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Where and how are top graduates looking for work?

Each year SAGEA reaches out to graduates who have accepted positions at our member organisations to gather insights from them on their profile, job search preferences and thoughts on Employers of Choice – to date we have collected insights from over 15 000 young graduates!

The rise of social media and access to technology has marked a major change in connecting with graduates in the last 5 years. Whilst Facebook continues to be the social media of choice amongst graduates, as many as 58% using it for job search and staying in touch with employers.  LinkedIn is however the tool to be watching.  With only 18% of graduates subscribing in 2012, this figure is now up to 60% with graduates joining employer networks and groups and researching companies and connections.

It is important to understand what graduates are looking for.  The top three reasons noted by graduates as to their reason for applying to companies supports the continuation of their learning journey – use of their degree, training and development and the content of work are key.  It stands then to reason that organisations who can clearly articulate what graduates will gain from joining their organisation is key to using social media to drive through your messaging.

But it is not all about technology – our message is about finding the balance between Touch and Technology.  Career Fairs, People in Industry, and Employer Events on Campus still remain in the top 6 most used information sources for graduates.  So yes – do invest in an incredible website and social media campaign but ensure that some of your graduates and professionals are at hand to talk to graduates about their experiences and roles within your organisation.  With 7 out of 10 graduates actively making use of the Careers Services at their Universities, it is essential to work collaboratively to provide the insights and experiences that work on each campus.

Successful graduates will make an average of 6 applications during the graduate recruitment season – some much less as you have seen from past articles where we have shown that 60% of successful graduates are receiving 2 or more offers through this process.

Our recommendations for you to consider when packaging your messages for students in the coming season should ideally suit their needs – and the research is telling us to:

  • Share the training and development plan you have in mind to support graduates reaching their potential – not just training programmes but on the job training with world class managers who care about their development and content of the work;
  • Speak more about your reputation as not only an employer of choice but your products and services and graduates contribution to maintaining this status;
  • Whilst your organisation has a long term plan, share your vision for talent and how they contribute to the long term plan – graduates want to see that you have a vision beyond just their programme.

Next month we look forward to sharing our thoughts on company reputations and how employers are working towards using their reputation to enhance their employer brand.

Join our conversation or join SAGEA to be part of our benchmarking, insights and networks – we would love to see more companies involved!

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