Many startup companies have become employers of choice for young people, despite offering average or below-market salaries, Elli Sharef and Nick Sedlet write. They've done so by pitching their job openings as opportunities to do meaningful work, and by giving young talent real responsibilities early on, they write. One startup appeals to grads' "sense of humor and humanitarianism" by promising to donate a cow for each candidate it hires, Sharef and Sedlet write.

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