Recruiting graduates can be challenging. First, HR professionals must realize that graduates are unique candidates who might require specific graduate recruitment programs. This usually starts by writing a well-written job posting that will attract the brightest folks from the beginning. It’s also worth paying attention to how graduates respond to the ad and whether or not they consider it worth showing up to the interview. By fine-tuning the way you recruit graduates, you can build a graduate recruitment program that helps you hire successful entry-level employees who will grow into productive members of your business.
How to Recruit College Graduates
Here are a few qualities you should pay attention to when recruiting college students for entry-level positions:
- Long Term Potential: Training new graduates for entry-level positions can be expensive, so it’s essential that you hire someone who plans to stick around for the long-run. Look for traits such as reliability and commitment to extracurricular activities, clubs or other groups.
- Team Player: A bright mind isn’t worth jeopardizing your office culture, for so look for a team player who is willing to collaborate, work with others, and share ideas.
- Enthusiasm and Passion: When you are recruiting college students for entry level positions, look for candidates with ambition and an aptitude for learning. Candidates should be passionate and eager to succeed.
What makes it Difficult?
Recruiting graduates is difficult because most graduates applying for entry level positions lack direct work experience. This makes it difficult for HR professionals to filter out the best talent since most resumes of fresh grads appear to be very similar. When you are recruiting college graduates, it is important to screen for important soft-skills like ambition and motivation, as well as to look for relevant prep work they may have done in college.
What Do College Graduates Want?
After getting out of college, graduates are eager to join an organization where they will be able to utilize their skills to their fullest potential. You might stand a better chance in attracting the best candidates by introducing a strong training program to your graduate recruitment program, since fresh grads are eager to learn. New graduates are eager to join an organization that challenges them, hosts social events and provides its employees the freedom to pitch new ideas.
How to Do it: Tips for Recruitment for Graduates
Follow these tips for recruiting graduates for maximum results:
Recognize that Graduates are ‘Special Candidates.’
Since most graduate resumes appear the same, it’s worth setting up a separate application process to filter out the best talent. You can do this by creating a different email address where new graduates can send in their resumes. From that point forward,filter candidates out according to predetermined screening criteria.
Predetermine the Screening Criteria
If most graduate resumes look the same, how do you filter out the best candidates when recruiting college students for entry level positions? Determine criteria that focuses on factors important to you, be it the candidate’s GPA or some other academic parameter. On the other hand, some industries may require well-rounded candidates who have participated in extracurricular activities outside of their academic programs. When building this list of requirements, it’s helpful to think about what things are absolute MUSTS for the role in question, as well as the nice-to-haves. From there, you can use an applicant tracking system to automatically screen out graduates who do not have the “dealbreaker” qualifications you are looking for.
Boost Training and Mentorship Programs
It’s only natural for HR managers to want to recruit graduates with stellar credentials and an elaborate set of skills and experience. However, in a few cases, you need to give a little to gain a lot. A candidate with a long list of skills may have the most directly applicable experience, but when you are recruiting graduates, you need to keep in mind that the strongest predictor of success for this set of candidates is initiative, drive, motivation and an eagerness to learn. A candidate with a laundry list of skills that matches your job description may be a less than ideal choice for a role due to lack of teamwork skills, lack of initiative, or lack of interest in the job itself. Building strong mentorship and training programs may be the best way to lure the most qualified candidates. These training programs are ideal for fresh grads who don’t have much experience and will provide them the opportunity to polish their skills. Best of all, you will have a team of young, motivated employees that will be cheering for your company in the long run.
Use Pre-Hire Assessments to Determine Soft and Hard Skills
When building a graduate recruitment program or recruiting college students for entry level positions, it’s helpful to implement a standardized way to screen new college graduates. Because the resumes will look very similar apart from the schools graduates attended or their extracurricular programs, pre-hire assessments will have an especially big part to play in your decision. With these tests, you can screen for the skills and traits you can’t find on their resumes, such as collaboration, motivation, agreeableness, creativity, and even critical thinking skills and IQ. Using these will help ensure you can make the best decision when it comes to recruiting the right graduates.
Long term, it’s best to recruit graduates based on their attitude and track record regardless of their academic discipline. We wish you the best of luck! If you have any questions on hiring testing or on how an ATS can help you form a list of “knock-out” questions while screening resumes, let us know. We’re happy to show you how Newton can help and become an integral part of your graduate recruitment program.