With spring in full bloom around the country, it means it’s about that time when companies will be hearing from college graduates. There's a projected 26.6% hiring increase for the class of 2022. To attract and hire the best new graduates, it’s time to examine and boost your recruitment marketing techniques.
The State of Recruiting College Grads
Recruitment marketing is vital to the success of your company when it comes to college grads. It’s no longer a matter of advertising your jobs and expecting candidates to jump through hoops to apply. Research from the MRI Network indicates that 90 percent of the job market is presently driven by candidates. In other words, you may think you are in control of choosing candidates when in fact, candidates must choose your company first.
The current job market is seriously competitive, giving new graduates plenty of choices in careers. You can be sure that other companies will be doing their best to get in front of this fresh talent.
Joe Marino, Senior Vice President at Hueman, an RPO company based out of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, said, “With the recruiting process changing greatly to accommodate new candidate desires, new recruiting strategies and new types of jobs, effective analytics and data management needs to be on the top of most organization’s radar if they want to create an effective recruiting program.” Marino advised a recruitment marketing program must tap into data in order to adapt and respond to the changing needs of candidates, while also giving recruiters insight as to what needs correction.
How can your organization position itself as an employer of choice when recruiting recent college graduates? To make a plan, we asked our own team of recruitment marketing experts to put together a list of effective methods that can help any company position itself for attracting and hiring more new grads in the next few months.
Recruitment Marketing Methods to Attract College Graduates
Improve the Job Application Process
Anytime you are advertising jobs online, try to put yourself in a candidate’s shoes. This “candidate experience” is often the first encounter a job seeker will have with your company, therefore it needs to be positive and appealing to the candidate. Get it right and your company will succeed in recruitment; get it wrong and it can cost you more than a few lost candidates. Read about how Virgin Media learned this lesson the hard way when a bad candidate experience cost the company $5.4 million in lost customers annually.
Improving the job application process and the candidate experience requires that you have an understanding of what Generation Z graduates are looking for in a career opportunity. First, they are the first generation to grow up with the Internet taking up their entire lives. This gives them a great deal of comfort having information on demand and texting as a preferred form of communication. They don’t mind chatbots, and they may be less inclined to prefer human-to-human interaction and other soft skills. Gen Z has high expectations of technology and little patience for job application and career websites that are too complicated or outdated.
Recruitment marketing should center on how easy the process is to apply for a job with your company. Job advertising can address their preferences for a technology-driven work environment with room for career growth. Information delivered via text messaging and chatbots can engage with job seekers who fall into this group.
Choose the Right Job Advertising Sources
New college grads utilize a wide range of sources when conducting a job search. Many turn to resources at their college career office and meet with career coaches to improve their resumes. College grads are also likely to peruse the largest job boards (like Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor) to read company reviews posted by employees and find companies that appeal to them. They are also likely to visit career websites that are geared specifically for new college grads, like College Recruiter, Uloop and WayUp.
When posting job advertisements, be mindful of these sources. Take advantage of the sections on job websites where you can post information about your company. To give the best impression, share consistent branding and career information. Highlight the perks that Gen Z prefer, like flexible working arrangements, compensation, and a strong professional development program.
Use Recruitment Marketing Data
If you aren’t already tapping into job-level recruitment marketing data and analytics, your upcoming hiring pushes are the perfect time to start adopting this technology. Hiring pushes often require large budgets, and recruitment marketing analytics can give you actionable insights to better optimize recruitment efforts, where you are spending money, and how to utilize recruitment sources to increase your ROI. Analytics impact your bottom line.
More importantly, recruitment marketing analytics can help you to understand what jobs require additional job advertising spend and which sources have produced the highest quality hires.
When hiring new graduates, it is especially important to focus on recruitment marketing. The bulk of jobs targeting college grads will be entry-level, which have a lower set of skill requirements. They can be easier to fill and may not require as much of an advertising budget. However, if you aren't monitoring recruitment marketing analytics, it can be difficult to know which sources are producing the most quality applicants and which jobs are generating more or less traffic, so determining where to spend recruitment dollars can be difficult, leading to waste.
Utilize Programmatic Job Advertising
College graduates are excited to get started with the job search and are likely to apply to many companies that appeal to their career goals. If they feel like they are qualified for a job or if they have interest in working for your company specifically, they will apply. Expect a high number of college grads applying to entry-level jobs.
When running programmatic job advertising campaigns, it’s important to be aware of any rules you set and make adjustments as needed. Keep in mind that there may be spikes in volume and this could require additional monitoring to ensure recruitment efforts are cost-effective, but not overly restrictive. Also consider increasing your volume caps that can prematurely end campaigns before you have enough qualified applications from recent college graduates.
As companies are gearing up for another season of hiring a new class of college graduates, they'll need to step up your recruitment marketing efforts, souse the tips above to get started in the right direction.
Contact us today to learn more about how you can better prepare for this hiring season, including how Recruitics can help you optimize your recruitment marketing strategy.
[This is an updated version of our original post: How to Hire New Graduates: 5 Recruitment Marketing Optimizations That Work]