The perfect job ad to attract young talent

Published on: 24 Jan 2024

With more than 400,000 graduates emerging from universities each year and entering the jobs market, organisations with a compelling proposition should be well placed to find the talent they need.

Job advert_iStock

Businesses often struggle to attract graduates. A study by the Institute of Student Employers reports that 43% of employers find it hard to hire them. The number of applications has also fallen significantly, from 91 to 62 per vacancy, suggesting graduates are becoming choosier about the jobs they apply for.  

Those looking to recruit graduates, whether directly or through recruiters, need to do all they can to make themselves attractive, and ensure this is communicated effectively on any job advert. A recent study by Deloitte identified what’s important to Generation Z and Millennials.  

Money talks 

Not surprisingly, finances are a real issue, with half of this age group saying they live from one pay cheque to the next. A competitive salary will appeal to this group, and it’s important that any job advert contains this information prominently, as well as referencing other financial benefits such as pensions or annual bonuses.  

But there are other elements, too, that are important. Work/life balance is a priority, with the ability to work flexibly – with part-time hours or hybrid working – highly valued. Highlight any extra perks such as gym membership, discounted retail schemes and any workplace social activities. State what the annual leave allowance is, and whether this increases with length of service.  

Mental health support is also appreciated; 82% of Millennials and 80% of Generation Z say mental health support and policies are important to them when considering an employer (Deloitte, 2023). Be sure to talk about your workplace culture and mention any specific support you provide on any job advert.  

Costs and climate 

And while the cost-of-living crisis is dominating the agenda, graduates today remain concerned about climate change, so make sure that your sustainability initiatives and ambitions are visible on your adverts and website.  

As well as listing the benefits and support on offer, any job advert should also communicate your employer value proposition. This should outline why someone should want to work for your business in particular, emphasising elements such as career development, training and wider company values.  

You should include clear information about the job itself. Explain the work they will be doing, and the opportunities for them to progress. If the role involves international travel, make that clear. Ensure you use clear language and avoid any jargon or gendered language, which can be off-putting.  

Finally, it’s important not to include requirements that aren’t needed. Some job adverts, for example, state that a driving licence is required, when the role involves very little driving, if any. This may have been cut and pasted from another job advert, or included as standard when there really is no need.  

Making sure your job advert includes information that will appeal to graduates will vastly improve your chances of attracting the applicants you want to hear from, and ultimately finding the right candidates. A few simple tweaks could be all it takes.  

For more information on how to find the talent you need, read our advice piece.