Graduation season is just around the corner, and that means a fresh new batch of eager and excited young professionals ready to join your team.
While businesses often prize tenure and experience as key characteristics of a successful hire, the truth is that there’s a lot more to a great employee than how many years they’ve spent in your sector. In today’s skill-short market, graduates bring new perspectives and knowledge to your team and can help to fill the gap in your diversity strategy.
As some of the most devoted and hard-working hires in the job market today, graduates can be a powerful addition to any team. The question is, how do you make sure that you’re bringing the right ones on board?
The Benefits of Hiring Graduates
College graduates make for unique staff members because they join your team with a natural affinity for learning, and a strong drive to prove themselves. While all amazing employees are willing to adapt to suit their chosen roles, graduates are still fresh into the world of work, which means they can more easily be moulded into the star performer you need.
As the “blank canvas” of the recruitment world, graduatess are open to new ideas, different experiences and diverse ways of working. Just some of the benefits you can expect from hiring one include:
- Passion for learning and progress: Young employees are keen to do their best to impress their new boss. They’re taking their first step into employment, and they want to be sure they’re making the right impression. What’s more, their familiarity with academia also means that they’re the first to volunteer for training.
- Affordability: Because most fresh graduates know they need to “work their way up,” they’re often willing to take a lower salary in exchange for training and experience opportunities. Many younger generations will also take a pay cut if it means accessing more benefits like remote working and flexible schedules.
- Diversity: New generations have different perspectives to bring into the workforce. They can think outside of the box and deliver innovative ideas to the rest of the team. In an age where diversity is key to effective recruitment, graduates can be ideal for any employer.
What to Look for In Your Graduates
Like any new employee, finding the right college graduate for your company means working closely with a recruitment agency, and keeping your eyes open for the right markers. Most graduates won’t have previous references to show off in an interview, so hiring managers will need to look for other signs of proficiency instead. For instance:
1. Experience in or Commitment to the Sector
While your young hire might not have an extensive history, they may have elements on their CV that demonstrate their commitment to the role you’re offering. For instance, if you’re looking for a computer technician and your graduate completed an internship at a local software company or spends their free time fixing gadgets, then they might be a good fit.
Experience comes in many different forms, including:
- Apprenticeships or internships;
- Courses and training;
- Part-time employment;
- Participation in collegiate groups.
2. Readiness to Learn
As mentioned above, most students entering the world of work will be keen to learn, but some will show more initiative than others. For instance, the right hire might have already signed up for after-work and after-college classes that help them to expand their skills in the position they’re interested in. For instance, someone interested in accounting might be taking a finance or advanced math course on the side.
During an interview, a great candidate may also ask about any opportunities you have for training or mentorship on the job, demonstrating their willingness to adapt to your needs.
3. A Good Attitude
The right personality can go a long way when you’re putting together the perfect team. In their cover letter and CV, a graduate can demonstrate that they have the attitude you’re looking for to help your company culture thrive. Maybe they’re forward-thinking and well-organised, which can be important to a company that wants to innovate at a rapid pace. Or perhaps they showed leadership skills and intuition in extracurricular activities at College.
When interviewing, don’t focus your attention solely on experience and technical skills. Look for signs that the graduate fits with the employer brand you’re trying to create and would fit well with your workforce.
As beneficial as a graduate can be to any business, they can also require extra work and support. That’s why it’s so important for managers to make sure that they’re onboarding someone who’s willing to take the initiative and support their own progress. The right young hire will be willing to go above and beyond to show a business that they can be trusted. They can demonstrate problem-solving skills and tell stories about how they’ve been able to work autonomously and independently in the past.
For many organisations, a graduate hire is an investment in your next generation of employees. Use competency-based interviews to ask your candidate to show how they would accomplish both personal, and company goals in their new role.