When it comes to talent attraction, all generations and skill levels are not created equally. A simple Google search will produce several results of articles stating that, with Gen Y, it’s about feeling valued, having flexibility and moving up quickly, while Gen X are more traditional, are still motivated by compensation packages and are willing to wait longer before trying to make a move. Of course, there are surveys to back these perspectives, but there are variables you must account for and take into consideration before focusing solely on these points.
If you’re hoping to build lasting relationships with potential employees of any generation or level, it’s always a good idea to start young. And though you’ve probably heard the stat cited by Forbes earlier this year that 91% of Millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years, it’s still important to show off your employer brand if you hope to have a shot at long-term retention.
Before college students are even considering a workplace, you must remember that they’re active in the world – and most likely online. The key to hooking them so you’re top of mind when they do begin their job search is to be present where they are, but here are a few specifics that should get you on track.
1. Corporate social responsibility. Nowadays, corporate social responsibility (CSR) plays a big part in organizations of all size. And with it being a key consideration for many job seekers, you may draw fresh college grads to your company by making your CSR programs more visible and relevant to the students you’re hoping to attract.
2. Get social (but be creative). Social platforms are no longer the new and exciting “thing.” Instead, they’re commonplace, but it’s not time to dismiss them as means for early engagement. The reason social media continues to grow and stay strong is the opportunity it has created for relationship building and two-way communication. The key to using it for attraction is to be unique, get creative and make your target candidates expect the unexpected. If you’re using social in new and innovative ways each time, college students will want to connect with you, share with you and join you.
3. Build a (real) community. Communities, whether online or off, should not be developed for selfish reasons. People of any age, but especially college students, love making new connections and developing new friendships. If you’re able to grow a community that’s not primarily focused on your company or its products/services, but around the people, you’re more likely to attract likeminded individuals who want to be a part of it.
Of course, these are just a few suggestions for connecting with college students who may be a good fit for your company down the road. Traditional recruitment (online and in-person) will still play a large part in your ability to get your name and employer brand out there for all to see.
Image: Jeff Ozvold/Flickr