Trends in the Profession: A College Recruiting Revolution is Underway
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
The following digest reviews the article “A College Recruiting Revolution is Underway” by Haley Carroll of the American Productivity and Quality Center. The article summary below provides a brief overview of current college graduates and their implications on the recruiting process. The full article can be viewed at:
It’s no surprise that the demand for new college graduates is going up, but the next generation of employees has a different set of expectations about employment that are affecting employers’ approach to recruiting. According to NACE and the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University, hiring for bachelor-level graduates is projected to increase between 8.3 and 15 percent over 2014-15 levels. These highly desirable new graduates are “impatient, demanding, tech-savvy,” and have specific expectations of employers, forcing many organizations to rethink the employer-centric recruiting models and adopt a candidate-focused approach.
New graduates are tech-savvy and want a streamlined application process as part of their recruitment. For example, there are software programs that allow candidates to accept interview invitations on their mobile device, self-schedule interviews, and make real-time changes to schedules. Additionally, both Millennials and Gen Z expect instant communication and constant interaction, such as texting or Skype.
Even as organizations rush to incorporate more technology into their recruiting processes, there is still no substitute for in-person, high-touch connections to attract top candidates. Since career fairs and information sessions assist organizations in building relationships with university staff and enhancing brand awareness with students, it’s understandable that roughly two-thirds of bachelor-level graduates will be hired through on-campus activities. Even if organizations are using the Millennial and Gen Z preferred communication channels – text, chat and video – the interaction must still be authentic, personal, and one-on-one or in small groups.
Millennials and Gen Z are the most diverse generations in U.S. history, making it necessary for both career centers and employers to adapt their services accordingly. Both generations tend to expect outright inclusion of all people and seek out employers who share their values. It is no wonder that three-quarters of organizations have a formal diversity recruiting plan, according to a 2015 NACE study. Employers that don’t have a plan may lose potential candidates as well as current employees that aren’t experiencing an inclusive culture within the company.
The majority of Gen Z and Millennials are highly interested in making a positive social impact through their work. Gen Z expresses this trend by indicating a high interest in entrepreneurial ventures, with studies showing that more than half of them have expressed interest in starting a business. The Gen Z respondents cited two important reasons for wanting to start their own businesses: First, so they can be their own boss and second, they feel they can make a bigger social impact in this role.
Implications for Recruiting Professionals and Employers
Re-evaluate how to make your application process quick and simple by leveraging technology and connecting with potential candidates online. Consider using social media to showcase your company’s culture and build your brand. While expanding uses of technology, continue with the tried-and-true on-campus recruiting activities such as career fairs and information session. With nearly two-thirds of graduates being hired through these recruiting events it’s obvious you can’t replace in-person connections and on-campus brand awareness. Don’t forget that with Millennials and Gen Z being such diverse generations, create a diversity recruitment plan and express your diversity interest with Career Center staff who know the most about their campus culture. Lastly, it’s important for organizations to highlight ways in which employees can make a social impact and find meaning through their work.
Implications for Career Services Professionals
As these generations continue to demand technology and employers changing their recruiting methods to communicate with students, consider incorporating Skype interview rooms. Career centers can help facilitate connections between students and employers by also adopting to the latest technology and recruiting practices. At the same time, continue to offer traditional recruiting events that bring together recruiters and students. Continue to invest in physical space and support in-person conversations. When discussing on-campus employer experiences, make sure to highlight your campus diversity. With many organizations creating diversity recruitment plans, career centers’ expertise on niche, on-campus groups will become even more important. Finally, career centers can coach students to be patient with the recruitment process. Naturally, recruiting methods continue to evolve to meet candidate’s needs but employers are still catching up, especially small and medium size companies that don’t have the same technological or staff resources as large companies.