Fresh talent is the lifeblood of your business. Let’s face it: younger employees bring a much-needed energy and enthusiasm boost to any office. We all had our first “real job” at some point, and we were someone else’s administrative support, powered on our very own youthful energy.
Colleges and universities are the first stop for every business when looking for green talent, as well they should be. Bright-eyed and full of potential, these young, talented people will become the backbone of your organization in the near future, and what better place and time to reach them, than as they are completing their studies and preparing for their entrance into the world of the gainfully employed.
But the brightest students are spoiled for choice nowadays: career fairs and recruiters have made campuses their venue of choice for securing tomorrow’s talent. Many students have several job offers lined up for their choosing before even completing their coursework, setting them up to start their careers right out of school.
So how can you make inroads towards ensuring your company snags the top rookie talent emerging from the halls of knowledge? It’s not particularly difficult; just make sure to use these 4 tips to rocket to the front of the line when it comes to scooping up your company’s number one picks in the corporate talent draft.
Last Year’s Recruit is This Year’s Recruiter
It goes without saying that recruiters can make recruiting talent easier; however, consider using your youngest recruiters (and other employees) to visit campuses, staff career fair booths, and reach out to rising talent.
Younger people generally respond better to their peers. A 22-year-old college senior will relate to a 23 or 24-year-old employee of yours than he or she will someone much older. Apart from the obvious cultural references, lingo, and communication style similarities, don’t underestimate the power of showing a prospect that one of their peers – who’s just like them – can have a steady, real job that they’re happy with within just a few short months. After all, what college kid wouldn’t want to get paid for talking to their peers?
Your younger employees can easily show off how great it is to work at your company and demonstrate that prospects will be given interesting and fun tasks – like helping with recruiting – as opposed to being stuck in a cube with coffee-making duties for the first year or two. This is a demonstrative form of recruiting: instead of having a 40-something-year-old employee rattle off benefits, show your prospects that they can, too.
Be a Good Corporate Citizen
Gen Z-ers (and the now-aging Millennials before them) have shown time and again in surveys that their only priority when considering an employer is not money, but that working for an altruistic company that “gives back” and is socially conscious is important as well.
Advertise your company as one that cares about social issues. They don’t need to be “hot-button”, but demonstrating that you care about something other than your bottom line is sufficient to woo budding talent. Environmental sustainability or a partnership with a local charity (which can include fundraising events or simply even donations from your company) are fairly inoffensive and agreeable ways to appeal to the socially conscious.
Create your Brand – and Humanize it
An oft-discussed topic in boardrooms and meeting rooms is branding. How is it that you’ll market yourself to clients and the general public? Consider that when recruiting college students you must have not only a branding strategy but one that humanizes your company.
To an undergrad, working for a large corporation may seem exciting but also intimidating; after all, these prospects were in grade school only a few years ago. One way to make your workplace seem a bit more hospitable is to put a human face on the company.
Try adding a section to your website with employee photos and personality blurbs, or frequently featuring fun and personal employee posts with pictures and information about what the employee loves about working at your company and a little bit about their hobbies and lifestyle on your social media accounts.
You want to avoid being seen as a faceless, soulless corporation, and what better way to do that than to highlight the fact that your employees – who are your prospects’ future coworkers – are normal, happy people with families and hobbies who are content with having such a wonderful employer!
Team up with Student Organizations
Find relevant student organizations at local universities and create mutually beneficial partnerships with them. Sponsor a seminar or lecture with one of your employees on topics directly, or perhaps more tangentially related to your line of business (or job-seeking in general: resume-building workshops are always a winner) and attract promising talent that way.
Cater the event with light refreshments, and you have an instant and cordial way to connect with and discuss the lecture with prospects afterward. Think of it as sort of a pre-interview, where you get to know future applicants in a relatively relaxed, but still professional setting.
Marketing and business-based orgs are obvious candidates but consider other interest-based organizations as well. Fraternities based on academic performance are another excellent contender for a partnership with your company. You provide some value to the students in the form of knowledge-sharing and networking opportunities (and cookies and lemonade never hurt either, by the way!), and in return, you’ll receive access to some bright, young talent to recruit.
It’s Not Hard to be the Company Everyone Wants to Work for – if you work for it!
With these relatively straightforward tips and tricks, you can easily humanize your company, find a pipeline (or two) to local, budding talent and become an attractive employer to Generation Z.
Don’t forget to be down-to-earth and show that regular, hard-working people like them work there too, and enjoy working for an in-touch company that gives back to the community. It takes a little bit of work, but the dividends are undeniable once you hire future star talent.