Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

6 key factors that motivate recent college grads entering the workforce

3 strategies for delivering a better recruiting pitch to recent college gradsIn an effort to build a more talented and productive workforce, many employers have justifiably turned their attention toward recruitment services. Developing people into fantastic employees is one way to build a staff, but the other strategy is simply to recruit the best possible people from day one.

Unfortunately, this is difficult to do. How do you find the best possible people waiting out there on the open market? If they were let go by their old employers, does that mean they’re inherently flawed? Or if they left voluntarily, does that indicate a certain lack of loyalty?

Some organizations have found a new strategy that’s a more reliable way of bringing in good talent. Rather than searching for veteran workers with a wealth of job experience, they’re building a pipeline for young talent by focusing on recent college graduates.

According to research by the Society for Human Resource Management, this has become a rather popular tactic. The 2015 edition of the SHRM’s “College Graduates Survey” revealed that 35 percent of organizations have already begun hiring recent college grads – including some who extend job offers to them even before they graduate. In addition, of those organizations who haven’t yet hired college kids, 71 percent say they plan to begin doing so in the future.

The SHRM survey revealed something interesting – if you’re looking to motivate recent college grads to work for you, it doesn’t necessarily have to be with a big paycheck. Money talks, as SHRM director of survey programs Evren Esen said in a statement, but other factors matter as well.

“Even if companies are unable to offer competitive compensation packages, professional development and workplace flexibility are attractive alternatives for college graduates,” Esen noted.

Here’s a rundown of six factors that make a difference in recruiting young talent:

Competitive pay
It’s not the only thing, but it’s still an important thing. Giving people a decent paycheck will always motivate them, of course. There are plenty of other factors below, though.

Chances for advancement
When you’re young, you start at the bottom of the corporate totem pole. Are there opportunities to climb your way up? Recent college grads will definitely be interested.

Effective training
Part of the challenge of first entering the workforce is a lack of professional skills. If your first employer is willing to show you the ropes and help you develop, that will count as a huge plus.

Meaningful work
No one wants to feel like their first job is little more than a boring daily grind – it’s better to get the impression that your work is important, that it really means something. Can your organization offer this?

A strong company culture
People want to work in a healthy environment – one that helps them thrive both professionally and socially. Can college grads enter the workplace somewhere that offers them both work allies and friends?

Work/life balance
Young employees care about their work but they also have busy social calendars. When the day is over, they want to leave the office, go out and have fun. The right job should offer plenty of opportunities for both work and play.

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