Obtaining that big corporate job fresh out of college is becoming a thing of the past. Stuffy upper management and sitting in a cube 9 to 5 is simply not the environment where college grads feel they can grow their creativity. So what’s the next big trend? Startup culture is where Millennials want to be. Working in a startup is a free range for the inspired college grad. In the startup life, employees have the ability create, be innovative, work in grounded teams and develop.

Being part of a working team is the greatest appeal, which is hard to come by in a large corporation. Perhaps it’s the personal vibe each employee receives or the fact that the success of the company is dependent on each individual working on the projects being shipped. Whatever the reason may be, you can’t battle the fact that 15% of college grads want to work for large companies.

This leaves us with 85% of college grads hoping for a position with SMBs or nothing at all. What does this mean for large corporations? They need employees, too, but who is going to fill the gaps in the coming years? Are they left to crumble at the hands of a changing workforce uninterested in their landscape? Maybe, but not likely. The solution: large corporations can adopt the tactics used in small businesses. Large business can take these tactics and turn them into a one size fits all, with only a few adjustments…


85% of college grads are hoping for jobs with SMBs or nothing at all. Where does this leave big corps? Click To Tweet


Tweet it. Post it. Like it. Share it.

If you’re still trying to convince yourself your candidates aren’t judging you based on social media and your overall web presence, you’re wrong. The first step this social media obsessed generation is going to take is looking your company up on social platforms to see if you exist or have that fresh brand they’re looking for. Creating and maintaining a strong social media presence shows your company is tech-savvy, forward-thinking and most importantly, exciting. While being “fun and exciting” isn’t the defining characteristic of being qualified for the best place to work, the average person works 90,287.9 hours in their lifetime- work has to be at least a little fun and very engaging.

Fortune 500 Social Network Adoption:

  • Twitter (83%)
  • Facebook (80%)
  • YouTube (67%)
  • Google+ (38%)
  • Blog (31%)
  • Pinterest (36%)
  • Foursquare (51%)
  • Instagram (20%)
  • LinkedIn (97%)

Are you still telling yourself company social presence doesn't matter? Check out these numbers: Click To Tweet

These numbers have improved greatly even over the last few years, but simply creating the account and letting it collect cyber dust isn’t going to cut it. Designate at least one to two people to manage the social accounts. This person needs to be innovative, creative and not afraid to ask a coworker if they can snap a pic of them working for the Instagram page. Keep on top of trends and be active. Being a socially active company doesn’t necessarily make you less corporate-y, but it gives you a more inviting edge to job seekers.


Extend Your Innovation to the Whole Company

Similar to a suggestion box, create a company-wide email where everyone is free to submit their business ideas, social media inspires, posts or pictures employees think should be recreated by your team or team bonding ideas without any judgement or pressure of a brainstorming session. Just like the social media manager mentioned above, one person can be designated to sort through these ideas and file them under one giant idea umbrella to bring to a brainstorming meeting where ideas are discussed anonymously (or not if you want some cred)! This is a respectful and creative way to bring in new, trendy ideas to the big corporation without making anyone feel like they can’t contribute their ideas during a large corporate meeting.

How do you spark #innovation at your organization? #leadership Click To Tweet


Showing the Serious Side in a Seriously Good Way

We understand not everything can revolve around trying to be fun all the time- that’s simply unrealistic.

Working in a large company isn’t a walk in the park, and you need to attract the self-driven, disciplined employees your ship needs to keep sailing. Employees want to feel their professional development is being valued, which is easier to convey in a smaller company. Incorporate that personalized aspect of small business by displaying your care for employees through social and recruitment messaging.


Almost 8 in 10 grads expect formal training from their first employer. See what Henry Ford has to say: Click To Tweet


Almost 80% of graduates expect formal training from their first employer after graduation but only 50% of graduates from 2014 received it. Do you offer a formal training program? If this is something you offer, blast that information all over your messaging platforms to display what your future employees will get out of this program. College grads are very aware they’re learning how to walk all over again with entry-level jobs. They’re not going to step fresh out of school knowing everything about the corporate world you’ve been working in for years. Show and tell them you are willing to, not hold their hand, but invest in their education to make sure the experience they’re getting at your company is worthy.


“The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.” – Henry Ford


Seventy-seven percent of companies expect recent graduate hires to stay less than a year. However, recent college graduates expect to be in their first job for at least three years. So where does this disconnect lie? In the failed attempts for employers to meet college graduate expectations.


Now is the Time for Change

Invest in employee development programs and watch driven individuals flock to your company. Spread the word through video, social and content campaigns to share that you care about employee experience. Build a business case to either create or revamp your formal training program and any learning and development programs needed.


Conquer Candidate Experience before Attempting Employee Experience

The candidate experience vs employee experience is comparable to the chicken and the egg. Nurture your new hires by displaying your commitment to your current employees. Showing your employees you care about their experience at your company cycles back to the employer brand stage. If employees have a good experience, they’ll improve your employer brand by word-of-mouth. This works both ways. When a candidate experiences poor recruitment, it can set the tone for an even worse employee experience later on.

Aside from salary and benefits…

  • 39% of college grads want challenging and interesting work
  • 37% want flexible work hours
  • 34% want rapid advancement opportunities


Shine Bright Like a Diamond… Now

If your organization isn’t malleable enough (large companies typically aren’t) it doesn’t mean you can’t meet these demands in the middle.

  1. Conduct onboarding interviews to identify new college grads expectations, motivations and goals within their new position
  2. Can’t offer flex time? Then provide areas in your large office space where employees can escape to work in a more relaxing environment, take walks, and get a break from the taxing work day and fluorescent lights.
  3. Advancement depends on the employee, but they have to know which opportunities exist. Create career paths to highlight how internally mobile your organization is.


Create your competitive edge by adopting these small business tactics in both the candidate lifecycle and the ongoing process of employee experience. Fight for top talent and win back some of those college grads by swooning them from those attractive startups!


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Ryan Mead

CEO / Partner

Dad, Chief Enthusiasm Officer, Coach, Tech-nut.