Major UK employers are keen to take on recent university graduates as fresh talent for their business needs. However, many companies still have to weigh up the advantages of hiring a recent graduate over an experienced candidate.
Once upon a time, it was experience that won over fresh new ambition, but in these times of fast-paced technology, many employers are now re-focussing on the potential for hiring fresh out of education raw talent.
Hiring at least one bright and enthusiastic university graduate for every three experienced candidates seems to be striking the right balance for most medium to large companies. The most obvious benefit of hiring a talented graduate is that they are completely unmoulded.
They are coming to you eager to learn and willing to be shaped into your most desired employee. They carry no overhang or different thinking from a previous role, so they should be able to integrate into the workplace without any resistance or the need to re-learn things they previously did in a different way.
Let’s take a look at some ways to find the best raw graduate talent that would be a great fit for your company.
Connect with Universities
Most universities run associated HND and degree courses that would give a student a solid foundation to build their knowledge upon. Many leading large corporations, such as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for example, offer internships and work experience to university students choosing to go into their field on graduation.
There is nothing stopping any employer approaching a university directly to do the same. This can be a great way to discover keen candidates and give them a trial run with your company before offering any long-term commitments.
Scout for Graduates
You will usually find that universities will publish regular updates and data about departments and individual graduates winning awards or breaking new ground in an area that may be related to your industry. Keeping up with the university media will give you a good insight into who is making waves or being recognised for their challenging ideas, creative solutions and exemplary skills. Reading through prominent research papers can give you a good idea about a potential graduate hire and whether they are highly driven and dedicated to your field.
Earmarking outstanding students that are near graduation will give you an advantage as you can approach them before they have even started to think about looking for a job. Picking the brains of course lecturers and professors about students with great potential can also give you an inside lead on snapping up raw graduate talent before anyone else.
Understand your target audience
Knowing what makes the most recent batch of graduates tick is also an advantage. Who we are talking about here is what is know as Generation Z. With each passing generation, a different mindset comes to the surface. Remember that this generation has grown up with technology being all around them and very much integrated into their every day life.
It will come as no surprise to you that Generation Z thinks our ways are completely outdated and will probably have an app for every challenge they face. If there is no app, they will probably just write one themselves!
Understanding how this generation of graduates think and operate can be done by spending some time on social media. Become familiar with the language being used and the topics that are trending to get a real insight into their lives. You can take what you learn and weave it into your job descriptions and wording for online graduate job sites.
Society / enterprise / community / environment
New graduates are much more aware of social issues, the environment and society in general than previous generations ever were. This means that you need to appeal to their social enterprising nature to highlight how their role and your company would be positively contributing to society, the local community, a social cause or helping in some way to address an environmental issue.
The way you word and phrase your job advertisement and description should be centred more around the ethical nature of the company and how it benefits or contributes to society rather than simply highlighting the bonuses, benefits and perks being offered to the individual. The most recent batch of graduates are not nearly as self-centred and inward looking as previous generations. They really do have a completely different mindset.
Network with graduates
Reaching out to connect with recent graduates through social media is an essential move if you want to truly connect with them. Make sure that your company is up to date with the latest technology and very active on all the major social networks. Ensure that your company website carries easy to follow links to your social media pages and be present on the platforms that they use and are most likely to be found.
Simply having a Facebook account isn’t enough these days. Have dedicated social media marketing staff making regular updates with fresh content and can use the same language to communicate with them. Target your social media content to be about things that this new generation care about. This way it will be much easier to attract, approach and talk with potential graduate candidates that could be the right fit and a positive boost for your company.
Graduate job boards are still a great place to post your job advertisement, but you will get much more of an impact if you target your recruitment drive towards social media platforms. This would certainly garner more interest from recent graduates and makes you more approachable and responsive, plus you will be able to interact with lots more potential candidates.