing has its place in some instances. However, for the most part, respect new grads’ freshly planted career seeds by helping fertilize the soil with meaningful questions that link their recent experiences to your role, in a logical manner.

In other words, implement a formal, structured interview process, but be sure not to hammer them with hard-hitting questions that’ll only make them nervous. Just start a dialogue based on your scripted Qs and note you simply want honest answers.

  • Treat the interview as a relationship-building conversation.

Talent organizations achieve transformational hiring when they shift their mindset from ‘transactions’ to ‘relationships,’ creating a more strategic and holistic hiring process.

Most new grads are intentional and prepared for their next career steps. They are eager to unfold their story and how it will help your company achieve goals.

Strategy #2: Assess where new grads are in their ‘career conversation.’

This may mean foregoing a well-articulated elevator pitch and, instead, delving into soft skills and/or technical details that are second-nature for the individual(s) you engage.

Using digital tools before, during, and after the live conversation can further advance and deepen the relationships. For example, Lever Nurture helps recruiters build meaningful relationships with candidates at scale with personalized, multi-touch email strategies.

These engagement techniques have proven to increase candidate response rates considerably and aid TA teams with their overall new-grad recruiting approaches.

Strategy #3: Appeal to graduates’ special talents and career desires.

When conversing with recent graduates whose last four years were immersed in playing a sport, battling injuries, and perhaps even captaining a team, delve into their spirit of camaraderie and teamwork and how they’d factor that into their job.

A recent ADP Research Institute study found the most consistent determinant for employee engagement was whether most of the person’s work was done on teams. Those who did most of their work on teams were more than twice as likely to be highly engaged. 

  • With that in mind, discern whether grads you engage for active roles would fit well with a particular team or business unit at your company and what they’d do to ensure they can work inter- and intra-departmentally to thrive in their position.

Similarly, if a given grad fast-tracked a four-year program into three, appeal to their enterprising nature and sense of urgency by mapping a potential growth trajectory that is both driven and interesting (e.g., “Your determination would lend itself well here. Here’s how we see your path at the company over the next few years.”)

And instead of using a vanilla job description, for instance, try adopting impact job descriptions. Impact descriptions paint a picture of the career growth that a candidate can look forward to and milestones they can potentially hit over time.

Strategy #4: Determine whether to ‘advance’ or ‘archive’ graduates.

Most new grads want to home in on a productive course — and they want help to steer the way. Therefore, by prioritizing employee engagement and talent mobility, recruiters enable new grads to build a career and remain upwardly mobile with your org. 

  • With the right strategies in place, HR and recruiters can empower new grads to start their careers off on the right foot and put them in a position to succeed.

Helping new grads doesn’t stop when they sign the offer letter.

Be sure you provide a great employee experience by connecting recruiters with human resources through integrated recruiting software that can deepen and extend relationships with these invigorated new grads and keep them satisfied at the business for years to come.

Schedule a personalized Lever demo to discover how we can help you source and nurture this emerging talent and provide them with a premier candidate experience.

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