There’s no use denying it—entry-level jobs certainly have some less-than-appealing traits. While many recent and soon-to-be college grads are mentally prepared to start at the bottom of the ladder, some others entertain far-fetched ideas of what their corporate lives will initially encompass. While it’s important to present them with a clear idea of what their jobs will look like, it’s equally important to put your best foot forward. Remember, an interview goes both ways!
How to entice young professionals while marketing your entry-level positions
We touched on this earlier, but it’s important to mention it again here. Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when writing your job descriptions and interviewing candidates is to be absolutely honest about what the position entails. In addition to filling voids in your current staff, you’re seeking people who will stay with the company for as long as possible. Establishing an honest relationship from your first encounter is a great way to begin.
Beyond retention, another argument for transparency is in managing your recruits’ expectations. If the position requires that they work 16-hour days on occasion due to industry cycles, tell them. If they are expected to think proactively and bring original ideas to higher-ups, or work primarily in a team environment for the first few years, convey these requirements as well. While some will look forward to these aspects of the job, others may be turned off by them. But this latter group is probably composed of people who wouldn’t be a great fit for your business anyway. By narrowing the field, you can spend more time and energy marketing the job to your target audience.
For a moment, put yourself in the position of a college senior. As much as recruiters want to find employees who will stick with them, young professionals are seeking jobs that will help them learn. Perhaps they want to explore the business world before applying to (and deepening their debt for) a graduate program. Or maybe they want to learn about a range of positions within one industry before choosing one for good. With the growing freelance economy, they may even prize the skills they’re developing more than the industry itself.
These are desires that you can use to your advantage. In addition to discussing the range of projects that your employees work on, make sure that you’re highlighting how these assignments are authentic indicators of what they’ll experience further up the ladder. If they will have the opportunity to work closely with potential mentors or future writers of grad-school recommendations, emphasize that as well. And make sure to stress wherever they will have the freedom to work independently to solve an issue. You may find that even those applicants who apply with a “learning experience” mindset might end up sticking around for longer than you both anticipated!
Discuss company culture
Once you’ve clearly established what the position entails, do the same for your company culture. If your company expects employees to pitch in when other departments require occasional assistance or otherwise put the group before the self, make this evident. But at the same time you can discuss the positive aspects of a team-like environment. Provide examples of times where everyone banded together and exceeded expectations in the process. Emphasize the opportunities for learning and social interaction with more people. And be sure to highlight the fun trade-offs that the company provides, such as running races for charity, enjoying occasional free lunches, or taking part in organized post-work outings.
If you’re traveling to a select list of universities to conduct on-campus interviews, bring some recent recruits along with you! These employees will be able to sing your company’s praises convincingly to others within their age groups. Due to their experience, they may even be able to weed out anyone who they may not feel is a good fit for the position better than your recruiting staff can. Make sure you encourage these ambassadors to discuss the positive aspects of their first years and what they intend to do next. It can never hurt to highlight the variety of potential career paths within your company.
While you’re considering your next group of new hires, get a head start by posting a learn-and-earn position on HireOwl. You can hire students to work on real projects that provide you both with authentic test-drive opportunities.