What Does the Class of 2016 Want?

graduation-1477769_640It’s no longer enough for a company to post a job description online and expect applicants to come flooding in. To attract the top talent from the recent graduating class, managers need to be informed about what this group values, and what they expect in their first role and from their first company.

At LaSalle Network, we surveyed more than 13,000 recent college graduates about their job search process and what they want out of their first position.Use this information to attract the best of the class of 2016.

Start recruiting early. Seventy percent of recent grads began their search three months or more before walking across the stage. Take advantage of this by recruiting top talent EARLY. Reach these students before the competition by attending college career fairs three to six months before graduation (and earlier!) and posting job openings to college career sites.

Offer opportunities to grow. Give graduates more than free food and flexibility, give them the chance to grow.A myth associated with millennials is that one of the biggest perks they want is the ability to work remotely. Yet when asked what they want in an ideal role, recent graduates ranked the ability to work from home LAST. Instead, “Opportunities for growth” was their top priority! To attract these graduates, don’t rely heavily on superficial perks. Instead, focus on the showcasing the potential career paths in the organization: share stories about employees who have been promoted internally and talk about how you envision the role in question evolving.

Manage salary expectations. The majority of employed recent graduates ended up making LESS money than they expected. Fifty-five percent of graduates who expected to earn between $51,000 and $70,000 and 100% of graduates who expected more than $71,000 made less money than anticipated. Be prepared to manage these salary expectations and use resources like Glassdoor, PayScale, or Simply Hired to determine what the benchmark is for each position you’re looking to hire.

Provide temporary-to-hire roles. Recent graduates are becoming more flexible with the type of work they will accept. Although 98% said they would take permanent work (not unusual); 60%said they would consider temporary or temporary-to-hire roles, which is a new development.If your company is recruiting recent grads for temporary positions, consider offering the position as temporary-to-hire instead. Temp-to-hire roles can be test runs for candidates you’re unsure about, and also allows the candidate to “test-drive” the role themselves, helping to reduce future turnover.

For more information about what the class of 2016 wants, download LaSalle Network’s white paper here.

Susan Baron

Susan Baron
Susan Baron is a content marketing specialist for LaSalle Network.

Susan Baron

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