Brian Thomas 3m 699 #collegegrads
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Looking To Hire College Graduates?
As graduation season comes and goes, a new class of young professionals has recently entered the job market. Research shows that in 2018, over 2,250,000 people received their first undergraduate degree, leaving today’s recruiters with a whole new group of potential employees to hire for entry-level jobs and groom for career success.
Recent college graduates are a great group of potential employees to seek out for your organization. They’re enthusiastic, eager to join the workforce, and can provide a fresh perspective to their role. However, with limited experience and a short professional history, it can be difficult to determine if a recent graduate is truly the right fit for the role.
If you’re looking to hire graduates at your organization, here are a few qualities to look out for:
Effective Time Management
How well did your candidate manage their extracurriculars during their time in college? A great indication of time management skills can be found on their resume with involvement in sports teams, clubs, part-time jobs, and other activities. If the candidate was able to balance their academics with extracurriculars, they probably have excellent time management capabilities.
For example, student-athletes dedicate anywhere from 29-36 hours per week to their athletic endeavors. In order to effectively manage work and athletic commitments, student-athletes have to hone vital time management skills that are thenceforth brought into the workplace. Take it from tech CEO Mark Hurd, who balanced his tennis career, fraternity membership, and academics at Baylor University. He says that “my days at Baylor were not too different from my days as part of a company. I had to manage my time. I had to divide it into certain pieces so that I’d get as much done as I possibly could.”
Strong Communication Skills
A solid interview process is always critical when hiring, but it’s especially important when your company is taking a chance on a recent graduate who doesn’t have an established track record. However, in order to let a college graduate’s communication skills truly shine, it may be advantageous to hold their interview in a more unconventional setting.
Studies show that 52% of interviewers make their decision about a candidate in the first 5 and 15 minutes of the interview. Remember that this is often the first time these individuals are conducting themselves in a professional setting, therefore it may take them some time to get truly comfortable. Try holding interviews in a non-traditional setting or have someone take candidates on a short on-site tour to get them comfortable before the official interview. On a resume, look for experience in music organizations, public speaking groups, or as a teacher’s assistant. These might also be indicators of strong communication skills.
Eagerness to Learn
Learning new things doesn’t come to a halt after leaving the classroom, and the right recent graduate for your organization will understand that. As Bill Driscoll from Accountemps once said, “Successful people never stop learning. The world is changing quickly and constantly, and it’s vital to stay informed of the latest trends and sought-after skills in your industry.”
It can be difficult to determine someone’s willingness to learn just through a resume, so this might be something to determine through your interview questions. In order to determine this quality, be sure to ask questions regarding their persistence at difficult tasks, a class they found challenging and how they overcame it, or how they respond to criticism. You may even want to task the candidate with a project involving some requirements of the job that they would need to learn more about after hired. Gauge their eagerness to approach new projects, learn more, and tackle an unfamiliar skill.
Hiring recent college graduates offers a major opportunity for your organization. There are endless reasons why recent graduates can add value to your company — it’s up to you to give them a chance and see for yourself!
About the Author
Brian Thomas: Contributor to Enlightened Digital, long-distance cyclist, and lifelong advocate for women in business from Philadelphia. Tech and business are my lifeblood, but I’m also a fanatic of brewpubs and just about every sports team in Philadelphia.