5 Ways to Leverage the Expectations of New Graduates This 2024

5 Ways to Leverage the Expectations of New Graduates This 2024

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US is experiencing significant job growth.1 Just this January, over 353,000 positions were added on top of the 3.1 million existing jobs in 2023. 

With so many open roles needing to be filled, companies are competing for the same talent pool and looking for fresh talent. To help you get ahead and leverage the expectations of new graduates entering the job market, we offer these 10 actionable tips. 

The Value of Meeting Expectations

As a new generation of talent emerges from colleges and universities, employers who can align with their values and expectations will gain a competitive edge in recruitment and retention.  

Attracting top talent requires understanding what today’s graduates prioritize in their job search and career trajectories. Employers who adapt and cater to the desires of these recent degree holders will be better positioned to access this fresh pool of skilled, motivated professionals.  

Moreover, by meeting the expectations of new graduates, organizations can enhance their employer brand and reputation, becoming known as a desired place to work among younger generations. This positive reputation can increase top candidates’ interest, reducing recruitment costs and time-to-fill. 

Read More: Building a Strong Employer Brand and What That Looks Like Today 

5 Ways to Attract and Retain Fresh Talent

When companies meet the expectations of their new employees, their retention rates tend to increase. This is coupled with improved loyalty and motivation of their workforce. To help you attract and retain these fresh talents, here are five strategies you can use: 

1. Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits 

Based on a recent heatmap of job advertisements, candidates tend to prioritize salaries and benefits more than the job description.2 Heat maps are focus areas readers spend their time the most, showing which information catches their attention the most or what they prioritize in a job post.  

This may be caused by the significant debt new graduates have from their student loans. To attract fresh talent, it becomes imperative to offer competitive compensation, offering fresh graduates with financial stability and security. 

As an employer, it’s your role to stay informed about the salary range for your open positions. You can do this by researching industry standards, conducting compensation surveys, and benchmarking against competitors with the same position. 

Other than monetary compensation, it’s also worth indicating the benefits your potential employees can receive. Highlight attractive ones such as health insurance, annual bonuses, paid time off, etc. You can also personalize benefits that could help them relieve financial pressures and work stress.  

2. Provide Flexible Work Options 

Due to recent economic downturns, the need and expectations for workplace flexibility have increased. Students have experienced learning from home and have grown accustomed to the freedom and independence the setup provides. 

As a result, new graduates are less likely to consider roles that offer flexible arrangements, like telecommuting, compressed schedules, job shares, and hybrid work options. To meet their expectations, you need to be flexible in working arrangements. Aside from traditional in-office work setups, you can give them options of where they can work.  

Read More: The Competitive Advantage of Embracing Remote and Hybrid Work in the Tech Industry 

3. Advocate for Work-Life Balance 

Aside from modern work solutions, people today, especially new graduates, value a more balanced lifestyle. With this in mind, you need to put in the effort to advocate for work-life balance to help new graduates adjust to the pace of your processes. 

Help them strike a balanced lifestyle by discouraging practices like excessive overtime and “always on” mentalities fueled by digital connectivity. This also means respecting their personal time and encouraging work-related communication during working hours only. 

For new graduates to build reasonable boundaries and avoid burning out, it’s also necessary for you to lead the charge. You can model behaviors like disconnecting for the sake of family dinners, taking regular vacations, and maintaining hobbies and friendships outside work. 

When you show what a balanced work-life looks like, employees will be able to replicate it. This ensures higher productivity and longevity of employees within the company. 

Read More: Beyond Balance – Embracing Work-Life Integration as a Continuous Journey 

4. Offer Opportunities for Career Growth 

Given the fast trajectory of technology shifts and economic disruptions, graduates expect amplified opportunities for skills development and career advancement compared to previous generations. 

The only way to keep up with the current industry is to ensure that your workforce has the necessary skills and talents in today’s dynamic landscape. You can do this through training programs, mentoring groups, or tuition reimbursement so employees can continuously build their capabilities without any barriers. These opportunities can be shared during the early stages of recruitment. 

Aside from seminars, new graduates can also receive learning opportunities through personal experiences. Once hired, inform them of the chance to be assigned to high-visibility projects and lateral moves. Formal programs like leadership tracks, job rotations, innovation labs, gig work, and internal transfers can also expose your employees to new skills. 

You can further your efforts by developing clear trajectories for advancement using benchmarks and milestones for progress, allowing fresh graduates to visualize their long-term careers with your company.  

5. Emphasize Corporate Social Responsibility 

Since 2016, candidates and employees have strongly expressed their desire to join a company with robust Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies.3 

Related to this, younger generations today tend to seek meaningful, purpose-driven work aligned with their values far more than competitive pay alone. This suggests that you need to find ways to showcase your commitment to social responsibility. You can emphasize social responsibility with these examples: 

  • Volunteer initiatives and programs. 
  • Charitable donations and humanitarian initiatives. 
  • Sustainability programs and environmental impact reduction. 
  • Ethical codes of conduct on career sites and recruitment materials. 

In line with this, the company itself can also begin pursuing partnerships, campaigns, and collaboration with societal causes that align with its mission. Participating in collective efforts to solve problems may inspire recent graduates to enact change by joining and supporting your cause.  

Remember that new graduates value both the purpose and meaning of what they do. It can be beneficial to define corporate success, not just with KPIs. Emphasize social responsibility by acknowledging the impact your collective efforts made through the lives of those around you, your surroundings, and the initiatives you support.  

FIND TOP TALENT THROUGH FOCUS PEOPLE

If you’re looking for ways to fill your workforce with fresh talent, then Focus People is the perfect staffing partner for you. 

Thanks to our years of experience, we are equipped with solutions tailor-fit to your company’s needs. We take pride in placing only high-impact individuals who can contribute to driving your organization to success. 

Learn the best way to attract new graduates and hire top talent from the current pool of candidates. Contact us today! 

References 

  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The Employment Situation – January 2024.” Bureau of Labor Statistics – U.S. Department of Labor, 2 Feb. 2024, www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf 
  1. Lewis, Greg. “This Job Description Heatmap Shows You What Candidates Really Care About (and What They Ignore).” LinkedIn, 19 Jun. 2018, www.linkedin.com/talent-acquisition/job-description-heatmap. 
  1. “Millennial Employee Engagement Study.” Cone Comm, 2 Nov. 2016, www.conecomm.com/2016-millennial-employee-engagement-study.  

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