Submitted by: Ashley Snider, Senior Recruiting Manager, Store Strategies
Every company is searching for their next top performer, and with today’s tight labor market, now is the best time to diversify your candidate pool. Hiring college graduates is a great way to bring employment opportunities to those that are seeking continued development, and could be an incredibly wise long-term decision for your company.
One of the biggest hesitations companies have about hiring college graduates is the lack of real-world experience. However, “experience” shouldn’t be thought of as only work or on-the-job experience. After all, college graduates may have gained non-traditional experience elsewhere like in a leadership role in student government or clubs, in internships, or with part-time employment.
Here are five more reasons to consider hiring college grads:
Diverse and high levels of innovation: College graduates are attracted to knowing and understanding the “why” of processes and business practices. New to the corporate world, they haven’t been tailored to doing tasks a particular way, so they could offer new viewpoints. Not only do they ask “Why?”, but they have been exposed to latest academic teachings and research of their potential professional field. College grads have also been expected and required to use the newest technology and software, so these tech-savvy individuals can bring innovative ideas and solutions to the table as well. This could be a competitive differentiator for any company.
Understand performance metrics: Even though college graduates may not have on-the-job experience of being held accountable to performance metrics, they are likely to remember how to use numbers and therefore metrics. With the right training, they will not shy away from, but will look forward to meeting, different KPIs.
Eager & ready to work hard: College graduates stepping into their professional careers are eager to start their training, learning work ethics and your company’s best practices in order to be a successful employee. They want to learn the basics of the business, and might be more willing than others to do more minor assignments. With most academic environments requiring team projects, college graduates are used to being collaborators, team players, and to leveraging their personal strengths in a group environment. This can lead to a more collaborative and communicative work environment.
Invest in future leadership: College graduates are considered continuous learners. Being accustomed to learning allows the training and coaching process to yield better results in terms of the employee’s skills development and growth. If a company is aware of their current and future workforce skills gap, companies can strategically build a talent pipeline. Additionally, companies can create a talent bench to promote entry-level college graduates into the next supervisory/management positions. Essentially, hiring someone with drive and potential is overall a smart business decision for a company’s longevity.
Openness to fast change and agility environment: For successful companies to remain industry leaders, they must consistently reevaluate their overall product. In today’s business world, this can lead to quick, rapid change within an organization. College graduates look forward to new challenges, and can more easily adjust to those changes – they are generally considered to be excited to try new concepts.
The reasons listed above for hiring college graduates are no secret! CareerBuilder conducted a national survey in March 2017 which included a sample of 2,380 hiring managers – and 74% of employers said they plan to hire recent college graduates this year. Investing in a college graduate hiring strategy ultimately is a step forward in long-term business decision-making.