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How Startups Can Leverage Recent College Graduates

Recent graduates grouped up after graduation

One of the greatest challenges for startups and small businesses can be growing and staffing your company with top talent. If you’re prepared to invest your time, patience, and resources in fresh-out-of-college hires, recent college graduates can be a viable solution to this challenge.

Pros of Hiring Recent Grads:

  • Trainability. A lack of experience in your college graduates isn’t always a negative. These hires are less likely to have habits instilled in them from other employers making them a blank slate and easily coachable on your company’s processes and policies.
  • Fresh ideas. Not only are most college-age hires tech savvy, they can also contribute innovative ideas and often provide insight and knowledge of the freshest technologies and techniques they may have learned in recent school courses. New perspectives on how your industry is changing can sometimes make an enormous impact on your growth goals.
  • Experience-based salaries. If your salary structure is based on experience, hiring a recent graduate with little-to-no experience means onboarding will be less expensive for your company compared to hiring an employee with more experience. Always keep in mind, however, that offering clear opportunities for growth and the potential for salary increases will always boost your talent retention rate.

Cons of Hiring Recent Grads:

  • Increased training efforts. Fresh out of college, most recent grads have limited experience outside of internships. This means that you’ll have to invest more time and energy into creating and executing a comprehensive training program that covers everything from general work policies to specific job requirements.
  • The transition to a full-time position. Since recent grads have likely never had a full-time, 40-hour per week position, there’s a natural transition that needs to take place that could affect the quality of the work they produce — at least at first. As an employer, it’s necessary to take the time to support your new hires as they navigate working a full-time position.
  • Potential for turnover. Younger generations aren’t staying with their companies for as long as their generational elders. According to a recent Gallup report, 21% of millenials have switched jobs in the past year — higher than any other generation.

Attracting and Recruiting Recent Grads

In the digital age, your website, social media, and overall online presence define your brand — not only to your clients but also to potential future employees. As you begin your hiring process, take an audit of your company’s online presence. Make sure your website and social media channels are consistent with the same logos across platforms, consistent messaging, regular social media posting (it’s important just to show that “the lights are on”) and an accessible career page that potential candidates can use to apply for your open positions.

Once your digital presence is established, start networking with the career center at local universities and professional organizations relevant to your industry. Many colleges offer career guidance, networking events, and job fairs that your business can utilize to get in front of soon-to-be college graduates.

Leveraging Your New Talent

With a less money spent on hiring and the introduction of fresh industry perspectives, you can leverage these new hires to hone in your hiring process and refine your company-wide and role-specific trainings. For your startup to scale successfully, your onboarding process needs to be top-notch, and there’s no better way to zone in on an effective training process than receiving the feedback of employees who are new to the workforce. Once your new team is onboarded, your company can begin to scale by bringing on more business now that you have a team of highly-trained recent graduates to take on the extra workload.

If your company is committed to thorough training, constant support, and patience in the process, recent graduates can help you achieve your goals and transform the way your company looks at the hiring process.

Has your company had success in hiring recent college graduates? What pros and cons have you experienced? Let us know in the comments below.

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