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3 Ways to Successfully Recruit Leading College Grads

1.9 million college students are expected to graduate this year and most of them will want to start their career right after they walk across the stage.

By targeting college graduates, your staffing agency can dip into a talent pool that comes to the workforce with fresh, new ideas and a willingness to learn and be trained. It’s important to know who to look for and how to win them over to your client’s company.

So how do you get the best talent out of the Class of 2016? Here are three ways to successfully recruit the best of the best this year.

1. Attend career fairs

Many colleges and universities across the nation host career fairs for their students to meet potential employers. By attending these job fairs, employers can meet a number of top candidates. Also, students who attend career fairs tend to be more serious about their future, so these fairs are often effective places to recruit the best talent.

One way to find the best career fairs is by targeting schools. If you’re seeking graduates with a particular degree, Workforce Locator can help you find the top schools for that major.

Remember to engage with students at the career fair. Many times, representatives stand behind their tables without interacting with students as they pass by. Unless you represent a company that is very well known, many students won’t know about you, what you offer, or how you can jumpstart their career. Step in front of the table and take the initiative to connect with every student who walks by your booth.

2. Appeal to their deeper interests

Millennials have different interests than previous generations when it comes to what they want from their employers. In a recent study, 83% of millennials chose their positions based on employee benefits and 54% took a job based on flexible hours and work schedules.

For most millennials, it’s not just about the money. However, because recent college graduates typically carry a large amount of student debt, many companies are taking steps to help them pay down their loans. For example, starting in July, Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ junior employees will be eligible to receive up to $1,200 per year for up to six years as assistance from the company to pay down college debt.

Recent college graduates are also looking for a company that can provide a career path and development opportunities. They want to know that they are valued and that they will have opportunities to learn the skills they need to move up the career ladder to a more prestigious, high-paying position.

3. Understand that their experience may be limited

Train your recruiters and hiring managers to understand that a recent college graduate’s resume will look different from the resume of candidates with more career experience. Many times, the students have been involved in internships or campus leadership positions, which can mitigate their lack of on-the-job experience.

In a Monster article, Enterprise Rent-A-Car regional recruiting supervisor, Chris Fitzpatrick, commented on how a candidate’s involvement in college can help hiring managers connect the dots.
“Involvement in sports breeds competitiveness. Membership in fraternities, sororities, and other clubs and organizations helps develop leadership skills. Although a communications major may not have learned case studies about risk management, the ability to communicate verbally, nonverbally, and cross culturally is vastly more critical. Soft skills such as communication, work ethic, flexibility, and leadership transcend the college majors and are better identified when an entire picture of a candidate’s college experience is seen.”

You can always teach the skills that recent graduates may lack; so if you see a lot of involvement in college on their resumes, it means they are probably driven and dedicated individuals. Oftentimes a student’s non-career experiences during college will translate into the skills needed to do the job.

According to a recent study conducted by Leadership IQ, “89% of the time a new hire fails, it is for attitudinal reasons, not for technical competence reasons.” If you have a candidate who fits culturally, but lacks teachable skills, that individual might still be the right person for the job.

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