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Graduate recruitment fairs: 3 ways to attract the best and the brightest

Graduate recruitment fairs: 3 ways to attract the best and the brightest

Graduating is one of the most exciting (and nerve-wracking) times in a person’s life. After spending years sharpening skills, soaking up knowledge and preparing to take on the world, the time finally comes to embark on a career journey. The possibilities are endless, as is the potential.

You can feel this energy in the air at recruitment fairs. Which is why, amid a throng of excitable fresh grads, it is important that brands find effective ways to connect with new talent and consider what resonates with and drives them. Doing it right, especially at a time like this, can make a real lasting impact.

Put your message in their hands

Branded products offer small, simple but highly effective ways to tell your story. It won’t be the full story. But it will be a piece – a quick tasty bite – that lets a new graduate know what you are about (and ideally leaves them hungry for more). Every piece forms part of the bigger picture. And when you consider the prevalence of promotional products among this age group, the potential of this channel starts to become clear.

Studies by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), a research organisation in the industry, show that 100 percent of millennial respondents have received a promotional product in their lifetime. And 88 percent of this group say they have a more favourable impression of a brand after receiving one. A large proportion receive multiple products regularly, and they generally hold onto them, meaning brands have the power to literally put a lasting message in their hands.

So, what should brands keep in mind when it comes to recruiting graduates?

1. Make a connection

Cut through the clutter with something that genuinely engages and stands out. It’s the way you capture attention and ignite ideas. You can have the biggest budgets in the world but if you fail to create that moment that surprises and delights, you’re not going to connect. Think about the way you use language, colour, imagery—be empathetic, put yourself in the shoes of your audience—what would make you stop and think?

2. Give them something to believe in

Millennials, more so than previous generations, are drawn to paths that serve a purpose and have meaning to them. Making your brand’s values and vision clear can help inspire and attract likeminded talent. Create a memorable campaign or message that can accompany your logo on a product.

Remember that the products you choose reflect on your brand—not just in quality, but in their impact on our planet. For example, travel mugs and reusable water bottles aren’t just great branding tools, they also say something about respect for the environment and corporate citizenship.

3. Make them feel appreciated

It can be tough out there for young people these days and getting something for free is usually appreciated. Especially if it’s tailored for them – it can help them feel wanted and start to see themselves as part of something bigger. Giving quality technology and travel accessories, or contemporary apparel, sets a precedent for how you look after your people.

Brands today succeed when they appeal to the passions and interests of their audience. A fresh graduate is a burst of new energy for your organisation. You want to harness their enthusiasm and drive. If you can be a beacon of clarity, focus and direction, in a time that can be overwhelming to many, you’re going to engage and attract the personalities and skills that will give you an edge.

So, while it might only be something small that they take away, focus on that moment of connection because you never know where things might lead.

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