It is common knowledge that strategic hiring is key to organizational success. Staffing your company with the right blend of talent and experience can accelerate your company growth, help promote culture and keep your organization on the path to success.
When staffing your departments, it can be beneficial to have a good blend of fresh, young talent and veteran experience. Many companies have had a tough time with the former. There are certain pitfalls with finding solid young professionals that may make a manager hesitant to take a chance on a fresh college graduate. Of those worries, chief amongst them is retention and ROI.
For this purpose, utilizing a training roadmap is crucial to the professional development of your new straight-out-of-college hire.
What are the benefits of hiring a recent college graduate?
There are naturally pros and cons to hiring candidates from universities. At the top of the benefits list, graduates are hungry and enthusiastic. According to a recent study by author Liang Zhang, today's millennial graduates are among the most success motivated in history. They tend to channel this motivation with enthusiasm and willingness to take on new projects.
In addition to the infectious enthusiasm brought on with hiring graduates, a manager cannot overlook their "coachability." This is a tremendous asset when your company has an established, successful process for training to set them up for success from day one. Another asset that many graduates possess is technical fluency, social media experience and a much quicker learning curve for technology adoption. This technical and social acumen can add important skills to your organization.
What are the obstacles when hiring a recent college graduate?
There are a few things to beware of and try to proactively solve when hiring out of college. According to a recent survey by Inside Higher Ed, one of the main shortcomings of hiring a new graduate is their lack of office fundamentals and their inability to prioritize. Working in teams is difficult, as is judgment and decision-making. To solve this issue, both compelling and a one-on-one mentorship program with a more experienced senior member of the team can increase performance from the start.
You have your fresh college grad, now what?
After sifting through resumes and CVs, attending job fairs and interviewing endlessly, you have finally found your new hire. What steps does an organization need to take to encourage success?
1.Pretest for aptitude.
To get a read on your new hire's skills and aptitudes before they start work, pretest on general skills specific to your company. These tests should be customized depending on their major or on variance in courses taken. It is important to remember that each incoming class' skill sets can be very uneven. A new hire aptitude test helps you plan accordingly.
2.Assign a mentor to steer your new hire.
Take time as a manager or executive to find a person who is experienced, patient and has the soft skills to advise your grad-turned-employee. Not only will this provide a single source of contact for the all-star rookie, it will also increase the likelihood of long-term retention of the new employee. Business Finance Magazine speaks in depth about specific mentoring programs in Fortune 500 companies.
3.Define career development plans right out of the gate.
Provide stepping stones to success as well as your company's ultimate goal for the new hire. Based on data from Human Resources Executive Online, youngest workers had the highest employer-provided career plan expectations at 54 percent.
4.Training on philosophy, products and culture.
Create online training and hold live workshops on company fundamentals. This includes early adoption of processes and procedure and office work best practices.For product training, giving the grad courses to complete in a learning management system with quizzes upon completion will help you track their retention of product information. In the trainings, give the "why" and the "how" of the product line, service or platform.
5.Involvement in multiple projects.
Part of every job is the ability to juggle multiple projects of varying size and importance. Do not be afraid to put your new hire to the test. Utilize their mentor to help teach prioritization. Their involvement serves a two-fold purpose of increasing their morale by being a part of the team, and giving the company a better understanding of whether to give project-driven work or task-based assignments.
6.A monitored blend of individual and team assignments.
Giving the new employee exposure to rudimentary tasks will simultaneously make them feel valuable and help them try their hand at multiple facets of the job. Use their mentor to assign solo projects and critique them, then to assign work within the groups they are involved in.
According to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, wage growth is at a 25-year low for college graduates. They will do the research for their position online. When they do, ensure that they feel competitively compensated.
8.Landmarks, goals and stretch goals.
Be sure that you celebrate accomplishments publicly. In a study by AON Hewitt, employees aged 20-32 ranked "public affirmation and recognition" as a key component to their workplace happiness. Ways to use this for more than simple pats on the back are to set quarterly and annual goals, and to set extreme or stretch goals to keep them motivated.
Hiring grads is a great opportunity for you and your company. Both parties will be successful if managers and directors throughout your organization recognize and mitigate the likely risks mentioned above. Your company needs to train for the long term and make your most valuable resource-talent - set up for success. The process needs to be repeatable and scalable, which means using the new tools and technology available to us today to create, implement and execute a program that makes today's college graduates you hire empowered for success -- both theirs and yours.