For employers who frequently hire recent college graduates looking for premium entry level jobs, attracting the best candidates requires a delicate balancing act of doing what’s best for both the potential employee and the company as a whole. Economic conditions have made today’s job marketplace more competitive and uncertain for everyone involved. Few candidates expect high status positions with an incredible salary and full benefits, but they would like to see a step up from their experiences with past internships. Alternately, employers need to work within their budgets when considering terms and conditions of hiring young employees.

So what benefits do entry-level job candidates expect of their employers? At this point in their professional lives, many young people are fairly flexible about what constitutes a good deal. Recent college graduates realize how the job marketplace looks – every year thousands of new young people enter the race against older candidates who have much more experience. This situation is complicated by the wave of unemployed workers who suffered from employee cutbacks at past jobs. Because of these difficulties, many young people are happy enough to land a first job without worrying too much about the total benefits package.

However, this doesn’t mean that employers can completely circumvent fair salary and benefit considerations for potential employees. In order to not only hire but retain, entry-level workers, hiring managers should be open to some level of negotiation regarding healthcare coverage, dental benefits, retirement or 401(k) plans and opportunity for advancement. Neglecting these vital components will often result in a high employee turnover rate, which can also lead to a negative reputation in the hiring marketplace.

The bottom line is that recent college graduates expect a fair deal when applying to entry-level positions. They understand that they’re just starting out in their career, which comes with certain pitfalls, but they also want to be treated like valued members of a team.