What You Should Know When Hiring a New Grad

Do you enjoy reading about new surveys as much as I do? Even if you question the accuracy of the results, they do act like a finger on the pulse of whatever subject the survey addresses. In this case, a new survey of 30,000 college grads with at least a bachelor’s degree was conducted jointly by Gallup and Purdue University. Two discoveries they made can help you make more intelligent hiring decisions. Here’s what you should know when hiring a new grad:

The first discovery was that college grads need to have six experiences during college in order to become engaged employees. 82% of polled graduates who strongly agreed that they had all six experiences as an undergraduate also strongly agreed their schools prepared them well for life outside of college. Yet only 5% of those who did not have all six experiences felt that they were well prepared for life after college. Here are the six experiences college grads felt they needed to be prepared, and the percentage of respondents who agreed they’d had the experience:

  1. Having at least one professor who made them excited about learning (63%).
  2. Working on a project that took a semester or more to complete (32%).
  3. Holding a job or internship that allowed them to apply what they were learning in the classroom (29%).
  4. Having college professors who cared about them as a person (27%).
  5. Having a mentor who encouraged them to pursue their goals and dreams (22%).
  6. Being extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations while attending college (20%).

The second discovery was that only 3% of all graduates surveyed said they’d had all six types of experience. What this tells you, the employer, is that there’s going to be a learning curve for almost any grad you hire. He or she is not off-the-shelf-ready for your business environment! Knowing this can help you hold realistic expectations about a new hire’s maturity level and preparedness to immediately navigate the new role and workplace successfully. Expect that you will need to train, educate, and nurture any new grad you hire to ease him or her into becoming a high-functioning member of your team.

What you should know when hiring a new grad is that he or she is newly minted off the press! Like a shiny new penny, the new grad has not been worn, buffeted, and conditioned by being in the labor market yet. It’s going to be up to you to onboard your new employee well (here’s a tool that can help with that) and get him or her off to a good start. Remembering how you felt your first day on the job might help you begin this relationship with realistic expectations and a leadership style that feels safe and welcoming.

Click here or call (714) 993-1900 to request an employee or discuss a workforce management issue.

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