Planning to hire a college grad? It won’t be easy this year


By Kat Cunningham, president of Moresource Inc. Contact Moresource at 573-443-1234.

It’s college graduation season. That means an influx of eager new workers will be on the job hunt. In today’s tight labor market, these graduates will be in high demand. The unemployment rate of college grads last fall dropped to just 2 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With so many job openings now, these grads can be choosier than in years past. What factors are they looking for, and how can employers make their job listings appealing?

First, consider that applicants will likely be reading dozens of listings each day. It almost goes without saying, but it helps to keep job descriptions concise and specific. Employers should also avoid quirky, exaggerated job title buzzwords like “guru” or “rock star.” Young people don’t appreciate pandering.

In addition, consider that new graduates aren’t thinking only about money. Today’s graduates are also looking for lifestyle benefits, especially perks like flexible scheduling. So don’t just market the salary — highlight other aspects of your compensation package too. Younger generations are looking for purpose in their work, so consider emphasizing your company’s mission and philanthropic values as well.

And keep in mind that asking for too many years of experience in a listing could deter new graduates. Even if they have the qualifications and skill level you are asking for, they may not apply because they haven’t had that much time in the field yet.

Businesses looking to entice new graduates should also review their application processes and ensure the procedure is as streamlined as possible. Don’t require the painstaking re-entry of an applicant’s whole work experience into individual form fields, for example. It’s also important to make sure your online application is mobile-friendly, as nearly two-thirds of graduates use a mobile app to search and apply for jobs.

Not getting many responses from your listing? Don’t wait for applicants to come to you. Many grads use their schools’ career programs. These departments may offer their own job search platforms and host events like job fairs. Contact the career programs at the colleges and universities in your area to begin targeting their best and brightest new graduates directly.

You can also post listings on your company’s social media accounts. And if you don’t have one already, you could put a careers page directly on your website as well.

Perhaps most of all, today’s graduates value company culture, a sense of purpose and work/life balance. Keeping that in mind throughout the hiring process will go a long way toward attracting new graduates to your business.

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