In my last blog, I talked about taking a chance on hiring college students and recent graduates. Thinking about giving a college student or recent graduate a chance? If so, you need to have a plan on how you’re going to hire this person to set the right expectations and ensure their success. Below are some hiring tips to help make your new hire your #1 employee.
• Have a clear job description. A clear job description makes it easy for students and graduates to fully understand what the position entails. In this job description, you should include:
o A short company description
o Position overview/goals & responsibilities
o Required qualifications. Avoid generalities such as “basic computer skills”. All college students have to use a computer. Be specific and mention an actual program or software
o Important information such as pay, location and hours
o Instructions on how to apply for the job
• Focus on long term career growth. I recently asked my brother (a sophomore in college) if he saw a job posting for a Sales Representative or a Sales Manager Trainee, which position would he apply for. He told me the Sales Manager Trainee position because “the company is obviously interested in seeing me succeed and grow with the company”. Career development is a huge incentive for students and graduates.
• Think about internships. Not only does an intern fill the position you have a need for, it also serves as a “window” so you can see their work ethic and help you decide whether or not the person is a potential long term employee. For example, we hire interns all year round at Proforma. In fact, we hired one of the most dedicated, selfless, smart and well respected Marketing employees I’ve had the pleasure of working with through Proforma’s internship program.
• Since these students and graduates won’t have experience, you need to find someone who is passionate and dedicated. You don’t want to hire someone who has the personality of Eeyore from the Winnie-the-Pooh books. You want to find someone who has energy, enthusiasm and a passion for something. For example, that particular something for me is sports. I grew up watching and playing as many sports as I could. I am most passionate about football, baseball, basketball and hockey. Sports taught me the value of teamwork. I learned that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible. I learned about leadership and holding people accountable when I was the captain of the team. Ask the person what they are passionate about, then sit back and listen to their response.
• Last but not least, be prepared to help these new hires become successful. Someone will need to manage this new hire. Meet with your team and make sure your hire has all of the resources available in order to help them become successful. Training will be an important role. Implement a new hire orientation and develop hands-on training programs. Talk with your team to see what applicable training would’ve helped them in the past.
Don’t be afraid or unwilling to hire a college student or recent graduate. They just need a chance to prove what they can do. Who knows, your next superstar could be among them.