Recruiting the recent college grad: Best practices for long-term employment success

Term Paper, 2003

21 Pages


Table of Contents




Benefits to Hiring Recent College Graduates:

Effective Means of Recruiting Recent College Graduates:

Common Mistakes Made by Employers When Recruiting On Campus:

Develop a Relationship with University Faculty:

Less Formal Recruiting Effort that Are Effective:

Media and Making a Positive Connection:

Top Reasons Why Students Accept a Job Offer:

Top Reasons Why a Student Declines a Job Offer:

Nine Areas of Improvement for an Organization’s Recruiting Efforts:

Retaining the Recent College Graduate:



Figure 1. Factors having the greatest appeal to students who accept a job offer. (Kohn, 1975, p. 27)

Figure 2. Factors that cause students to reject a job offer. (Kohn, 1975, p. 28)

Figure 3. How to improve a firm’s success in recruiting students. (Kohn, 1975, p. 29)



This paper discusses the recruiting and retaining recent college graduates. The unique benefits of recent college graduates are explored, as well as the best ways to recruit this specific demographic of candidates. In addition, how to retain these valuable employees, once they have been brought on board is also discussed. As the marketplace becomes ever more competitive, it becomes increasingly important for companies to hire and retain the best candidates possible. By efficiently and effectively attracting and retaining recent college graduates, organizations can be one step closer to ensuring their success within the industry.


I. Introduction
a. Today’s global economy is more competitive than ever.
i. Competitiveness means increased importance on hiring the best candidates.
ii. The best candidates are often recent college graduates.
b. Overview of topics to be covered in paper
i. Benefits of hiring recent college grads
ii. Effective strategies for recruiting
iii. Understanding their desires to retain grads once they’ve been hired.
c. Retaining the best employees equals a competitive edge

II. Benefits to hiring recent college grads
a. Current education
b. Open-mindedness and willingness to learn
c. Longevity potential

III. Effective means of recruiting recent college grads
a. Overview of recruiting
i. Making the company desireable
b. Skills to look for in a candidate
i. Technical/Quantitative
ii. Interpersonal/Qualitative
iii. Communication
c. Discussion of GPA and recruiting
d. When is the best time to begin recruiting
i. Earlier is better
ii. Juniors have narrowed their selection
iii. Seniors have job offers
e. Early recruiting methods
i. Internships
ii. Co-ops
iii. Externships
f. Websites are effective for recruiting computer savvy college students
g. Classroom presentations offer a win-win situation for students and employers
h. Career fairs are effective in building company image and meeting a large quantity of students
i. Interview days can also be utilized with the assistance of the university placement faculty

IV. Common mistakes made by employers when recruiting on campus
a. Recruiting at well known universities
b. Only conducting interviews
c. Not giving students enough information
d. Not enhancing company image
e. Sending uninterested recruiters
f. Not following up as promised

V. Develop a relationship with university faculty

VI. Less formal recruiting efforts that are effective

VII. Media and Making a Positive Connection
a. Various types of media can be used for continuous recruiting efforts
b. Must make a personal connection
c. Must portray consistently
d. Must be tuned to college students needs and desires
e. Must portray enthusiasm

VIII. Top reasons why a student excepts a job offer

IX. Top reasons why they decline a job offer

X. Nine areas of improvement for an organization’s recruiting efforts

XI. Retaining the Recent College Graduate
a. Most grads leave their first position prior to their 3rd year
b. It takes 3 years to repay investment in recruiting
c. By retaining longer, organizations can turn the investment into an asset that pays dividends
d. Maslow’s & Herzberg’s theories and how they apply to graduates needs
e. College grads still want assistance with career development
f. Two sides of career
i. Positions actually held
ii. And relationship with society
g. College grads are a unique generation
i. They appreciate modesty
ii. Like to form their own opinions
iii. And desire work-life balance
h. However, delusions of grandeur can be a detriment
i. Graduates may leave if they do not think they are progressing fast enough
i. Graduates desire challenging interesting work, and will choose that over highly paid boring tedious work
j. Graduates want to fit in
i. They want to build relationships with colleagues
ii. This enhances loyalty

XII. Conclusion
a. There is nothing more valuable to an organization then their employees
b. Without efficient and effective production, organizations cannot compete
i. Competition is now global and more intense
c. Recent college grads offer unique benefits to the organization
d. Retaining these valuable employees is critical
e. Yet, graduates have specific needs and desires and specific methods of recruiting are more effective than others
f. Fulfill these needs, attract great candidates, and retain employees, and an organization will gain a powerful competitive advantage.

Recruiting the recent college grad: Best practices for long-term employment success


Today’s global business world is more competitive than ever. In this ultra-competitive environment, one of a company’s most valuable resources is their employee. For this reason recruitment and retaining of the best employees is critical to a company’s success. One of the best sources for new skilled employees comes from the halls of academia in the form of recent college graduates.

There are distinct benefits to hiring recent graduates over other candidates. The benefits will be explored within this paper. Once it is understood that recent graduates offer a unique opportunity for the organization, it is prudent to then discuss the most effective and efficient means of recruiting these highly sought after candidates. However, bringing a new employee onboard is only half the challenge, retaining that recent college graduate is the key to turning an investment into an asset.

By fully understanding what recent college graduates value, learning the best methods of recruiting these distinctive candidates, and developing best-practices to retain these new employees for the long-term, an organization can implement strategies to enhance their competitive edge in an increasingly competitive marketplace. This competitive edge can mean the difference between being an industry leader or one who watches as competitors eagerly eat away at their hard earned market share.

Benefits to Hiring Recent College Graduates:

Recent college graduates offer advantages that other types of candidates often lack. First and foremost, recent college graduates typically have received the most current education available in key disciplines. This is especially true in rapidly changing fields of study, such as information technology, where command of the latest technology can be a valuable asset.

Non-technical fields of study can profit from recent education as well. Business graduates can apply the latest theories and principles they’ve learned. These theories can then be transformed into effective and efficient procedures, and implemented as winning strategies. They can evolve into new ideas that the organization would not think of otherwise. Recent college grads can be exactly the fresh face an organization needs to push itself outside of its comfortable box.

Graduates typically express open-mindedness and willingness to learn and try new ideas, that seasoned candidates sometimes have trouble with. (Rynes & Orlitzky, 1997, p. 309) They have an eagerness to prove themselves, which can spur an entire organization on to the next level. They are prepared for change, and embrace it, and are not jaded by past experiences in the industry as more seasoned professionals can be. Nor, are they set in the ways things ‘should be’ done, as this is an entirely new experience for them.

Although life-long careers are a thing of generations past for the most part, there is longevity potential with each recent college graduate. The use of mentoring, where the graduate is taken under the wing of someone within the organization who can provide sage advice and assistance, can hone a graduate’s skills to precisely what the organization needs. (McLarty, 1999, p. 104) A well-organized mentoring program can provide the new graduate with the training, guidance and emotional support they need to be successful and become invaluable to the company’s success. (Jeffords, Scheidt, & Thibadoux, 2000, 49)


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Recruiting the recent college grad: Best practices for long-term employment success
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Kimberly Wylie (Author), 2003, Recruiting the recent college grad: Best practices for long-term employment success, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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