Spring’s in the air, as thousands of new grads enter the workforce. A recent study conducted by Collegefeed (published in the HBR Review) shed light on the struggle which companies face in attracting top talent; 84% of companies understand the importance of university and college hiring, but 92% feel they have a “brand problem” that stiles their efforts in winning this cream of the crop.
The study further underscores the important of peer-to-peer discussion in finding and selecting employers. Millennial / Gen-Y consumers view their friends and peers as trusted sources; from purchase decisions to employer selection, the same principle applies. The question that brands need to be asking themselves is how are they leveraging their recent graduates as advocates?
Microsoft has tapped into this insight with their Microsoft Academy of College Hires (MACH) program. “MACH provides a targeted two year curriculum to ensure participants are supported to transition into their appropriate professions and career development to equip employees with the knowledge to plan and action their long term careers.” Part of the MACH program involves having Microsoft employees, who are recent grads themselves, attend university and college events to speak to students about career opportunities within the technology field. This strategy creates a peer-to-peer forum, which is critical to employer consideration and selection.
In short, Millennial / Generation Y employees should be looked at as brand evangelists which can help attract tomorrow’s leaders.