Although experience is usually a significant factor in the hiring decision, there are some situations when hiring a recent graduate is the smarter thing to do. Finding, recruiting, and training young college graduates can be a great way to lower your hiring expenses and secure your company's long-term future. However, finding the right candidates and persuading them to work for you may be more challenging than you think. Luckily, there are ways to improve your chances of success.
What are some of the benefits of hiring recent graduates?
Before finding out how your business can effectively attract and employ recent graduates, it's important to consider some of the main benefits of doing so. These advantages include:
- You can shape their professional future. Fresh graduates are typically untrained and unlikely to have real-life, professional experience. While this might seem like a downside, you can use this as an opportunity to instill your company's approach, values, and work ethic in your new hire.
- They're highly adaptable. Their lack of experience also means recent graduates aren't set in their ways and are more likely to adapt easily to your requests and demands. Additionally, they'll probably have fewer personal commitments outside work, which means their schedules may be more flexible.
- They can bring a new perspective. Approaching each situation with no prior practical knowledge means a recent graduate may perform certain tasks differently than their more experienced colleagues. While their approach may not always be as effective, they could occasionally find more efficient ways of doing things.
- They're motivated to prove their worthiness. Since this is likely to be their first professional experience, many recent graduates are eager to prove themselves to you and the world. Channeling this desire for the good of your company can lead to great results.
- They're likely to be tech-savvy. Recent graduates have typically been immersed in technology and may transform your organization by using tech tools that you never knew existed. Being technology literate also means they'll easily adapt to the tech you're already using for your business operations.
- They have lower salary demands. Last but not least, recent graduates are often much cheaper to hire than experienced professionals. Finding a suitable candidate means that you may be getting a quality employee for a fraction of the price.
6 tips for hiring recent graduates
Consider these tips and strategies when hiring recent graduates:
1. Post your job openings on multiple channels
The first step after deciding to hire recent graduates is finding suitable candidates. Consider these approaches when doing so:
- Post on job websites. Recent graduates who decide to enter the workforce are likely to submit their profiles to popular career websites, such as CareerBuilder. Research what the most popular career sites for students are, and make sure your job openings are there for them to explore and consider.
- Get referrals from your current employees. Your staff may know suitable graduates or use their alumni schools to connect you with fresh talent. Create a referral strategy that motivates your current employees to recommend potentially suitable candidates.
- Use social media. Younger generations tend to spend a great deal of their time on social media, but you can use that to your advantage. Grow your company's social media presence, and use it to advertise your business as a great place to work and post all job openings.
- Go to career fairs. Colleges and universities often host career fairs to help students connect with potential employers that offer entry-level roles. Make a list of schools located near your organization, find out when they host such events, and use them to promote your open positions.
2. Create a roadmap for professional development
One of the reasons some companies hesitate to hire young candidates is because they assume they're not likely to stay in one place for long. You can't blame them either, as after working hard to graduate, many graduates want to see what the world can offer them and are hesitant to commit to a specific organization. You can improve the chances of them staying with you for more than a few months by making it clear that they can develop professionally while working for your company.
From the moment you hire them, it's essential to let recent graduations know exactly what their opportunities are for internal promotion. Show them where their career path may lead, and inspire them to develop professional goals that they can realistically meet by staying with you. You can create roadmaps for each recent graduate you employ by asking them to complete a new hire survey to find out how they visualize their professional future. You can use the information they provide to show them what they can do to reach their goals.
"Training young college graduates can be a smart way to both lower your hiring expenses and secure your company's long-term future."
3. Reconsider your skills and experience requirements
Many recent graduates are put off by job descriptions for entry-level roles that require certain levels of experience or advanced skills they haven't had a chance to develop. When determining your selection criteria for a role, consider eliminating all unnecessary requirements. Consider asking for other types of experiences instead, such as those gained from volunteer positions, part-time jobs, or internships.
You can also focus on soft skills, which are transferable personality traits. Instead of looking for candidates that can already do the job, focus on those with the qualities to learn the job quickly and become good at it. For instance, if you're looking to hire someone to handle customer complaints, consider looking for a graduate who possesses advanced communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills rather than a candidate who has done it before.
4. Create a mentorship program
Inexperienced employees need guidance, and the best people to give it to them are typically your existing staff. Consider building a mentorship program that pairs recent graduates with seasoned professionals. This can provide your new hires with invaluable practical experience, as your employees with seniority can help them avoid the mistakes they made when they were in their position. Building bonds between new and longstanding employees can make the former more productive and loyal and help the latter share their expertise and develop their management skills.
5. Hire interns
If you're not sure about offering permanent employment to a fresh graduate, providing an internship program may be a suitable compromise. This type of agreement can be mutually advantageous, as you get to evaluate the graduate without paying them a salary, and they gain invaluable, practical experience. However, if you're going to do it, make sure you do it right. This usually means you have to dedicate time and resources to building an effective internship program by hiring an intern coordinator and developing the relevant policies and procedures.
6. Offer job flexibility
Many graduates dream of escaping the nine-to-five lifestyle even before being a part of it. You can provide them with the freedom and flexibility they need to live fulfilling lives while still using their talent and skills to contribute to the development of your organization. Whenever the nature of their role allows it, consider giving recent graduates the option to choose their working hours or conduct some of their work remotely. Emphasize the end goal, and let them know that you're willing to be flexible if they deliver good work.
Recruitment can make or break any organization. While many companies rely on experienced professionals to bear most of the workload, attracting and hiring rookies can be a cost-effective way to improve your current output and secure your organization's future. By following the basic tips in this article, you can improve the effectiveness of your graduate hiring and harness their youthful enthusiasm to achieve your company's goals.
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