Hiring new graduates can be extremely beneficial to your company if you know how to spot the perfect candidate. But it can have the opposite effect if you don’t hire the right skill set. Looking for promising college graduates can be a challenge in itself, because most don’t have the necessary experience or the credentials to qualify as strong candidates.
The major benefits of hiring new college graduates range from lower pay because of lower experience levels to having the opportunity to mold them into the employees you want them to be. Employees who have a lot of work experience tend to be more set in their ways, and they may become easily frustrated if the processes at your company are different from what they’re used to. Hiring a fresh-faced recent grad avoids this problem because they don’t know what to expect
No matter what industry you’re in, finding the perfect recent graduates to hire can be a challenge. Here are a few things to look out for when deciding if a college graduate should be your next hire.
One way to spot good candidates is to see how they spend their free time. We’re not saying that a college student shouldn’t let loose once in awhile (because we’ve all done that), but when it comes to the kinds of organizations and activities they’re involved in, see whether they fit with your company’s culture and goals. If the position you’re hiring for involves interacting with the public and/or giving presentations, see if they’ve been involved in the student government or their local debate club. If they are, reach out to these organizations for recommendations to see how that student has performed.
If you’re looking to recruit college graduates, it’s smart to plan ahead and perhaps offer summer internships to students who are completing their sophomore or junior year. By the end of their junior year, most college students are starting to look for internships and employment opportunities after graduation. Plan ahead and contact them early, you’ll be getting the scoop on candidates who are more serious about their careers.
After you’ve made initial contact, you’ll want to stay in contact with the candidate. Make a point of contacting them regularly to keep the connection alive. If you’re able to offer some type of interim job or internship to get them initially involved, that can be the best way for you to get to know them better, and vice versa.
If you find the perfect candidate who meets all of your expectations, you may want to get a signed contract in hand, and even offer a sign-on bonus. The competition can be tough for these candidates, so it’s worth your while to formalize your agreement as early as possible.
Finding recent college graduates to fill key positions in your company can provide a lot benefits, and if done right will result in employees who are motivated, energetic, and extremely loyal. Take our tips into consideration as you develop your own best recruiting practices for your next college graduate hire.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, is an author, speaker, Human Resources professional, and workplace social media expert who has a passion for recruiting, training, and all things social media. She is the president and CEO of Xceptional HR, and a leader in the HR community with more than 12 years of industry experience. The author of Tweet This! Twitter for Business, Jessica was named by HR Examiner as the second most influential recruiter on the Internet and the seventh most powerful woman on Twitter. She is a columnist for both SmartBrief and The Huffington Post, in addition to Blogging4Jobs and Human Resources One on One. Jessica has been interviewed for professional articles in CIO Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, SHRM’s HR Magazine, and on CBS. Jessica earned a Senior Professional in Human Resources designation in 2008, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Business from Kansas State University. Originally from a small town in Kansas, Jessica currently lives near Oklahoma City with her husband, Greg and daughter, Ryleigh.