Millennials have been dubbed the “generation of explorers” by M3S and Morgan McKinley in their latest research, The workplace in 2025, released just last week.
As a graduate recruiter or HR professional, you’ve invested heavily in attracting and recruiting millennials.
But what do you do when they decide to go exploring?
The “what if” question is no longer hypothetical, with three-quarters of millennials in Ireland saying they’d like to move on from their company within five years.
Are you ready to respond? By leveraging the latest data, there’s plenty of actions you can take to ensure your graduate recruitment strategy hits the high notes.
To help you get started, here are three insights from the gradireland masterclass on effective graduate recruitment strategy.
1. Your Company is not the Final Destination
With 72% of millennials packing their bags within five years, an effective grad recruitment strategy can no longer just include attraction, recruitment, training and development.
Instead, you need to plan for the inevitable exit.
Leavers will be even more commonplace in the coming years, with Generation Z graduates expected to work for an average of 17 companies.
This diversity in the workforce means it’s important not only to integrate the generations, but to accept that millennials and Gen Z move around more frequently.
What happens after your employees leave? You have two choices - you can leave the door open or closed.
Clodagh Bannigan, Director of M3S, touched on this point at the event, highlighting the fact that “49% of millennials who say they’d like to leave also say they’d consider returning to the company.”
While you may be losing your explorers, it’s likely that they’re open to returning. As a result, it’s important to implement a successful offboarding strategy to leave that door open. As Jayne mentioned in the title of her gradireland presentation, “offboarding is the new onboarding”.
An ideal offboarding strategy could include an anonymous exit interview with a third party, ongoing communications with former employees and a way to target them for job opportunities and referrals.
2. End their Tenure with you on a High Note
Your former employees are your brand ambassadors and have the potential to spread the word about how great you are (or not).
People talk. Whether you like it or not. People are using Glassdoor and they’ll tell their friends and family what it’s like to work for you,” Jayne says.
How can you control the conversation? It comes down to driving engagement with Millennials and Generation Z not just when they’re with you, but also when they’ve left.
Companies who do this well invest in private online communities to keep the door open when employees leave. These communities benefit companies by acting as a wide talent pool, source of sales leads and by simply keeping their corporate alumni “warm” in case they’d like to re-join.
What also works well is giving leavers some of the same benefits employees have, for instance allowing former employees to avail of the employee referral scheme. This gives corporate alumni an incentive to refer friends or family to the company.
If you’ve left on a high note, your millennials or gen z graduates are far more likely to recommend their peers to work with you.
3. Boomerangs are on the Rise
Clodagh from M3S talked about a rapidly growing trend emerging from the research they did from The workplace in 2025, the “Boomerang Effect.”
Almost half of millennials, from the 3,400 professionals in Ireland surveyed for this research, said they’d consider a return to the company at some stage as “boomerangs” (rehires).
“They already know the company culture, the stakeholders and the role and they can get up to speed very quickly,” Jayne from KonnectAgain said of the benefits of boomerangs.
Boomerangs are more likely to be productive quicker than external new hires because of this familiarity with how the company works.
In addition, they may have gone to work for a competitor, a new industry or gained new skills, which are invaluable to their former employer.
“Some might be ready to settle down after going travelling,” Jane advises. “They may be ready to make a longer-term commitment and see your company as the right fit.”
Bringing it all Together
With an ever-changing workforce and a recognised skills shortage, it’s important for graduate recruiters to consider “the inevitable exit” as part of their graduate recruitment strategy.
KonnectAgain provides a single community platform that gives HR professionals and recruiters an opportunity to conduct exit interviews and to easily connect with their talent pool as a source of referrals, sales leads and boomerangs.
We’ve also developed a tool, our “Offboarding X-ray”, based on offboarding best practices, for you to discover how well your organisation holds up.
Want to learn more? Contact us for a demo.