They may have a plethora of jobs to choose from, but that doesn’t mean your electrical distributorship can’t find and recruit qualified college graduates to round out its team in 2020. Here are eight strategies to start using today.
College graduates have become a hot commodity in today’s market, and companies across all industries are actively chasing this slice of the human resources pie. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), U.S. employers anticipate hiring 5.8% more new college graduates from the Class of 2020 than they did from the Class of 2019. And, nearly half of the companies NACE polled for its Job Outlook 2020 survey rate the job market for the Class of 2020 as “very good” and nearly 10 percent deem it “excellent.”
“Even though the Class of 2020 is beginning with the same overall planned hiring increase as that for the Class of 2017, there are positive differences in this year’s results,” NACE points out. “For example, when compared to the results for the Class of 2017, nearly 10% more respondents are increasing hiring and 5% fewer respondents are decreasing hiring for the Class of 2020.”
For electrical distributors, this could mean stiffer competition for the most qualified college grads that are making their way into the workforce. Here are eight ways companies can rise above the competition and do a better job of recruiting, attracting, and hiring college grads during the year ahead:
- Don’t be too quick to judge. “If you judge candidates right away based on interviews, case studies, or personality tests, you’ll miss the valuable qualities that they don’t know you care about, like creativity, honesty, leadership, and the ability to collaborate,” MindSumo’s Trent Hazy cautions in Hiring New Grads? Don’t Make These Mistakes. Instead, give students some time to shine. Try holding interviews in non-traditional settings or having someone take candidates on a short on-site tour to get them comfortable before the official interview. “You can also put your top candidates through multiple interview types or meals to give them time to really open up,” he adds.
- Give them a chance to showcase their skills and knowledge. Seeing a candidate’s work sample is a great way to test out his or her skills, and it can increase your ability to predict performance by about 40%. “Try to find a way to let students show off what they can do—for example, submit a work sample with their application, highlight a neat project from a relevant class, or complete an assignment before the interview,” Hazy writes. “Oftentimes, you’ll be surprised by who has the skills you’re looking for.”
- Use the right keywords in your job listings. Companies go through a lot of trouble to research and use the right keywords in their online content, but they usually drop the ball when it comes to their job ads. IraS Wolfe, president at Success Performance Solutions and author of Recruiting in the Age of Googlization and Geeks, Geezers, and Googlization, tells distributors to use a free tool like Ubersuggest to figure out which job titles (e.g., customer service rep, customer service representative, sales manager, etc.) are getting the most traction. Then, use those words to create relevant headlines that go beyond sayings like, “Great Place to Work,” which, incidentally, no job seekers are using to find their next careers. “Figure out what version of the title gets the most reach and how competitive those keywords are,” Wolfe adds. “It’s just basic SEO.”
- Rethink your hiring requirements. Think hard about the absolute musts when it comes to the necessary experience and skills, and then go after them. “Instead of focusing on hands-on experience that is directly relevant, you should aim to focus on transferable skills and look at what candidates did in school aside of studying,” Harver Internships, part-time jobs, extracurricular activities, and volunteering can all help you determine whether or not a candidate is a good fit for your organization.
- Get your timing right. Look at whether your hiring calendar corresponds with the academic calendar, as this will impact the availability of new graduate talent. For example, more graduates-to-be will be looking for a job when the end of the academic year is near. “You should also start early with your hiring efforts, as it can take time to find the right fit,” Harver “Take a proactive approach to help guarantee you’ll find the talent you need, by the time you need it. By taking your time to find and recruit the right candidates, you’re much more likely to end up with new talent that’s a good match for your business.”
- Use real, authentic videos on your site. According to Wolfe, including a video in a job listing will result in 34% higher application rates than the listing that doesn’t have a video. And, videos get shared 1,200 more times than text and images combined. But don’t think you have to spend thousands of dollars on professional videography to create impactful videos. In fact, Wolfe says the best clips tend to be the ones that a hiring manager creates by propping up his or her cell phone and talking into it for a few minutes (e.g., “I’m Ira and I work for ABC Distributors, where we currently have a few counter and warehouse positions open”). “Selfies work best,” says Wolfe, “and tend to display the most authenticity and transparency.”
- Market your company, not the job. Recruit candidates to your company by providing information on your mission, business model, industry, and all the entry-level career opportunities you have available. “Encourage all interested candidates to apply and emphasize that the interview process involves working with candidates to identify positions that best fit the job seeker,” ZipRecruiter advises in The Complete Guide to Hiring New College Graduates. “Mention the types of educational backgrounds you are most interested in, keeping in mind that it is best not to be too narrow.”
- Get them onboarded quickly. While elaborate classroom training is not necessary (or even advised) for most new hires, ZipRecruiter tells companies to have at least 8-12 weeks of departmental or mentorship-based training developed. “Companies that hire a lot at the entry-level often assign both an experienced mentor and a peer (a recent grad who may now have about two years of experience) that can provide assistance during the training process,” it adds. “Make sure the new hire begins contributing and making an impact quickly, usually within the first couple of weeks.”
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