Hiring College Graduates? Here Are Three Things to Watch Out For

We have talked in depth about the advantages of hiring inexperienced employees.  While this may seem backwards, the reality is that it is much easier to incorporate an inexperienced employee into your company culture than it is to incorporate a more experienced worker who has already learned his own way of doing things.  

And though there is value in experience, I often suggest to my clients that they consider less experienced applicants as it will be much easier to mold them into exactly the type of employee that their business needs.  

And though hiring students straight out of college can be a great way to attract these types of employees, recent grads bring their own unique challenges to the table.  Below are some tips to aid you as you develop your new employees from students into productive members of your team:

  1. Recognize that you need to teach them technical skills from scratch.  Your new hire is like a blank canvas—now is your chance to teach them how to do everything your way.  From how to answer the phone to how to ship a product, take the time to show your new employee how everything is done in your company.  If you fail to teach a given process, it will be up to the employee to figure out how to get it done—and you may not be happy with the results.
  2. Don’t assume that anything goes without saying.  One of the big drawbacks to hiring a recent graduate is that they often have no experience in the world of business.  From dress code to protocol while dealing with clients, make sure that your new employee understands your expectations.  
  3. Understand that career expectations have changed.  Things have changed dramatically since Baby Boomers began entering the workforce.  Nowadays, few college graduates expect to spend their career working for a single business.  You will have to work harder to keep your talented employees engaged and happy.  The best way to do this is to encourage open dialogue—you should not hesitate to point out areas in need of improvement, and your employees should be able to express frustrations or other issues.

Today’s college graduates are energetic, tech-savvy, and eager to work.  In many cases they are the ideal candidates, as they are able to quickly learn and adapt to the unique expectations of your business.  But there are drawbacks to hiring inexperienced employees as well—so plan to invest plenty of your time and energy into the training process.      

Do you have experience hiring and training employees fresh out of college? What are some tips or warnings that you have picked up along the way? Leave a comment and share your thoughts below!