It's graduation season, and a new pool of talent is entering the market. Though these new candidates may be pickier about what they're looking for and what's going to make them want to stay at a job. 

Even before the labor market was turned on its head by Covid, hiring Gen-Z candidates had its challenges. But in a pandemic bounce-back year with a tight labor market, it's imperative for employers with aggressive hiring needs to figure out how to attract and retain these new candidates. Employers plan to hire 26 percent more new graduates from the class of 2022 than they did from the class of 2021, according to a November jobs report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), a nonprofit professional association for college career services. The survey took place from August 18, 2021, through October 1, 2021, including data from 157 employers of new graduates.

Additionally, that hiring will likely take time, which means if you haven't already stepped up, you should start soon. It now takes an average of four weeks to fill entry-level positions, a 57 percent increase since before the pandemic, according to an April 4 survey of recent graduates and employers from jobs site Monster. The survey was conducted in two intervals including during March 2021 and March 2022.

Here are the biggest takeaways from the Monster survey regarding what recent grads are looking for most:

Diversity in the workplace and in leadership

New grads want to make sure the people they surround themselves with come from a diversity of perspectives. When asked what their deal breakers are, 33 percent said they would not accept a job offer at a company without a diverse workforce. Additionally, 26 percent said they would turn down an offer at a company that didn't have women and marginalized groups in top leadership roles.

Mental health support

Having dealt with the emotional burden of the pandemic, grads want to ensure that their workplace is understanding and supportive of their mental health. The Monster survey found that an overwhelming 90 percent of college grads think it's important that they feel comfortable discussing mental wellness at work. Additionally, 84 percent of graduates agree that companies as a whole need to invest more in mental wellness resources to meet their expectations.

Transparency

College grads don't want to hear salary options during interviews. They want to know up front how much they'll be paid for a job before they apply. More than half of grads said they need to see salary ranges in a job ad to entice them to apply, followed by career advancement opportunities (37 percent) and evidence of work-life balance (36 percent). While some cities like New York are set to require salary transparency on job ads starting in May, it's still not common practice. But if you want to attract the best, young talent, you may want to try it.