Top 3 Tips On How to Fill Internships and Entry-Level Roles Amid The COVID-19 Pandemic

Though our world is experiencing a huge transformation due to the pandemic, it provides us with a unique opportunity to adjust our hiring strategies and processes to attract the cream of the crop among young college graduates and entry-level jobseekers.

Young college graduates on the lookout for job opportunities are faced with an interesting situation — the COVID-19 pandemic. Things are changing rapidly, and graduates are right in the thick of this transformation in the job market. They are forced to rethink their strategies and career goals.

Despite all the confusion they face, organisations can tap into the graduate pool effectively for their knowledge and skills.

Companies now need to devise unique ways to pursue, attract and engage with young students, who have just graduated from college for their entry-level hiring. Let’s check out the three tips for attracting new college graduates for entry-level hiring.

1. Highlight the opportunities for remote work

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way companies do business. More and more companies are considering providing permanent remote work and work-from-home (WFH) options for their non-essential employees. According to the latest study, more than 17% of IT and software companies are planning to move towards creating a permanent WFH policy for their workforce.

All over, employers recognise the benefits of remote working. Not only that, but even employees also prefer the option of remote work or working from home. As per the latest study conducted by a leading human resource organisation, 35% of employees are ready to take a cut in pay of up to 5% if they get the option of remote working. Besides, the study concluded that more than 60% of job-seeking candidates mention that remote working is ‘somewhat important’ to ‘very important’ factor when it comes to deciding if they will accept the job offer or not.

After all, it provides them with the flexibility to choose their schedule and offers a better balance between their work life and their personal life. It increases the levels of job satisfaction within the young workforce, which will positively influence them to perform better at work.

While scouting for college graduates for entry-level hiring, recruiters and hiring managers should specify remote working opportunities in the job description and advertise their open job positions as ‘remote’ on social media channels. They should be forthcoming about the kind of flexibility that they have on offer, i.e. permanent or temporary. Plus, they need to specify the kind of training and mentorship programmes available and accessible remotely to an entry-level hire.

These training and mentorship programmes allow graduates to have a learning and training experience similar to the teaching received on the job. Also, it is essential to describe and explain the different technologies, equipment or technical support the organisation provides to their virtual employees. And finally, they should explain the different tools and internal platforms, which employers utilise to build an inclusive work environment for remote or home-based employees.

2. Connect with text messages.

Texting is almost like second nature to young graduates and college students. Companies recurring entry-level employees or interns must quickly embrace the benefits of texting to efficiently scout for their ideal candidates. It has been observed that companies who have engaged with their prospects through text message tend to stick to this sourcing formula for entry-level hiring. Social media apps such as WhatsApp and other messaging sites are the best place where you can use text messages to connect with your young candidates.

Additionally, texting offers several advantages for candidates and recruiters alike, and therefore, it could be the most effective medium for recruitment than an email. For example, a text message has a turnaround time of approximately 90 seconds, while an email has a turnaround time of approximately 90 minutes.

Furthermore, statistics also indicate that emails have an average opening rate of 20%, while text messages have an opening rate of approximately 96%. Therefore, text messages accelerate two-way communication and allow hiring managers to find prospective candidates in a shorter period, further reducing the time frame to hire candidates. It enhances the candidate experience of entry-level hires.

While organising the text message outreach activity for entry-level hiring, recruiters or hiring managers should provide a clear explanation of why they have reached out to them, followed by how they made the initial connection (for instance — “We met during the campus job fest”).

Creating your relevance is the best way to chat with your prospective candidates. Once you have given your ‘why’ and ‘how’, ask them the questions. You can add in a variety of questions that would help the candidate navigate through the screening process. It will allow you to funnel down your list of candidates to the most eager or qualified candidates. Once you have got your data, you can then concentrate on these highly engaged candidates to get your perfect new hire.

To keep the entry-level candidates engaged, recruiters can also use texts to provide deeper insights into the benefits of working with your organisation and how they would fit with the work environment and the company culture.

According to the latest study by a top recruiting firm, more than 50% of respondents said that company culture and work environment play a make-or-break role in evaluating and accepting the job offer. Also, employers should consider sending job branding resources via text messages to candidates, such as team photos, job description, office perks, video tour of the workplace, etc.

3. Use social media to gain referrals.

Social media is a rage among the young populace. You will find them active on social media almost all of their time. Therefore, recruiters can use this wonderful resource to highlight their latest job openings and engage with their target audience. The power and reach of social media should be actively leveraged to pursue, attract and engage with suitable candidates, particularly the young talent. The young population is the kind of demography that doesn’t know what life was like before the internet.

Amid the scare of the pandemic, employees are more likely to share their company job openings on social media. Besides, more people are likely to engage with the job postings shared on the social media channels they frequent. Unfortunately, most of the time, the employers don’t have an effective referral programme, limiting the employees from sharing their referrals with the company.
Social media makes it easy for employees to share job postings with their qualified friends. It is for this reason, employers should utilise social media, not just for job postings but also for referrals programmes. It gives employers a wonderful opportunity to build a work culture that supports employee referrals.

Furthermore, employees who feel satisfied at work and with their company, eagerly share their experience with their network and invite other people to join their company. It is what makes social referral a significant element in the recruitment process.

Nobody else can market your company, the way your employees can, and therefore, you must tap into the huge resource of employee referrals to find the right candidates for the job. After all, referrals are a cheaper, easier and faster way of ensuring and hiring the best candidates for the long term.

Introduce new referral tools and social sourcing tools to your employees so that gaining referrals from them will become much easier. With the help of these tools, your employees can easily share the latest job openings with their professional and social network via automated social publishing.

Though our world is experiencing a huge transformation due to the pandemic, it provides us with a unique opportunity to adjust our strategies and processes to pursue and attract the cream of the crop among young college graduates.

After all, they are the future of the country and the economy, and hence, this young talent pool has a wealth of knowledge and information which could be effectively channelised for the overall success of the organisation and the individual alike.

This young talent pool is the one that will flood the recruitment market in search of employment as and when the situation improves. So employers and recruiters who adapt to this new employee demography are well-positioned to find success with recruitment when the economy bounces back.

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One of the prime contributors for this blog, Expertise in Staffing and Recruitment, Content Strategist by Profession. A Music Lover & Traveller by Choice.

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