How to Attract Emerging Graduate Talent

6 min read

One of the goals that are more and more often set for the heads of HR departments is to create a strategy that will allow the organisation to foresee and fill skill gaps and pipeline future leaders.

This often means hiring emerging talent. However, bringing emerging talent into organisations and developing them to align with the Company's goals can be challenging.


This is why it’s crucial to design an attraction strategy that is targeted specifically at the audience you’re looking to attract. In the case of emerging talent, this audience will be millenials and Gen Zs with their own unique set of drivers and priorities.


As our recent research showed, millennials are interested in more than just a salary when considering job opportunities. In order to be able to tailor your communication to the needs and interests of this audience, you must fully understand what drives them. While salary is an important aspect which certainly can be a deal-breaker for many, there is a wide range of other factors that may sway a candidate towards your organisation.


The key to attracting emerging talent is to clearly and repeatedly communicate the list of all perks, benefits and opportunities that are important to millennials and that your organisation offers. 


It is important that this targeted message is repeated time and again through every communication channel at your disposal:

  • online and offline ads,
  • banners, 
  • blog posts,
  • videos, animations and whiteboard videos, 
  • graphics, infographics, charts
  • interviews (published on your site, your partners’ sites or event at the universities’ websites) 


This recurring message can be conveyed to your target market through numerous points of contacts and forums:

  • showed at the events during presentations or panel discussions,
  • promoted by company’s ambassadors on campuses,
  • or during one-to-one conversations, 
  • published on the landing pages on your website,
  • promoted via social media channels (yours or influencers).



The goal is to get a consistent and authentic message across to potential candidates,  regardless of the communication channels that you select. However, using several different means of communication, will increase chances of candidates noticing and registering information.


Below is a list of the top 6 factors that should be included into your communication with the candidates at different stages of their journey. You should aim to cover all these elements across different channels and platforms to ensure candidates’ full awareness of your offering.


1. Purpose 


Research has proven that giving people the “why” is a key to motivating them to take action. Make sure that the audience you target understand your company’s mission, values and what is it that your brand stands for. Your purpose, your goal or your mission (whatever way you choose to name it) should be at the core of your message to potential candidates.

2. Learning & Development

learning and development

Highlight all possible learning opportunities that your organisation offers, including internal and external training sessions and workshops, mentorship programmes, professionals and trade magazine subscriptions, memberships in relevant organisations and clubs, conferences and other events that employees can attend. Make sure to mention access to online and offline resources and libraries or even simply dedicated time for self-learning on a weekly/monthly basis that might be given to your employees. The key is to show the candidates exactly how your company invests in L&D and how they can benefit from it.


3. Flexible Working Culture

flexible working

If you offer flexible working arrangements to your employees, it’s crucial to clearly communicate that it is in fact a part of your culture. Whether it’s remote working, flexible start and finish, changed or compressed hours, it’s important to inform the candidates about what you offer and how it would work in practice specifically for them should they decide to join your organisations.


4. Health & Wellness


Millennials are enthusiastic about health and wellness. From diet, hydration, nutrition, exercise to mindfulness, relaxation meditation and other stress relief methods, millennials are practicing (or would like to start) it all. This is why corporate wellness programs are attracting more and more emerging talent into organisations. Complete corporate wellness is more than just health insurance and gym access. It’s about promoting health and wellbeing in general. Providing employees with ways of handling stress by creating zen or breakout areas, mindfulness workshops and meditation classes are just a few examples of initiatives that will strongly resonate with your target audience. Hence it should not only be mentioned but emphasized in all of your communications. 


5. Meet Your Team

meet the team

Millennials consider people they work with to be one of the most important aspects impacting their happiness at work. The right people will attract the right candidates, therefore showcasing the team members will impact millennials decision on whether or not to apply for a job with your company or whether or not to accept the offer. Showing the candidates what their potential future colleagues, managers or subordinates might be like would give them a deeper understanding of your culture. This is the first step in building an emotional connection millennials develop with your organisation.


6. Social Scene


According to research, the majority of millennials and Gen Zs want a “fun and social” working environment. This means you could meet that need by initiating, organising, and facilitating sport and social clubs.The clubs can be run by employee volunteers, be subsidised by the organisation or require employees contribution.  Organising parties, quizzes, go-karting, kayaking, and trips away are another ways of making the workplace be more than just work - something that appeals particularly to millennials and Gen Z. While most workplaces have a well-developed social scene, in many cases, it’s not something promoted in detail. By showcasing your social scene, you will also present your culture and catch the attention of millennials audience.


Final Thoughts

There are numerous ways organisations can choose to build a strong value propositions for prospective candidates. However, defining your selling points is only the first step in your journey. The message you define must be effectively communicated to the candidates and it’s important to tailor communication to their particular needs and interests. The key to attracting emerging talent lays in consistently targeting the right candidates with the right messages at the right place and time.


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