5 Things to Consider When Hiring College Seniors for Post-Grad
Even with all the preparation available at most university campuses, some new college grads still struggle with the transition into the “real world.” This can be due to a variety of reasons, including immaturity, external hardships, or just plain inexperience. There’s a lot to be said for hiring someone fresh out of college, but here are five things to keep in mind when bringing a new graduate on board:
1. Look Beyond An Impressive School and GPA
While it’s easy to be wowed when you see a resume touting an Ivy League school and a sky-high GPA, keep in mind this is not necessarily an accurate litmus test that will automatically translate to corporate success. Take a look at what skills the applicant picked up alongside those good grades in the impressive school, including any summer work, internships, volunteer work, or in-school participation. When you bring them in for an interview, be sure to explore what exactly he or she learned from being (and working, if applicable) in school—it might be something completely different than what his or her classes indicate.
2. Have a Bit of Compassion for the Interviewee
It’s one thing if your potential new recruit shows up in ripped jeans, exhibiting a poor attitude. By all means, feel free to pass. But if you encounter someone who fidgets or stumbles over their words when trying to answer your questions, keep in mind that it could very well be his or her first interview ever…and that can be a scary thing! Oftentimes, new graduates simply don’t have the experience required to truly “sell” themselves the way seasoned job holders do. Have some empathy for your interviewee—it may help to remember how green you were when you started out!
3. Most College Grads will Need a Steep Learning Curve
It’s a common assumption that college grads will exit school completely career ready—a common, but often inaccurate expectation. Many twenty-two-year-olds entering the workforce may feel as though they’re ready, but in reality, they will still need plenty of guidance and opportunities to put their theoretical business skills into practical applications. This is where it often comes in handy to pair a new hire with a more experienced mentor—at least for the first few months. A mentor can act as a go-to who will most likely have the answers to questions, doubts, or concerns a new college grad may have—and will no doubt be less intimidating to ask than “the boss.”
If one-on-one mentorship won’t work in your company structure, employee-training classes are another option, especially if you hire a few new recruits at once.
4. Don’t Assume They’re All Technological Wizards
Yes, the younger generation is, overall, vastly better at using technology than those applying for jobs even just a decade or so ago. But just because they can handle Snapfish like a pro doesn’t automatically mean they know anything about programming or even PowerPoint. The base standard of technical skill has definitely risen, yet it’s still important to closely vet candidates’ knowledge of the specific programs they’re expected to use in your office. College grads may (intentionally or unintentionally) inflate their technological knowledge on their resumes simply because they’re surrounded by computers every day.
5. Prepare to be Flexible
The times, they are a’changin’. And that means college grads have different expectations of the workplace…including when and where they’ll be working. It’s hard to resist the lure of flexible hours or the option of working remote. More and more workplaces are understanding this and offering incentives either on a full-time or part-time basis. Take a look at your company’s structure to see if such a thing is possible—and be prepared to offer these options if at all possible. It probably won’t be a make or break for those really wanting a job at your company, but it will certainly sweeten the deal.
When hiring new college grads, it’s important to remember it may take a bit of time to incorporate them fully into the workplace structure. While it helps to have a healthy dose of understanding, it’s also vital to remember why you hired them in the first place: the energy, ideas, and passion that many first-time hires have can often be the adrenaline boost your office needs!