Here are our top tips for employers about what new graduate candidates consider when they decide whether or not to apply for your job, and accept your offer.
Firstly, and rather obviously it’s your job advert. See our Creating your advert guide for our tips on writing your advert. Your advert carries a lot of importance when it comes to attracting graduates, but it is just one factor that impacts your ability to hire.
We recently asked our candidates about the most important things that they consider when looking for a graduate job, and here are the results. Coming in top was location, closely followed by the opportunity for career progression. Salary, training and development and the opportunity to make a difference completed the top 5.
So, when you are putting together that advert you need to consider how to address these points – it’ll help you get more quality applications:
- Don’t forget to say where the role is based, and if appropriate what a lovely place it is!
- Training and Development didn’t appear as high as Career Progression, but the two are often inter-linked. Make sure you explain to candidates how you will develop them so they can progress in their career with you. Graduates want careers, not just jobs.
- Salary (including perks and benefits) wasn’t the number one consideration, but you are competing with employers across the country for graduate talent so be mindful of what expectations are and of what you can offer. See our Salary Considerations
- Company culture - Mission and Values: Good alignment with employee values leads to highly engaged staff. If you have a well-defined mission that your employees can relate to and even adopt then you are on to a winner. It gives graduates the opportunity to make a difference and align their values with yours.
Having secured applications, it is now important not to lose good candidates due to your recruitment processes.
Shortlisting and Feedback
After shortlisting, we know it is extra work to feedback to all applicants, but with email it really isn’t that hard to let people know that they haven’t been successful rather than relying on the ‘if you haven’t heard in x weeks’ get out. Remember candidates will remember how you treat them and it could affect future purchase decisions from your company, or future career choices if you don’t treat them well.
Employers often forget that an interview process is actually a two-way process. You get to choose who to offer the job to, but the candidate gets to choose whether or not to accept an offer!
Make your process onerous, or make it reflect badly on the type of employer you are and you will lose people either during the process or at the (non)acceptance point.
‘On-boarding’, induction and retention processes
Good graduates may have multiple job offers and other opportunities open to them – don’t lose out to better care from a competitor. Make your new employee feel welcome before they start, and they are more likely to actually start. Once they have, make the induction process smooth and valuable to your new employee – they will repay it time and again if you get it right.
Remember, on-going training, professional development and progression opportunities lead to career development and ultimately the retention of high quality engaged staff.
There is more information in our handy Graduate Recruitment Guide if you want more detail on any of the above.