Most business leaders understand how sales and marketing strategies work to generate revenue, but many don’t translate these techniques when trying to attract top talent. Continuing to use the same old-fashioned advertisements for job openings and expecting high-achieving grads to want to work for your company won’t get you the results you’re looking for. If you want to attract talent, you need to sell your company to prospects as much as they sell themselves to you.

For companies wanting to hire the best, the attitudes and career goals of Ivy League and Russell Group students are a useful proxy for what we’ll call a top candidate. Their needs and desires can help organizations think about what they need to offer in terms of both compensation and benefits. Here are some ways you can look at how to start improving the marketing and selling of positions in your company in order to attract high-achieving graduates.

Offer Challenging Work

Millennials feel that a challenging job includes being involved in innovative work and learning new things on a daily basis. The biggest differences between Russell/Ivy students and their peers are related to challenging work and secure employment. Russell/Ivy students are 21% more likely to seek out work that challenges them and 40% more likely to aim for secure employment. They also feel that challenging work is more about being intellectually stimulated than working long hours.

Take Advantage of Digital Media

Organizations need to think beyond traditional tactics like career fairs and websites in order to tap into high-achieving talent. Students at elite schools still rely on these traditional methods more heavily than digital media, but that is likely because they are more heavily recruited as they near graduation. We expect reliance on career and job-related apps to increase drastically in the near future and for top-tier candidates to start relying on them during their job hunts. Another factor to consider is that only 29% of employers consider their websites to be important, while 68% of the Russell/Ivy group reported that employer websites are an important source of information.

Focus on Quality of Life

This is not groundbreaking news, but employers need to be constantly conscious of the fact that young professionals care deeply about work-life balance and other quality of life indicators. When we asked about career goals, the top answer didn’t describe a level of status the candidates wanted to achieve in their work life but rather how to be successful in order to take time away from work. This is a crucial aspect to consider when attracting high-achieving candidates to your organization. Google offers haute cuisine in the employee cafeteria, AirBnB and Salesforce offer travel benefits to employees so they can enjoy vacation time, and Evernote offers employees home-cleaning services! These are just a few examples of ways you can appeal to potential employees by improving their quality of life.

Customize Your Presentations

When speaking to a group of potential candidates, most presentations are quite short. It’s important to tailor your approach to the young professionals you are interested in working with, both by industry and by geography, to make sure that the messages you are conveying are ones that align well with their values. They should also be messages that are truly authentic to the experience of working for your organization so that candidates get an accurate sense of your company culture.

For more insight into compelling ways to attract top-tier talent to your organization, visit our site and sign up for one or more eBooks on attracting talent.

This post is from NSCS partner, Universum. To learn more about opportunities from Universum OR to see if you qualify for an NSCS scholarship they are currently offering, head to