Employer Branding 101: How to Attract Fresh Graduates?8 min read

attract fresh graduate hires

To prevent your talent pipeline from drying up, you need to adopt new-age strategies to attract fresh graduate hires. Besides a job offer, you’ll also need to align your employer branding to the expectations of millennials today.

So how do you attract fresh graduate hires? And what do they look for in their next employer? We’ll take you through the basics of employer branding: what it is, what a typical employer branding framework looks like, and key strategies to secure and attract fresh graduate hires today. 

attract fresh graduate hires

How important can employer branding possibly be? As it turns out – it’s crucial.

Millennials are a different breed. So your hiring methods have to adapt and change accordingly. To stay on top of the competition on a global stage, you’ll need to pave the way to understanding what the millennial workforce really wants.

In other words, your success lies in how well you manage employer branding. A good brand will drive your attractiveness levels through the roof. If you can’t measure up, fresh graduate candidates will instead wander into the arms of your competitors – and that’s something you want to avoid. 

There’s a talent pool just overflowing with the candidates you need, whether it’s the next full-stack tech whiz or a passionate marketing rockstar that can take the company to the next level. But you can’t just dangle carrots like salary and benefits anymore and think that’s enough to attract millennials.

There has to be more to an employer than just a reasonable salary and decent benefits. Only then can you push candidates out of their zone of passivity into one of engagement.

So what is it that you can offer your millennial candidates beyond the scope of money, health insurance, and ample time off? What do you need to work on to make yourself the hottest employer out there?

A framework: 4 forces that determine employer attractiveness

If you’re running short on ideas, don’t panic. We’ve got a comprehensive framework that tells you all you need to know about the main drivers of employer attractiveness. They’re grouped into four main areas, namely:

attract fresh graduate hires

1. Reputation and image

You derive a reputation from your organisational attributes. In other words, what’s the groundbreaking product or service that’s driving the business? Millennials want to know how you’re changing the world, whether it’s through adopting cruelty-free practices (our animal friends deserve better!) or giving back to the community. Reputation and image are about what you’ve done, what you’re doing, and what you plan to do.

2. People and culture

The type of work environment you run affects how candidates perceive you, too. Candidates tend to flock towards dynamic and fast-moving places – because nobody wants to stand still, whether in life or at work. And it’s not just about how fast things progress in the office, too – you stand a chance of being more attractive if you respect your employees and push for the important things like gender equality and anti-discrimination policies. If you’re seen as a safe space, you can attract millennials.

3. Remuneration and advancement opportunities

This one should be pretty self-explanatory. Millennials don’t want to be stuck in the same job and role for the rest of their life, even if a percentage of them foresee themselves working until the day they die. They don’t just want to get paid what they’re worth. They also want the ability to grow and move up the ladder when the time comes. If you think millennials are just picky job-hoppers, think again. The point isn’t that they can’t stay in one job for long. The point is that they’re looking for genuine progression at every stage of their career. If you can give them that, you’ll be drawing them in like moths to a flame.

4. Job characteristics

Rather than just providing a stale list of duties and responsibilities, take it one level further to attract millennial candidates. Tell them about the job and sell it – hard. Craft job descriptions that offer irresistible information, like possible learning opportunities, challenges, and other demands. Does the position give out chances for traveling? Jot that down! Your candidates want to know all about the excitement of hustling at your company.

Top five things fresh graduates are looking out for in their next employer

attract fresh graduate hires

So, out of all these attributes and characteristics, what will really knock it out of the park for you, the employer? According to a study conducted by ManpowerGroup, millennials are prioritising five key things as they search for their next employer. Spoiler alert: all of these things lead to long-term employability.

1. Growth opportunities

Millennials are all about action and movement. They’re on the hunt for gigs that promise them future training opportunities. This could come in the form of mentorships, internal development programmes, or travel opportunities to test their limits. If you can show them that they’ll grow when they work with you, that’s going to work in your favour as an employer.

2. The promise of promotion and progress

Not only do millennials want to move up in terms of skill and knowledge, they’re also hoping for a chance to climb up the professional ladder. Every millennial candidate will come packed with their own unique goals and dreams (batteries not included), and it’s up to you to decide if you can craft a vision to get them there – even one step closer.

3. Genuine meaning, purpose, and value in work

Knowing the impact they can create at your company is another plus point. Millennials are nuts about being a part of something great. Crunching numbers without knowing what it’ll lead to? Not so much. If you’re able to provide them with a role or job that gives them the chance to make a difference in life, consider yourself a very attractive employer indeed.

4. Being appreciated and paid what they’re worth

The employer-employee relationship comes into focus here. Millennials want to know they’re truly being valued – whether it’s through getting a competitive salary or just being genuinely appreciated for being around. This gives them fulfilment and a sense of purpose.

5. A dazzling culture: benefits, perks, and people

Working at your company should give them more than just a bare minimum 9-to-6 job. Free stationary is one thing, but how about free lunches on Tuesday like PayPal? What are the fun parts of working – and relaxing – at your organisation? Are the people diverse and wholly accepted? A culture that shines is a culture that attracts.

Four key employer branding strategies to attract millennials

Now that you know what drives your employer branding and what millennials look for in an employer, it’s time to turn that knowledge into action. After all, you’re in it to win it. Here are four key strategies you can use to lull millennials from an unawareness of your brand to being totally engaged and ready to come onboard.

1. Be accessible and relevant

Be present. Establish a strong online presence that people can’t ignore. Post regularly on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn – and show that you’re having genuine fun. Millennials aren’t just interested in work – they want to know if your company has a personality. More importantly, they want to know if you are relatable.. Get your content strategies out and keep posting and interacting.

2. Showcase an irresistible culture

Be inclusive. Sweep gender discrimination out your doors. Get a shiny new foosball table if you have to – life at your company should be the cause of envy for those who aren’t employees. And remember – you need to share these awesome experiences on public platforms (AKA Instagram) whenever you can.

3. Offer them a vision – and a roadmap

When interacting with your candidates, take the chance and craft a vision for them. Show them the potential of working with you in the long-term. Don’t just harp on short-term benefits. Millennials want to advance, and if you can get them excited about the next five years, consider them sold!

4. Sell the story of a job they’ll believe in and can’t refuse

Your product makes a real impact in the wider community. You have to be its most passionate advocate and believe in your vision and values. A millennial who believes in your cause is the most unstoppable soldier on the field. Convince them when they encounter your job posting, your eDMs, and later on when you meet them in the interview room.

Employer branding is vital to winning over the best millennial talent out there. Instead of struggling to stay afloat with traditional hiring models and watching your competitors dominate the market. Bring your A game and figure out how best to meet your candidates halfway – and remember, it’s not just about what they can offer you, but what you can offer them in return.

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Sophia Lee

Content geek and novice copywriter at Glints. I've been writing professionally for the last few years but know there's a lot more out there to learn. When I'm not working, I'm playing Overwatch, writing experimental poetry, and digging up new indie music somewhere.