In a fast changing environment, new technologies and increasing expectations, the battle for graduate talent begins years before the candidates finish their degrees and complete their studies.
The key to capturing the best of the best is having a clear vision and purpose. We talked to some of the experts in graduate recruitment and put together the list of 4 strategies that will help you build a strong pipeline to future-proof your graduate hiring.
1. Building Relationships Early
The first step on the way to future-proofing your graduate recruitment is building relationships with future graduates while they’re still at school. Offering internships, apprenticeships and work experience programmes has been proven to be an effective way of identifying talent early and of getting your brand on the radar.
Enabling the future graduates experience life in your company (your working culture, values, mission, atmosphere in the office) will also give you a chance to educate them on the career opportunities and development paths that could be available to them.
While the goal is to catch the interest early, it’s worth noting that on the completion of the work experience or internship, students will return to campuses and can become your brand ambassadors promoting your employer brand to other students.
Attending career fairs and having partnerships with Universities are tactics that are already commonly used by organisations, however, the trick is to use these channels to include a younger audience. The goal is to meet first year students to educate them on potential future opportunities. Being present on campus and at event is another way of putting your organisation on their radar at the early stages of their academic careers.
2. Creating and Ongoing Engagement of Talent Pools Of Future Graduates
Building awareness of your employer brand at an early stage will also allow you to identify potential talent years ahead of their graduation. This will leave you the time to nurture the relationships and slowly and naturally encourage the future talent to join your company.
Creating talent pools (databases of potential candidates) is the next step allowing organisations to take more control over the relationships with future graduates. Fostering these talent pools is a crucial element in the process of future-proofing graduate recruitment.
The identified talent could be invited to the online community and kept engaged through social media platforms such as Facebook and Facebook Groups, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other . Regularly sharing behind-the-scenes information about your organization will help to keep them informed, engaged and more open to career opportunities in your company.
3. Using AI To Eliminate Unconscious Bias
Recruitment software can reduce or even eliminate unconscious bias in the hiring process. Using techniques such as machine learning, sentiment analysis, and natural language processing will streamline and automate candidate sourcing and screening - the main areas where unconscious bias can come into play.
Eliminating the bias at that level, will lead to increased workforce diversity, which according to the research by Deloitte, is one of the values that millennials consider critical while considering accepting a job offer. In millennials' perception, diversity is a sign of competitiveness, growth and the culture of empowerment.
Aiming at promoting workforce diversity and leveraging culture of inclusion will impact on the perception of your employer brand among millennials and Gen Z giving you a competitive advantage.
4. Measuring ROI
Measuring the ROI of a graduate program is a crucial part of the process as it can demonstrate the value and impact the programs have on your business. This can feed your future strategy and help to secure the budget.
Is your graduate recruitment scheme achieving the established business goals? Are participants of the programme meeting the expectations related to their performance? What are the results of the scheme and what are the overall costs of it?
Answering the above and similar questions is necessary to ensure commitment to the schemes at all levels within your organisation. It will allow you to establish whether the graduate recruitment scheme is worth the investment and sponsorship at board level.
While graduate schemes usually start only once a year, graduate recruitment is a long-lasting and ongoing process. Organizations that invest in building strong foundations to future proof their graduate recruitment will benefit by having a first-hand access to the best and most suitable candidates on the market.