How to successfully hire graduates in a busy job market

Darren Jaffrey, General Manager of EMEA, HireVue

The academic term is over and students who have just graduated, are looking for their first professional role. For hiring leaders, who are battling an extreme shortage of talent, this is an exciting demographic that should be considered to help close this gap.

Many hiring leaders have seen the potential of this demographic – known as Gen Z – and have been preparing for this influx of talent. In the next financial year, Deloitte will recruit more than 700 graduate and apprentice roles, a year-on-year increase of 50%. And with 61 million people in Gen Z, there is a huge number of young professionals now looking to kickstart their careers. However, as the first generation to be considered as digital natives – TikTok is their new search engine – any process introduced by hiring leaders must be new, innovative and digital if it’s to attract their attention.

To truly understand and reach this generation, HR leaders should consider three key factors: technology, employee experience and employee location.

A positive digital presence is key

Technology plays a huge part in graduates’ day-to-day life, with over half of Gen Z saying they use their smartphones for more than five hours a day. This means for hiring leaders, using text or WhatsApp will be the best and easiest way to engage with graduates before a competitor does.

Using technology can create a hiring experience that’s tailored to this younger group. By incorporating artificial intelligence and texting automation into hiring strategies, hiring leaders can keep Gen-Zers interested throughout the entire hiring process. Candidates can easily reply to texts no matter where they are, so hiring leaders can engage candidates faster than via email. Plus, text-powered chatbots allow businesses to pre-screen candidates and then schedule and reschedule interviews all from their smartphones.

Studies show 79.4% of younger candidates prefer booking an interview via text over email or even a phone call – texts have a 98% open rate versus 20% with email. It’s clear this is the best way of contacting the new graduate generation.

DE&I takes centre stage

Recent reports show Gen Z is far more interested in finding an employer who shares their values and beliefs. They want an environment where they feel appreciated, where they can grow relationships with their colleagues and ultimately a company where inclusivity sits at the heart of culture. In fact, over a third of Gen-Zers say if given two similar offers, they would without a doubt choose the company they saw to be more diverse and inclusive.

Gen Z candidates are also 204% more likely to engage with a potential employer if their hiring processes are fair. Businesses need to bring in hiring platforms, such as HireVue, which use industrial and organisational psychologies to actively combat bias. Using this type of software enables hiring leaders to build and structure interviews with validated questions, to provide an identical experience for all candidates guaranteeing consistency and fairness. Ensuring hiring methods are as impartial as possible will increase the likelihood of top graduate talent choosing to take a new role in the business.

Make the most of hybrid working

Graduates coming out of university have done the majority of their studies remotely and will expect their move into the professional world to be equally as flexible. For hiring leaders, this expectation also means they can actively search for talent across the country. Thanks to remote work, they are no longer confined to searching for candidates by local area.

The increase in location-agnostic roles makes it possible to recruit based on job fit and skills, instead of locality. This has a positive outcome for businesses, as hiring leaders can attract and recruit the highest quality candidates. Businesses need to make sure their hiring leaders are making the most of this, targeting universities across the UK, rather than just students within the local area.

The graduate hiring era

This latest wave of graduates gives businesses a chance to hire stronger talent than ever before. Companies that alter and update hiring processes to suit the needs of this group will find themselves beating the skills gap, with hungry talent providing immediate value to their business.

Original Article: HRnews

Searching for top young talent? Ready to attract top graduate talent? For all your recruitment challenges – contact our HR & digital recruitment specialist Gareth Allison on 02920 620702

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