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Employer Hot Topics

Employer Hot Topics

Employee Benefits of most interest to college grads

As recruiting for new college grads heats up, thought we’d share with you some things that appeal to this candidate group!                                            

Class of 2014 graduates were asked what types of benefits were most important to them as they sought employment.  Below are the top responses.

  1. More than 2 weeks’ vacation
  2. Tie between Tuition reimbursement for advanced education & Promises of annual salary increases
  3. Company match for 401K (retirement) program

These rankings of benefits simply reflect the values of this latter half of the Millennial Generation:

  • Clearly, judging by number one – this generation continues to place high value on personal time and Work-Life Balance.
  • Interest in professional development and growth is reflected in the appeal of advanced education tuition-related benefits.
  • Millennials’ concern about stability continues, as reflected in the significance of regular salary increases and employer retirement contributions.

Therefore, if your organization can offer these things (or, most of these things), you will be very attractive to new college grad candidates!

List Source: NACE, National Association of Colleges and Employers’ Student Survey: The Job/Employer Preferences of the Class of 2014 with 10, 210 bachelor’s degree seniors responding

Employer Hot Topics

Preferred employers and jobs: what are college graduates looking for?

In a Student Survey: The Job/Employer Preferences of the Class of 2014 from NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers), more than 10,000 respondents’ preferences for work environments was captured.

Top Employer/Work environment attribute          % rating as Very or Extremely Important to them

Opportunity for personal growth                                                92%

Job Security                                                                               84.5

Friendly co-workers                                                                   84.3

Good benefits* package                                                            79.3

*More about this in an upcoming blog article!

So, for you employers that lead with and tout your starting salary, or salary plus bonus figures, note that “high starting salary” does not appear in this list of top four.   In fact, you would have to go down to 10th place to find that only 52% of student respondents ranked this as Very or Extremely Important to them.


How have attitudes changed from the Class of 2013 to the Class of 2014?

Values/preferences rated as Very or Extremely Important with the largest percent change from 2013 to 2014:

  • High starting salary (+6%)
  • Located close to home (+5.2%)
  • Diversity (+5%)
  • Casual atmosphere (+4.7%)

Maybe an obviously better college job market gives students the confidence to increase preference for high salary, but it still doesn’t come close to the Top 5.

If more college grads want to live and work close to home, that says to employers, “shop locally”!   Get to know the bachelors/master’s degree granting institutions in your own backyard and spend time there.

Finally, an increase in an appreciation for diversity comes as no surprise to people who follow current events and demographics.   These graduates want their workplaces to reflect the broader world.

  • Source: NACE
  • Timing of Survey: February – April 2014
  • Respondents: 10, 210 bachelor’s degree seniors graduating by August 2014
Employer Hot Topics

Attracting the college candidate – Part II

What kinds of activities will increase college students’ familiarity with you, and hence, potentially increase the number of college and new-college-grad applicants?

In Part I of this blog series, I was inspired by information from the December 2014 meeting of the Minnesota Association of Colleges and Employers.  This article was inspired by the students we heard from in a student panel at that event.

Students were asked about the kinds of things that really help them get to know an employer?         Booth area2

In-depth employer website.

Clear information about the product/service, organization mission, customers, staff, and positions.  Ideally, if you do much hiring of interns and entry-level professionals, having a College section of your Careers page that includes details about common roles, helps potential applicants understand you and your needs.

Appear at college campus events.

Whether career fairs, campus interviews, information tables, or presentations at student organization meetings, if you can be seen and heard, word will spread.

Extensive 2nd round interviews.

When a candidate is invited to final rounds of interviews at your site, meeting with a number of individuals, including even lunch with new hires, receiving a presentation about your values and services, and an extensive company tour are all very helpful in getting to know an employer.

On-boarding & New Employee Orientation.

Once hired, training and orientation activities are key.  Classroom style learning was cited by one college graduate as impressive (“it showed me that the company really cares about its employees”).  Never under-estimate the power of first impressions.  Keep in mind, these students have friends, and if they have a positive experience with you, they will tell them!