Everything you need to know about hiring new graduates

Let's explore how being proactive and transparent can help you significantly when it comes to hiring new graduates.

Hiring new graduates can be tough. However, it's worth the work because there are many benefits to bringing them aboard. They're naturally tech-savvy, they're more available, they have a different vantage point and they're willing to work hard to earn their spots.

Everyone is on the lookout for the next batch of entry-level talent, and you can't afford to miss out. But how do you make your company look appealing to that group when everyone is trying to impress them? In this article, we'll discuss how you can use proactivity and transparency as secret weapons in your recruitment strategy for hiring college graduates.

Consider pre-graduation activities

If you want to get the attention of new talent, it's smart to familiarize them with your company before they leave their college campuses. You can do that by:

  1. Visiting – If you send recruiters to meet current students on their campuses, you can tap into talent before it becomes widely available. Beacon Hill sends our own campus recruiters out several times a year to do just that!

  2. Creating internships – Many colleges require their students to take on an internship as part of experiential learning. If you create your own internship program and promote it to relevant college programs, students will get exposure to your company and will think of you when it comes to their first, post-graduate role. Some internship programs even build in pathways that lead directly to jobs, lessening the recruitment lift. Easy!

  3. Going to college fairs – Participating in college fairs gets students familiar with what your company does and what you have to offer. You can also shows them potential career paths and recruit them right from the fair.

  4. Mentoring – Offering mentoring programs to upcoming talent is always a strong choice. Many students are seeking guidance on their life paths and careers. Make your experienced professionals widely available to new graduates to position your company as one that values growth.

  5. Using career boards – Campus advisors and other leaders will often allow companies to post internships and jobs on their career boards. Students are encouraged to look there on a routine basis, so it's a great option to get in front of students.

  6. Sponsoring career activities & events – Being some level of sponsor for certain campus activities and/or events provides you with options to showcase your brand. Different levels of sponsorship provide varied perks, but at a minimum, students will start to know your name if you sponsor them.
"Building a strong brand on campus has an enormous impact on hiring success. Our Campus Recruiting team is responsible for creating strong relationships on campus and the in-person connection with students is invaluable. Your brand comes to life to a student through your campus recruiter where they can share their own stories of success and opportunities. The majority of our entry-level, talent hiring is derived from career fairs and the investment in their hiring has turned into producing top performers in our company," – Ashley Pfeiffenberger, Lead Corporate Recruiter-Campus

Provide exclusive opportunities

Professors know their students better than almost anyone else. If you dedicate some time to networking with them, they may be willing to help you isolate a group of top-performing students or recent graduates who might accept an exclusive invitation to take tours of your company or would appreciate a personal invitation to apply for new jobs.

Using a white-glove approach to new graduate recruitment can be a very real differentiator.

Think about seasonality

Recruiting new talent is a year-round effort, but coordinating your activities based on the academic year or other relevant time periods can help you win more consistently. Traditional musts are the fall when students are coming back to campuses, and spring when graduation is imminent, but there are also other times to consider that are more niche.

For example, if you know a certain college requires internships to be completed in a certain semester, try to get ahead of it by showing your options to them a few months before when they are actively searching.

Spend marketing dollars on them

"Pay to play" is not a new concept, but is frequently dismissed when it comes to entry-level roles aimed at new graduates. Running paid media campaigns to attract them is essential to a well-rounded recruitment strategy. Even if your budget is small, be sure to allocate something to the effort if you want to compete effectively.

And remember – when you do begin to write and promote ads – don't just send them to students who are about to graduate. Make an entirely separate set that focuses on recent graduates because once they leave the campus, some ideal matches may be lacking a next step and could easily be converted to hires.

Update your job descriptions

How your job descriptions are written matters, especially when you're hoping to appeal to a younger audience. Here are some tips:

  • Use inclusive language in your job descriptions and make a note that new talent is encouraged to apply.
  • Highlight programs that candidates can take advantage of if they are new to the industry.
  • Consider college majors or career pivoters as "new" too and write your descriptions with that audience in mind. Talking about things like cross-training to earn their interest will go a long way.
  • Include wording about what matters most to them. For example, Gallup noted that Gen Z cares about choosing employers that prioritize employee well-being, offer ethical leadership and are diverse and inclusive.
  • Provide the salary – New graduates aren't alone in wanting salary transparency, but it is still a priority worth noting. Include the number whenever possible to avoid wasting your time and theirs.

Post your roles widely

New talent finds jobs all over the place, so it's important that you post roles on each of your social channels and beyond. Getting eyes on your jobs is half the battle.

Leverage your team

are a wonderful way to build your talent pool. Ask your team to refer other talented peers who may be graduating soon or looking to pivot. Incentivizing that action could also be a good strategy, depending on what you are able to offer them.

Leveraging peer-to-peer sharing is just smart. Once you post your open roles, ask others to share them to expand your reach. When you cast a wider net for your open roles, you will naturally come away with more fish in your barrel.


If your team is small or overloaded, consider finding a staffing partner that can help you source new talent. They'll be there for you when you're working with a tight deadline or toward a tough goal.


If you focus your hiring efforts on meeting new graduates and other fresh talent where they are, you can win their approval. Make the time – it will pay off!

Related Resources