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Get Innovative with your Graduate Engagement

There are currently five main generations in the workforce: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Gen Z. Today, graduates in search of their first jobs are younger millennials and Gen Z.

One challenge companies face is aligning and promoting their employer brand to the values of their younger prospects. In the age of social media, finding new ways to engage with candidates can be difficult, especially when there is a new trend emerging almost daily.

When planning graduate engagement, employers must keep in mind the importance that they put on new experiences and learning opportunities. These priorities paired with a desire to have a positive work-life balance is in part due to graduates keenness for self-development and freedom.

Upwork’s former CEO Stephane Kasriel backed this claim in an interview with CNBC Make it. “The traditional 9-to-5 office job doesn’t adequately support the lives millennials and Gen Z want to live,” he said. “They are flexible-work natives, raised during and after the dotcom bubble, where the acceleration of technology has sped up exponentially over time.”

Companies have begun to tap into a more immersive and responsive style of content for different social channels. This content is designed to reiterate organisational values, culture, and identity. There are plenty of ways you can engage with students and fresh graduates, as long as you have your brand at its core.

Here are a few essential tips to capture the interest of millennials and Gen Z:

Encourage your graduate applicants to share their unique benefits.

Ask them to summarise what they are all about, their unique selling points and why they think they’re the best candidate for the role. This is more of a freestyle approach to knowledge-sharing. It helps you engage with your prospects in a less explicit and less intimidating manner.

Allowing them to verbally share gives you additional insight into them through how they present themselves. In articulating their abilities and background, candidates will show you how they align with the company’s culture.

Sell employee experiences while representing your company.

Social media is a great tool to increase brand awareness and offer insight to your company, even from a recruitment standpoint. HR teams who utilise social media for employer branding must be sure to exhibit a true showing of the company – while highlighting the benefits.

Fostering students and fresh grads in the workforce once they’ve joined the organisation can be enabled in plenty of ways. Some ways that have been proven to work are mentoring and knowledge-sharing programs. These help grads to get an accurate understanding of workplace challenges, benefits, and the company.

Redefine Work-Life Balance and embrace remote working.

Millennials and Gen Z are clear on their need for increasing work-life balance, and organisations are taking note. For younger generations, flexibility is crucial to balancing work and life. Their mantra? As long as they can get their tasks done on or ahead of time, it shouldn’t matter when and where they work.

Flexibility can come in different forms such as remote work, freelancing, and part-time jobs. As well as the benefits to employees, progressive companies can also benefit from this setup due to the increased value seen in productivity and cost efficiencies.


A 2017 SHRM report projected that Millennials will make up 50% global workforce in 2020. Add Gen Z to the mix and they are set to make up the majority of the workforce in the next decade. That means that they will soon be in managerial positions, director level, or higher. 

The best time to recruit the world’s future leaders has already begun so don’t hesitate to start experimenting with innovative graduate engagement strategies.


Check out more ways to engage your graduates.

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