The secret to graduate recruitment: how to engage Millennials and Gen Zers

Hard-to-fill roles can be a symptom of wider recruitment challenges such as a limited talent pool, remote job locations or unusual working hours. In these situations, organisations often look to increase salaries as a reactive, quick-fix. Whilst this can achieve short-term success in filling the position, the long-term negative impact could be:

  • Poor retention
  • High recruitment costs
  • Skills gaps
  • Stagnating business growth

You need to recruit the right people to grow your business. Looking to the future, it is widely acknowledged that graduates are incredibly important in the workforce and it’s predicted that by 2020 50% of the UK workforce will be Millennials and 24% Generation Zers.

So, if these individuals are the future of organisations and are crucial for succession planning and innovation, what can be done to ensure that you recruit the best graduate talent for your business – particularly into hard-to-fill roles?

With over 20 years’ experience in delivering top graduate talent, here are some tips from Discovery on how to engage Millennials and Gen Zers with your business, and your recruitment process.

 

Don’t rely on quirky benefits

Whilst these are definitely fun and ‘cool’ benefits that can be a great hook to get employees through the door, it won’t necessarily keep them there. If you don’t cater to some of the more basic needs of employees, such as work-life balance and professional development, then they may well leave. All the time and money that you spent on recruiting your graduate will be wasted, taking you back to square one.

 

Talk about what matters to your company

Research shows that Millennials and Generation Z are motivated more by mission than money. In a job advert and the subsequent recruitment process, it’s very easy to get caught up in the fact that you want to give them information about the specific role they’ve applied for whilst also finding out as much as possible about the candidates. Whilst these are both important, you also need to remember that the candidate is judging your company – make sure you tell them about you, and what matters to your organisation.

Are social events important? What about supporting charities? This will help to give candidates a more rounded view of your culture and values, and they will be able to decide if your company is a good fit for them.

 

Signpost the potential for progression

Employees who feel that they aren’t developing in a company are 12 times more likely to leave. Progression and development are important to most employees, but particularly to those who are early in their career and have a lot to learn. Make sure you demonstrate that you have a plan for your graduates in the job advert – not only for what they’ll do in this role, but also how you will develop them to have a successful career within your organisation. If you also have employees who joined as graduates and have progressed, make sure to create videos, blogs or social media posts telling their story – if others have progressed and been successful, it suggests your new graduate intake will too.

 

Invest in your employees

94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. Once you’ve recruited a high-potential graduate, you want to retain them for as long as possible. Demonstrating the willingness to further invest in your workforce is also likely to encourage people to apply for the role. Alongside any internal training, think about how else you could develop your employees – are there any professional qualifications that they could complete such as CIPD, CIM, Advanced Diplomas, etc.? Or could you develop them further in their professional skills such as commercial acumen training, Leadership & Management courses or presenting with impact training?

 

Strike the balance between them being challenged and supported

Most graduates have little to no experience in the working world, but they have a lot of potential. It’s important that you strike the fine balance between giving them real responsibility and stretching them, but also ensuring that they have the support in place to ask questions and not feel overloaded or alone. In job adverts and the recruitment process, talk about what they’ll be responsible for but also who will be there to support them – will they work closely with someone more senior? Or will they have a whole team to support them?

If you would like to discuss how Discovery can help you with your graduate recruitment and development, please contact us.