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How Startups Can Leverage Recent College Graduates

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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How To Support Your Employees’ Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions aren’t always easy to follow, but the healthier your team is, the more productive, engaged, and positive they’ll be. Full-time employees spend nearly a quarter of their lives at work, so why not do something to help? Here are some easy ways to get started towards developing a happier, healthier, and more productive workplace in 2019:

Offer Incentives

Incentivizing wellness is a great way to get your employees to participate. When there’s a reward for healthy behaviors, those behaviors will become habits and those habits in turn will ensure that your team is happy, healthy and ready to take on the day.

Smaller businesses/smaller budget: Offer your employees a small amount, say $20 per month, to use only for wellness purposes. Consider it their “me” fund. Ask them to use it towards products or services they wouldn’t normally splurge on — a relaxing massage, an exercise class — or cater a healthy lunch for the team once or twice per month.

Larger businesses/budget: Gift your team a FitBit or AppleWatch to help them track their fitness goals, or provide your employees with a gym membership.

Take Advantage of Existing Resources

Office space alone can be an easy way to encourage wellness. From taking the stairs instead of the elevator to converting the breakroom to hold fitness classes after hours, supporting your employees’ healthy habits can start right within the office.

Smaller businesses/smaller budget: Instead of having your team meeting in the conference room, suggest having a meeting at a nearby destination that everyone has the option to walk to, or survey your team to see if anyone has a background in fitness or wellness and would like to offer classes before/after work or at lunchtime.

Larger businesses/budget: Find someone in the community who does on-site yoga or fitness classes, and offer your team a free class once a week.  

Make Your Wellness Initiatives Convenient

The more convenient your wellness initiatives are, the more likely you are to have employee participation. Making changes around the office or offering free resources can support your employee wellness engagement.

Smaller businesses/smaller budget: Providing bowls of fruit for your employees to snack on, rather than the typical suspects like chips and donuts, makes making a healthy choice easy for your team.

Larger businesses/budget: Consider bringing in a wellness expert or providing free in-office flu shots for your team to take advantage of.

Bonus: If you’re offering health insurance to your team, look into the free health initiatives offered as part of the plan and relay that to your employees so they can take full advantage of their healthcare policy.

Get Everyone Involved

Wellness works best when it’s a team effort and your employees have others to hold them accountable and take the journey with them. Getting everyone on the team involved not only offers up the opportunity to build strong working relationships, but also encourages socialization and the chance to get to know coworkers better.

Smaller businesses/smaller budget: Consider sponsoring an intramural sports team for your employees that you also participate in. This will encourage getting up and active, friendly competition and bonding between you and your staff.

Larger businesses/budget: For larger companies, the CEO isn’t always as accessible to employees. When upper management joins in on the fun this not only inspires your team to get healthy, but also allows you to get to know better the various people who help your business thrive.

There are a multitude of ways you can encourage wellness in your workplace, but it all comes down to the initiatives that work best for you, your business and your team. The first step to creating any great wellness plan is to simply ask your employees what they would be interested in participating in, and start building from there.

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How Businesses can Bounce Back from the Least Productive Month of the Year

It’s no surprise that January is the least productive month of the year. It’s cold, dark and people are more prone to experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and it’s right after the holidays. Employees are coming back from long vacations with loved ones, holiday parties and days spent lounging and relaxing. Jumping back into working full-time takes some adjusting and with this adjustment period, productivity just isn’t what it was.

How to Increase Your Business’ Productivity After the Post-holiday Slump:

 

Assess the State of Your Business

The starting point to begin moving past a decline in productivity is understanding what specifically needs to be improved, completed or implemented. Assessing where your company is lacking or lagging will give your employees a clear vision of their role in restoring balance to your business.

Set Priorities

It can be easy for your employees to get overwhelmed with meetings, emails and phone calls, and trying to manage everything all at once can cause assignments and deadlines to fall through the cracks. By setting priorities, your team can allow themselves the mental focus to efficiently work on important goals so they can then focus on smaller assignments.

Implement Self-care and Wellness Policies

When your employees are feeling their best, this will be reflected in their work. If your employees are running on empty, not taking care of themselves or ignoring their mental and physical needs, the work they produce will also parallel that. Implementing wellness initiatives like gym memberships, a monthly wellness allowance or team fitness goals can spark a change in the work your team completes. Encouraging employees to focus on self-care habits like getting exercise and eating healthy makes a world of difference in increasing overall productivity.

Re-establish Your Mission

After all of the time spent away from the office, it’s important to get employees back on the same page about what the company’s mission and goals are. Preparing a presentation and holding a team meeting to boost morale and reaffirm the importance of what the company and employees are working toward can put productivity back into the perspective of the larger goal.

The January productivity decrease is normal and something that happens to almost every business. This doesn’t mean it’s time to panic. By following the steps above, you can manage goals and deadlines with a comprehensive plan and refreshed outlook on how to get your business back on track.