6 Ways To Recruit STEM Graduates

By Madison White on August 29, 2016

In today’s job market, having to search for employees might seem like a thing of the past.

However, finding those quality applicants that are really going to boost your company can be more difficult than anticipated.

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While most graduates have similar wants and needs for jobs, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) graduates have an even more specific set. If you’re looking to recruit the best STEM graduates, you’re going to need to get a jump start on the competition.

Here are six of the best ways to recruit STEM graduates:

1. Start early.

One of the most effective ways to recruit graduates is to start before they’re graduates. This means that your opportunities shouldn’t only be available to students after they get degrees. If you’re willing and able to help out before then, this builds trust, loyalty, and want for your company.

This often means working in, near, or around universities. If you can, find out if there are any STEM specific clubs on campus and get in touch with their leaders. You could offer to give a short presentation about your company’s benefits or even sponsor an event they may have.

Making personal connections early is vital to scoring great employees. Once they’ve got a great degree in their hand, they’ll be sure to call you first for openings.

2. Develop partnerships.

Another way to do a similar thing is to officially partner with local universities. This partnership could lead to a variety of things like co-ops, tours and hands-on experience with certain classes.

If you’ve been cleared by the university, it also usually means they’re free to advertise themselves as well. If they can show they have success with graduates gaining jobs out of college, it’s a win-win for everyone. Your brand is out there, it’s well known, and it’s sure to draw in some attention from graduates and potential graduates.

3. Offer internships.

Likewise, students are anxious to get started on their success, but sometimes finding good opportunities before gaining a degree can be tricky. Many would be thrilled to work with professionals in their field. If this suits you, offer regular internships at all times of the year. Summer ones will likely be most popular, but university partnered internships equally so.

Having interns means that you don’t have to commit like you would to an employee, but can still establish the same connections. Whether or not a student chooses your company after gaining their degree is up to them, but having past success somewhere is a great indicator of future success. They’ll be sure to remember that.

4. Allow movement and variety.

If the entry level jobs you’re offering graduates seem static and boring, they’re going to look elsewhere. Sometimes people graduating with degrees still don’t know exactly what they want to do. If a job seems too narrow and wouldn’t allow for any collaboration or experimentation, that job doesn’t fit their needs.

If it also seems like they’ll be stuck doing the same job at the same salary forever, there’s not much appeal there either. Make sure there are incentives to the job you’re offering. If they’re allowed to work with other departments, move up quickly in the system, and possibly switch positions if necessary, that’s a job they’re going to apply for.

5. Cater to their wants.

Now, this may seem obvious, but all students want a great starting salary. If you think about what graduates need right out of college, it’s money. They’ve started living completely on their own by now and have loads of student loan debt to pay off.

Some of them may be thinking long term, but I bet you a lot of them are worried more about rent for the next year. If all your benefits are catered to middle-aged people who want good health benefits and solid retirement packages, they probably won’t attract a lot of recent grads right out of the gate.

6. Offer school assistance.

As stated before, many students are going to graduate with a lot of debt. This means that they won’t be likely to jump right into getting a master’s degree even if it’s going to benefit them in the long run. Getting other degrees also isn’t usually feasible with a traditional work schedule.

However, if you make it known that you’re willing to work with them during their degree to fit their scheduling needs and even offer a reward once they’ve completed it, that’s a huge incentive. Promoting something like this means attracting recent graduates who want to continue but are worried about the time and money constraints. Not promoting this means possibly losing some very high quality employees.

If you’re thorough, well-prepared, and willing to find the best graduates, chances are there will soon be lots knocking on your door. Sometimes recruiting can be a lengthy time investment, but the future employees you score will be more than worth it.

By Madison White

Uloop Writer
Wichita State University
My list of places traveled is growing but will never exceed my list of places to travel next.

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