2 keys to retaining your younger and college graduate employees


For this 12 months’s college seniors, commencement marks a day to acknowledge and rejoice their tutorial achievements and the beginning of post-college (and post-pandemic) life.

After greater than a 12 months of disruption and distant studying, a lot of the category of 2021 was in a position to expertise conventional commencement marches fairly than watch audio system by way of Zoom, sitting at a display screen. Vaccine deployment and the gradual lifting of pandemic restrictions means the post-graduation job search may return to the extra acquainted practices of assembly with recruiters, combing job boards and sprucing résumés to land that first post-college place.

The job market is full of alternatives for 2021 graduates. In accordance to iCIMS’ Class of 2021 report, 60% of HR professionals stated their corporations are opening new positions for entry-level hires. Demand for expertise within the present market is significant, with the expertise pipeline continuously operating dry.


Nonetheless, college seniors are possible to discover themselves getting into a workforce inherently modified by the pandemic. Organizations identified for his or her vibrant cultures and communities, that are bedrocks for early expertise improvement and mentorship, at the moment are both going hybrid or totally distant. Alongside these new fashions is younger generations’ constant expectation to have a human-centered office.

To seize the eye of current graduates, human useful resource execs and hirers want to stability the nuances of the post-pandemic workforce with the expectations of the following era of expertise.

Job seekers and younger candidates are exploring many choices

First-time job seekers are lucky proper now, contemplating the widespread variety of alternatives out there for entry-level positions. With open job listings reaching historic numbers, this 12 months’s college graduates have extra choices than the younger folks earlier than them to discover the proper match and efficiently launch their careers. However the very nature of the trendy job search could make endless decisions a double-edged sword; the method of navigating job boards and networking websites, whereas sifting by way of recruiter emails, can appear to be a full-time job in its personal proper.

Additional, a job itemizing can additional complicate a candidate’s search. Many listings are written with outdated language and don’t all the time deal with key concerns for first-time job seekers, like pay transparency or DEI (variety, fairness and inclusion) efforts. In accordance to iCIMS’ current research, 72% of college seniors stated they strongly anticipate or require employers to be dedicated to DEI in hiring practices. It’s not not possible {that a} candidate might select to pursue a job with one employer over one other primarily based on a job posting’s point out of dedication to DEI.

This underscores how essential communication is now. Standing out to candidates requires rethinking the informahtion you share as a company and the channels you employ to join.

For instance, pay transparency has emerged as a strong instrument to assist guarantee equal pay for equal work. This kind of information-sharing not solely displays the values of your group however provides first-time candidates an vital body of reference. With so many decisions out there, making a powerful first impression issues. On this regard, many job listings have a good distance to go.

Human connection should rise to the highest with hybrid codecs

At this time’s entry-level employees could also be getting into a office which doesn’t focus solely on in-person expertise. With distant work  know-how, corporations can now rework firm insurance policies to maximize productiveness by giving employees larger management over how they work.


With the flexibleness afforded by extensively used remote-work know-how, HR professionals are re-drafting insurance policies to give employees larger management over how and the place they obtain productiveness. Research conducted by iCIMS reveals organizations are more and more loosening or eradicating location necessities with distant work and over half (53%) of the corporations surveyed are offering stipends or providing hiring bonuses for dwelling workplace setups.

Nevertheless, creating an area for human connection is vital. Organizations that go all-in on distant work with out constructing an institutional framework for mentorship, profession improvement, and group threat alienating new employees who’re simply getting began of their careers. In iCIMS’ annual report on college college students, solely 2% of entry-level job seekers say they need to work utterly remotely, whereas  64% reported they want to work in an workplace a number of days per week.

Corporations and HR departments ought to construct connections into their firm buildings. Be certain that younger and new hires are assembly totally different division colleagues all through their onboarding, in addition to educate new hires to boards the place they’ll share their pursuits and passions. A few of these classes might be available, as a result of they’ll have carried over from the pandemic.

Bear in mind these steps to constructing a thriving firm tradition have to be location-agnostic. Regardless of the place they’re, irrespective of what number of days they spend within the workplace, employees have to be in a position to discover a group the place they’ll share views. Office alternatives like networking and on-the-job studying is a technique to reinforce cultural id and values and additionally hold employees on the staff. And understandably, employees need to develop their careers in communities which can be invested of their success.

Partaking immediately’s latest job searchers requires constructing a expertise technique that solutions two key questions: What lasting impression does your model search to make on each the world and their careers? And when you’re an HR individual, how are you boosting them to a brand new skilled degree? The office could also be altering, however the latest class of college grads has shared with us human connection and sturdy mission are nonetheless fascinating to job seekers.

Jewell Parkinson is the chief folks officer at iCIMS. Parkinson joined iCIMS in 2020 as its CPO, a task she brings over 25 years of  expertise to, collaborating with and empowering high-performing groups.