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Want to Reach College Grads? 3 Ways to Improve College Recruitment

Recruitment has undoubtedly changed over the years. From virtual recruiting to offering enhanced mental health and financial wellness benefits, people professionals embrace new methods of attracting and retaining top talent. 

Recruiting college graduates is no different. But, with the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) projecting that employers plan to hire almost 27% more college graduates, people professionals must focus on setting themselves apart when recruiting young talent. 

Career fairs are a standby way to get in front of college grads. But what else can people professionals do when recruiting college graduates beyond traditional hiring events? 

Keep reading to learn about three ways to improve your college recruitment outside of tried-and-true methods like career fairs and college job boards.

1. Use Social Media as a Recruitment Tool

No matter your age, two social media platforms dominate users’ attention: Facebook (now Meta) and YouTube. So while directing some of your recruitment efforts and spending to these online juggernauts, it pays (no pun intended) to understand how Gen Z college graduates use other social media platforms.

According to Pew Research Center, 18 – 29-year-olds use Instagram (76%), Snapchat (75%), and TikTok (55%). Specifically, 71% of Snapchat users aged 18 – 29 access the platform daily, with six out of 10 accessing the platform multiple times daily. Instagram enjoys similar use by this age group, with 73% of users accessing the site daily, with 53% accessing Instagram multiple times daily. 

Through social media, employers can showcase their brand, culture, and purpose through mobile-optimized messaging, something that Gen Z expects. And it’s not just limited to showcasing who you are as an employer.  It’s also about creating seamless, digital messaging, attracting and educating potential talent while enticing them to visit their website and career page. 

But to get your message across, you need to get your message on the right platforms. Keeping up with Gen Z’s social media use can be the differentiator between attracting young talent to your organization or having your college recruitment messages fall apart at the seams.

2. Create Simple, Relevant Content

When using social media as a college recruitment tool, people professionals should also consider what type of content they’re producing. For instance, today’s college graduates have eight-second attention spans, according to previous studies. 

To capture the attention of a generation of job seekers accustomed to large amounts of data and information at their fingertips, employers must focus on captivating and engaging bite-sized content and videos when recruiting college graduates.

And when creating this content, it’s best to know what Gen Z wants – not what you think they want to hear based on previous experiences. 

One thing that college graduates want when searching for an employer? An organization that prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). According to the Washington Post, this includes hiring a more diverse workforce, promoting the advancement of minority employees, and “facilitating uncomfortable conversations about systemic racism.” 

And don’t expect to say that you support DEI and leave it there. Today’s college graduates can see right through that. So instead, through your content and videos, emphasize action – demonstrating your commitment to DEI to potential new talent, showing them you’re an employer brand they can support. 

3. Personalize Candidate Interactions

A third way to connect with Gen Z college grads is to personalize your candidate interactions. In a world of real-time communications. For example, employees can keep college graduates in the loop on open positions when recruiting college graduates, personalized to their talents or preferred industry. 

Think of it more as a conversation with these graduates.  You’re not talking at them – you’re talking with them about working for your company.

And don’t limit personalized interactions to emails. In fact, this generation of job seekers may not even know you emailed them. According to the New York Times, Gen Z (including your Gen Z workers) loathe email, preferring video chats, instant messaging, and collaborative tools such as Google Docs as preferred communication methods over email. 

The lesson here? A quick text message or Instagram IM will be better received than an email by college grads.
With Gen Z making up 27% of the workforce by 2025, employers must tailor their college recruitment strategies to this latest generation of grads.

To learn more about recruiting college graduates to your organization, contact Cangrade today.