Over the past couple of years we’ve seen a shift from the traditional peak graduate hiring season (February - April) to a continued recruitment period throughout the rest of the year. With continued recruitment comes increased competition for your current accepts - the 2022 AAGE Employer Survey found that 10% of graduates reneged on their position last year, a 2% increase on 2021. What then can you do to keep graduates engaged during the period before their program starts? We’ve got a few ideas to help in this blog below.
1. Regular Email Updates
Upcoming graduates want to be kept in the loop and emails are a great and easy way to keep the communication chain going. We recommend sending personal emails, as well as adding them to a company newsletter. If they feel like they’re already a part of the company, they’ll be less likely to renege! Include content that really highlights your company’s employee value proposition and commitment to their wellbeing – this could take the form of:
- Company news
- Team updates
- Company and external events
2. Introducing a Buddy/Mentor
Getting to know a dedicated buddy or mentor can make all the difference. This could be anyone from a former grad who’s recently gone through the same process or a more experienced colleague who won’t be directly managing the new hire. You could set up coffee dates - in person or via Zoom! Again, establishing valued relationships and that family feel will make it harder for grads to walk away.
3. In-Person Networking Events
Besides meeting their buddy, you could also kick off the induction process for grads early through in-person networking events and introducing them to their grad cohort. Get creative! - organise a special dinner, escape room, movie night or an early office tour where you can show off your free snacks and enticing city views.
4. Online Groups
If you’ve got a large cohort to manage, starting an online group could be a great and convenient way to engage with your new hires. Utilise social media platforms to post updates about the company, organise events or simply share relevant industry news!
5. Pre-Start Training
Why wait until the start of the program to begin training for new hires? If you can engage your grads in enjoyable, relevant and valuable training before they even start their program, this could increase their perception of the program as having excellent learning and development opportunities before it’s even begun! Find out more about the value of pre-skilling in this blog from Forage.