New grads are eager for that next life chapter; in some ways, this is just the beginning of their story.
Gleefully unfettered from the classwork, exams, and studying that have defined their past several years, they are now nervously hand-wringing amid the unknown job search landscape.
As they begin to compile their resume story and LinkedIn profile, confidence is tested. One moment they have reached the summit of ego, recalling praise for unprecedented internship results. The next moment they are capitulating to emotional defeat amid a job interviewer’s unsettling inquisition.
Strategy #1: With This Dichotomy in Mind, Help New Grads Help You.
Behavioral interviewing and oddball questions may have their 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. So, rather than delivering an avalanche of creative questions, treat the interview as a relationship building conversation.
Lever’s 2019 Talent Benchmark Report extends on this topic, articulating how
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. Many have used their time in college to develop problem solving, teamwork, communication, leadership, and other valuable, real-world skills during class projects, organizations (sororities, fraternities, and other service entities), athletic team participation (basketball, football, tennis, lacrosse, etc.), and part-time (or even full-time) jobs and internships, among other activities.
While some new grads have hired career branding experts to help craft the right words, others are navigating the conversation alone. While they are digitally sophisticated and immersed in the self-marketing world of social networking, they are likely to be less advanced when it comes to marketing their professional value. Their corporate vocabulary is not yet refined, and records of meaningful career results and promotions are not yet well developed.
Strategy #2: Assess Where the New Grad is in the Career Conversation and Engages Them There.
This may mean foregoing the push for a well-articulated elevator pitch and instead delving into soft skills and/or technical or other details that are second-nature for the individual with whom you are engaging. Put another way, as a recruiter, mirror the candidate’s needs, nurturing conversations versus only focusing on standard interview protocol.
Using digital tools before, during, and after the live conversation can further advance and deepen the relationships. For example, Lever’s nurturing tools help recruiters build meaningful relationships with candidates at scale with personalized, multi-touch email strategies. These techniques have proven to catapult candidate response rates threefold with nearly 46% responding after the sixth email sent.
Strategy #3: Appeal to Their Accrued Special Talent and Developing Focus.
When conversing with a recent graduate whose last four years was immersed in playing basketball, battling injuries, and perhaps even captaining the team, delve into their spirit of camaraderie and teamwork. Articulate how the company for whom you are recruiting offers a similar collaborative culture.
In fact, actively recruiting for such teamwork traits can be a boon for engagement, as reported in a recent Harvard Business Review article. An ADP Research Institute study of responses from 19,000 people in 19 countries showed that 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.
Or, if the student fast-tracked a four-year program into three years, appeal to their enterprising nature and sense of urgency by mapping a potential career growth trajectory that is both driven and exhilarating. Energize your recruiting conversation both orally and in writing. Instead of using a vanilla job description, for instance, try adopting impact descriptions. Impact descriptions paint a picture of the growth that a candidate can look forward to and milestones to hit over time. Check out our careers page for some examples!
Many new grads immersed themselves in specialty areas of study and skill-building that equip them to hit the ground running and make an immediate impact on the right company, so while their expectations are often as an entry-level candidate, new grads also have honed a sense of focus than can allow them to excel in a more specialized role.
If they studied digital marketing, for example, their aim may be to garner a role in a marketing agency or a company’s advertising department. Similarly, if they studied finance, they most likely will seek out an opportunity leveraging those skills: accounting, financial services, etc.
However, they are generally open to various areas within or on the edges of their respective fields of study, as they haven’t had time yet to carve a specific niche. So, regardless of the experience phase or level, it’s important to develop a personalized process to place and grow this individual in the right area at your organization.
Strategy #4: Expert Recruiters Foster New Grad Potential and Fit Them to the Best Roles
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 opportunities, recruiters enable new grads to build a career and remain upwardly mobile with your organization.
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 seamlessly connecting recruiters with HR through integrated recruiting software that can deepen and extend relationships with these invigorated new grads.
Schedule a personalized demo with us to discover how we can help you source and nurture this emerging talent and provide them with a white-glove candidate experience.