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Leveraging Your EVP to Attract Early Career Talent

Danielle McClowJuly 8, 2024Candidate ExperienceEmployer BrandingEmployer Value PropositionRecruitment Campaigns

In today's competitive job market, attracting early career talent is crucial for any organization's growth and innovation. According to the Job Outlook 2024 Spring Update from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 24.9% of employers plan to increase hiring for the class of 2024, while 57.7% expect to maintain their current hiring levels for new college graduates. Despite this, HR professionals and recruiters frequently encounter distinct challenges (such as lack of experience, high expectations, retention issues, skills gaps, etc.) when recruiting and retaining this group for full-time roles. 

Early career talent consists of entry-level professionals with little to no working experience. These tech-savvy digital natives are eager to begin working but are mindful of company branding, values and corporate missions. To appeal to this group of talent, organizations must ensure authenticity throughout their recruitment efforts. A well-defined Employer Value Proposition (EVP) can be a game-changer in attracting early career talent.  

How to leverage your EVP to draw in early career talent

Define your EVP clearly

Before you can communicate your EVP, you need to define it clearly and ensure it aligns with your organizational goals and values. Your EVP should articulate what makes your company unique and why early career talent should choose to work with you. This foundational step is critical and will be the basis for all your subsequent employer branding efforts. 

Related: Step-by-step blog post for a detailed guide on crafting a strong EVP

Understand emotional drivers

Understanding the emotional drivers of the audience you're trying to reach is essential. Early career professionals often seek opportunities for growth, meaningful work, and a supportive work culture. Tailor your EVP to address these desires and show how your organization meets them. 

Related: Multigenerational engagement strategy for insights on engaging and motivating early career talent

Incorporate your EVP into job ads

Once you have a clear and compelling EVP, incorporate it into your job ads. Highlight the aspects of your EVP that resonate most with early career talent, such as career development opportunities, mentorship programs, and company culture. Be specific and authentic to attract candidates who are genuinely interested in what you offer.

Related: EVP and your employer brand to attract talent 

Showcase your EVP on career sites and social media

Your career site and social media channels are prime real estate for showcasing your EVP. Use these platforms to tell stories that exemplify your EVP, featuring testimonials from current employees, behind-the-scenes looks at your workplace, and posts about your company culture and values. 

Career sites should be easily navigable by specific groups, such as department, location, level of experience, or areas of interest. Early career talent will want to quickly navigate to open entry-level roles and gain an understanding of career growth opportunities.

Related: Leveraging social media to attract talent 

Engage candidates with your EVP throughout the hiring process

Engaging candidates with your EVP should continue beyond the job ad, career site, or social media. Throughout the hiring process, reinforce your EVP by providing a consistent message. Discuss how your EVP translates into real-world experiences at your organization during the interview process. Offer your early career candidates the chance to speak with current employees who can share their personal stories and experiences, further validating your EVP.

Related: Expert tips in recruitment marketing 

Deliver on your EVP promise once hired

The true test of your EVP lies in your ability to deliver on its promises once a candidate is hired. Ensure that the experience you promote aligns with the reality of working at your organization. Provide the support, resources, and opportunities that attract candidates in the first place. Lending up to your EVP goes a long way toward retaining new hires and turning them into advocates who can attract even more early-career talent.

Related: Boost talent retention 

Differentiate the experience to nurture early talent 

Even if they aren’t ready to apply, keep early talent engaged with authentic content sent directly to their inbox. This group of top talent expects a personalized experience. Treat them like everyone else does, and they will quickly forget your name. Send out CRM campaigns to early talent communities to keep them engaged. Start a newsletter to share open roles, employee spotlight stories, events like volunteer activities, news from corporate social accounts, etc.

Related: Build effective talent pipelines 

Want to learn more about EVPs and your employer brand? 

A well-crafted and authentically communicated EVP can significantly enhance your ability to attract early career talent. By clearly defining your EVP, understanding the emotional drivers of your audience, incorporating it into job ads, showcasing it on career sites and social media, engaging candidates throughout the hiring process, and delivering on your promises, you can build a strong and appealing employer brand.

Our latest guide delves into what it takes to create and activate a standout employer brand. It covers the AI- and automation-enabled technologies that ensure your message reaches the right talent and invites them to apply to your organization. 

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