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3 Ways Your Business Can Attract New Grads

3 Ways Your Business Can Attract New Grads
Credit: garagestock/Shutterstock

As colleges wrap up the academic year, a new wave of talent enters the job market. While job hunting may cause anxiety for recent graduates, there's plenty of pressure on businesses looking to add the best new recruits to their operations.

With the continued rise of online recruiting sites, it's easier than ever to get word out about your open positions. Sadly, this also makes it increasingly difficult to stand out among your competition. Despite the challenges of setting yourself apart from you peers, hiring the best and brightest recent grads is an attainable goal. Based on recently released surveys and reports, here's how employers can attract new college graduates to their open positions. 

If you're looking for great candidates, your best resource could, quite literally, be sitting right in front of you. According to data from SilkRoad, an HR software company, employee referrals are the top source of hires. Among the 1,000 companies SilkRoad used to compile its data, 54 percent of new hires stemmed from employee referrals. Not only that, but it took an average of 148 LinkedIn job applications before a company settled on a candidate and ultimately made a hire. When companies used employee referrals, that number dropped drastically to just seven applications per hire. Based on SilkRoad's report, internal recruiting proves most effective. [See related story: How to Create a Great Employee Referral Program]

Money isn't everything when it comes to choosing a job, but it sure does help. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers' Class of 2017 Student Survey Report, "When Class of 2017 seniors were asked how they would choose between two otherwise equal job offers, salary was the leading factor, cited by nearly 14 percent of respondents."

Despite this, the opportunity to develop job-specific skills ranked as the No. 1 aspect students wanted in a job. In fact, a high starting salary came in at No. 14 on the list, falling behind a good benefits package and a diversity-conscious employer, among a number of other items. A good starting salary matters, but enticing recent graduates takes more than a hefty paycheck. [Interested in recruiting software for small businesses? Check out our top picks.]     

When millennials look for jobs, they're searching for a place they fit in. Both in hiring new grads and retaining current employees, culture matters. An article published in the Harvard Business Review states that the No. 1 trait millennials seek in an employer is a people and culture fit. Fostering a strong workplace culture gives your organization its best chance of separating itself from its competition.

Just because your startup or small business isn't raking in money doesn't mean you have to lose out on hiring the best new college graduates. An internal recruiting system, strong benefits and a healthy workplace culture prove crucial to hiring recent college grads.   

For more information on recruiting top talent for your open positions, visit this Business News Daily guide.

Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon.

Bennett Conlin

Bennett is a B2B editorial assistant based in New York City. He graduated from James Madison University in 2018 with a degree in business management. During his time in Harrisonburg he worked extensively with The Breeze, JMU’s student-run newspaper. Bennett also worked at the Shenandoah Valley SBDC, where he helped small businesses with a variety of needs ranging from social media marketing to business plan writing.