As employers, it’s important to hire the best and brightest candidates you can possibly find. Are you having trouble identifying qualified and experienced candidates to fill your open positions? Have you considered hiring college students or recent graduates? Many students and recent graduates have great skills and knowledge, but are having trouble finding decent jobs. Grads typically report they cannot get hired without experience but no one will give them an opportunity to get that experience. Now is the perfect time to take advantage of today’s slower economy and hire qualified college students or recent graduates that might not have been possible in the past.
As a Recruiter, I have noticed that the idea of hiring recent college grads tends to be black or white. People either are for it or against it. I’ve heard arguments both ways, but those who are against it are typically more vocal. Out of all the conversations I have had about new grads, nobody has ever been able to explain why they won’t hire a college student or recent graduate. Well, let me rephrase that…Nobody has ever been able to give me a logical and valid reason why they won’t hire a college student or recent graduate.
I hear far too often that today’s college students and recent graduates are narcissistic, fragile and expect an easy job with high pay. While I agree that there are people like that, the majority of students and graduates are the complete opposite. Most students and graduates have high energy, enthusiasm and just want an opportunity to prove themselves. Another excuse I hear all the time is that the student or graduate doesn’t have relevant experience. While that may be true, I know of many employers who have kept positions open for 6 months or longer because they want someone with industry experience. I don’t mean to burst anyone’s bubble here, but that same student probably didn’t have an understanding of business, biology, philosophy or insert any other major, prior to them learning it in school. I firmly believe that someone who learned human anatomy is fully capable of learning how to sell something or compile a spreadsheet!
The truth is many employers are narcissistic. They don’t want to take the time to train someone. They expect to find someone who can step in on day one and hit the ground running (and in today’s economy, usually for a lower wage than just a few years ago). How are these students and graduates supposed to gain experience if nobody wants to hire them?
Although there are many reasons to hire college students or recent graduates, my top five include:
1. Continuous Learners – Because they have a recent history of learning, they are self-motivated to further develop and improve their skill set.
2. No Need to “Unlearn” – With little work experience, college students and recent graduates don’t have to discard old ways or bad habits that experienced hires might carry with them.
3. Easier to Manage – Although they may ask numerous questions initially, they can be easier to manage. This is because they rarely have the level of entitlement and professional biases that experienced hires may bring with them. Also, because they are new, they are less likely to argue, play politics or complain.
4. An Opportunity for a Tryout – Hiring experienced professionals can be a hit-or-miss proposition because you don’t get a chance to actually see them work. Fortunately with college hires, you can preview their work by hiring them as interns.
5. Now is the Perfect Time – These days, most employers are looking for people with prior industry experience. Because of this, you can handpick the very best students or recent graduates if you are willing to act quickly.
The business world is ultra-competitive. It is vital that your workforce includes the most dedicated and knowledgeable employees available. All a student or recent graduate asks for is a chance. Are you willing to put your ego aside and hire an educated student or graduate who will be dedicated to you because you gave them a chance?