Research from TheBigChoice.com is out and they have asked university students what aspects of their first job are important to them.
It will be unsurprising to most recruiters that half the students wanted access to learning & development opportunities, job fulfilment and career progression. However, responses also showed that organisations will get applications from people who are looking for a strong work/life balance (42%), a 'fun environment' (38%) and 'an ethical place to work' (36%).
The last point was interesting to me as I, in a recent graduate focus group, for the first time heard students use the phrase 'clean organisation' as an illustration of what they'd be looking for in a future employer. Their definition of 'a clean organisation' was 'ethical and not involved in in any scandal or negative media coverage', and it was bought up before anyone talked about salary which corresponds with TheBigChoice.com's survey where less than a third of respondents said they valued salary the most.
What do insights into what students are interested in mean for organisations who want to attract them? Apart from the obvious: where and how you chose to communicate with students is key, it's also a reminder that your website, your social media channels, your collateral items, your exhibition material, your application process etc all need to provide a genuine insight into your organisation. Candidates will look for authentic evidence of your organisation's culture, values, working conditions, benefits etc and they are likely to be weighing all information up with the simple question 'what does that mean to me'?
1. Have two-way conversations It might feel unconventional but give them a chance to contribute toward how your work environment runs. This is the generation of people who are in charge of so many creative aspects of their lives – be it a Snapchat story or writing their own blog. Take away their ability to co-create and they’ll quickly feel deflated. Try running monthly ideas sessions or carry out regular internal feedback surveys 2. Give them recognition Always acknowledge when they’ve done a good job - be it incentives, bonuses or even just something simple like an email or shout out.