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.

Watch for extracurricular activities

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.

Start early

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.

Follow up

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.

Secure that perfect graduate for your company early

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

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.

4 Comments

  • Avatar Diane Redding says:

    I appear to be the adherent of the idea that there is no better way to reach out to college grads is by means of social media. It would definitely save your time and effort if instead of trying to visit as many campsites as you can you’d just post notices on their social media profiles.

  • Avatar Paul says:

    Common sense would lead us to believe that social media is the best way to target a student audience. Yes, the college generation spends endless time online, but I don’t think all of them would appreciate interference into their personal life. Even if job search is among the most important and time-consuming activities some of the student would surely want to leave private life private and to make a fine line between job search and their social outlets.

  • Avatar Mary Schefield says:

    While trying to make a fine catch in the pool of college grads it’s important not to forget about your organization’s priorities. No matter the prestige of university all college grads need substantial and sometimes long training, as even such notion as corporate culture may be new to them and you’ll have to lead them by the hand and explain the most obvious things. If your company is not ready for putting a babysitter’s mask on, then it’s better concentrate on more mature candidates.

  • Avatar Stacy says:

    I think one of the biggest mistakes employers make in college recruiting is chasing the Ivy League graduates, while not being able to offer those kids what they’re looking for. Sometimes it’s better to be a big fish in a small pond at a lesser known school than to compete with larger organizations at a top ten university.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Topics

  • Subscribe to Our Blog

  • Latest Posts

  • Stay Social