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6 Career Site Tips to Convert Early Career Talent

May 9th, 2024

Reading Time: 9 minutes

You’re hiring your next class of interns and new grads, and you’ve successfully driven early career talent to your career site. Great job! 

What do they see once they get there? And more importantly, what does your early career page tell them about what it’s like to work at your company?

By researching the early career pages from the Top 100 Intern Programs, we found that there are six best practices for creating a career page that attracts and converts early career talent. 

Tip #1: Easy navigation to your early career page

In our research, we found that 81% of companies on the Top Interns Program list have dedicated pages for early career opportunities and 73% have an easy way to navigate to that page from their main career page.

And for good reason: Gen Z candidates are true digital natives and expect to be able to quickly find the information they are looking for online. When the early career page is easily located, it shows that your company prioritizes early career opportunities and tells early career talent that they are in the right place.

You can have a dedicated main menu item, or add it as a subheading under the ‘Careers’ or ‘Life at Company X’ main menu. ‘Early Careers,’ ‘Students & New Grads,’ ‘Internships,’ and ‘Emerging Talent’ were some of the terms we saw most frequently.

Tip #2: Use photos of current early career talent

Early career talent can spot a stock photo from a mile away. Incorporating real photos of team members and work spaces on your early careers page is an opportunity to give insight into your culture and employee experience.

Our research found that 65% of the Top 100 Intern Programs included real employees in photos on their early career page. While it’s promising to see a majority of companies ditching stock photography, those “real photos” were often limited to group photos of intern classes at a company event, captured on a cell phone. You can do better!

The best images will give early career talent insight into their future roles:

  • Show  early career talent doing their work. When applicable, capture  them interacting with equipment and other tools essential to the job.
  • Highlight collaboration and relationships. Interns working together, as well as early career talent interacting with managers, mentors, and other members of leadership. 
  • Use photos to highlight your workplace and help candidates picture themselves working in your spaces.

Get inspired by some of our favorite early career images below:

Tip #3: Give insight into the hiring process

While shedding light on the hiring process is helpful for any role, it’s extremely important for your early career hiring efforts. These are some of the first professional applications they’ll ever submit!

This can be as simple as sharing application deadlines and how many rounds of interviews to expect. You can raise the bar by giving tips for being successful in the interview process, and even include a video on the hiring process.

We like this example from KPMG, featuring a “How We Hire” section on their early careers page that includes their application process, interview process, next steps, and FAQs.

Tip #4: Use employee stories to address Gen Z’s workplace priorities

Employee stories from current or past interns or new grads give insight into what it would be like for emerging talent to work at your company. Whether the stories are video or text-based, employee stories are essential to building a meaningful connection with candidates.

More than every other tip on the list, this is the area you can stand out from the pack. Only 42% of the companies we researched were using employee story video on their early careers pages. And even less were creating content that spoke to the topics Gen Z cares most about when evaluating a job:

  • Career Stability 
  • Social Impact 
  • Career Growth
  • Mental Health & Wellbeing
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

As you think about your early career content strategy, this could mean uncovering real examples from current interns about how your culture has helped them grow their career, or how they feel their work creates a positive impact on the world.

We love this compilation video from Sonoco because in less than 100 seconds, it communicates community, impactful work, professional growth, and career stability:

University Programs video at Sonoco, a global manufacturing packaging company.

Tip #5: Direct early career talent to core areas of your career site

While it’s important to talk specifically to the early career culture at your company, don’t forget to share what it’s like to work at your company no matter who you are.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Since early career candidates will go to your early career page first, make sure it’s easy for them to navigate to other core areas of your career site.

For example, Gen Z really cares about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. But so do experienced professionals. Rather than repeating all of your DEI information on your early careers page, feature a single DEI story or highlight your company’s commitment to inclusion, and then link to your dedicated DEI page filled with information about your employee resource groups, equity goals, and employee stories.

Tip #6: Include awards and accolades

If your organization has won early career or internship-specific awards, make sure to include them on your early careers page. And while the badges are nice, an even better way to communicate your accolades is with a short text story or quote from a real employee who has benefited from starting their career at your company.

Bonus Tip #7: When in doubt, feature former interns and new grads

One question we get a lot during early career storytelling projects: what if the interns we feature do not convert to full-time hires? Can we still use their story?

The short answer is yes, you can still use their story. If the story still reveals something true about your culture, it remains valuable to a prospective intern trying to learn about your company.

Employer brand philosophy aside, we do understand why a company may prefer to use stories from current employees in their employer brand strategy. In that case, we recommend interviewing former interns who have converted into full-time hires. They can speak to the internship experience as well as what made them decide to accept a full-time job offer.

Interviewing new grads in entry level roles are also excellent choices for storytellers who can speak to the experience of beginning their career at your company.

What story are you sharing with early career talent?

Effective early career pages give insight into launching a career at your company. By using photos, videos, and thoughtful internal linking, you can attract and convert future leaders to your company.

If you’re looking for more inspiration for early career content, get in touch with our team! We’d love to help.

The post 6 Career Site Tips to Convert Early Career Talent appeared first on Stories Incorporated.

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