According to a new Michigan State University survey of 5,700 companies who were asked about plans for students who will finish school in spring 2015:
Hiring of new graduates of bachelor’s degrees will jump by 16% in 2015
Hiring among telecommunications companies, motion pictures, broadcasting, and publishing will jump by 51% over the last year
Finance and insurance companies will boost hiring by 31% in the last year
Manufacturers’ hiring will jump by 17%
Nonprofit hiring will jump by 16%
Finally, for new graduates, the future seems optimistic. However, with that optimism comes some serious competition for hiring businesses. Now, companies — particularly in telecommunications, motion pictures, broadcasting, and yes, even publishing, despite the stereotype that print is dead — will find that attracting top talent out of college will be much harder than in the past several years.
The Problem With Hiring in Competition
According to the statistics, the power now lies in new grad job seekers’ hands. Now, new grads have options and won’t jump at the first job offer they receive. For employers, this raises the very real concern of reneging on a job offer. Because of the opening of the job market, candidates are more likely to “shop around” for a better offer — a higher salary, a more prestigious company, or a higher title, among any other personal concerns. Survey respondents from the Michigan State University study stated that reneging was a “major” problem, and many have had the experience of a student accepting an offer before they graduate and then backing out months later.
Companies surveyed also stated that some of the trouble actually came not from the new grads but from their parents or guardians, who pressure their children to find the “best” offer from the most “acceptable” companies.
Obviously this is a major concern to companies who put a lot of funding into the recruiting and hiring process. Starting all over again is costly and time-consuming.
Culture and Brand Will Separate You From the Rest
Now, more than ever, having a vibrant and unique culture and brand is crucial. Your unique company identity is what will draw new graduates to you instead of your competition, and it will keep them interested in the long run.
But this doesn’t just mean a differentiated company culture is enough. The key is to effectively communicate that culture and brand. Put yourself in a value position as a company. Articulate via social media and during the recruiting and interviewing process what your company culture means to that candidate in particular. Maybe you foster an entrepreneurial spirit by allowing for innovation from your employees; maybe you have a gym and wellness classes on site; maybe you have flexible hours and work environment; maybe your values are about giving back to the community — whatever your unique value proposition is from your company culture, ring it loud and clear.
This company culture can’t appear out of thin air. If you don’t already have a strong one, it’s something that you must make a priority before you think you can be competitive in this new job market. Get your employees on board and have them embody this culture so it will come to life during the entire hiring process and beyond.
Specific Ways to Stand Out Amid Hiring Competition
Your unique company culture — and your effective communication surrounding it — may be enough for some new graduate job candidates. You will hopefully find new hires who align perfectly with your values, brand, and culture as a whole. However, it’s still important to remember these tips about the hiring process to ensure you aren’t pushing job candidates away in this climate.
New graduates have job opportunities like they haven’t seen in years. While this is a positive step for our economy, companies will need to update their recruitment strategies to meet the new challenge.