Posted on May 21, 2014

Hiring New College Graduates? Here are 3 Steps for Success

Spring is the season for college graduations, and about 57 percent of employers say they’re planning to hire new college grads this year. That’s good news for both grads and their future organizations. It also means employers need to be prepared for the Millennials who soon will be joining them and who bring a different dynamic and skill set to the workplace.

1. Do your homework

Before you begin the hiring process, it’s imperative to be clear on the roles you need filled and the organization’s priorities for filling them. Recent research shows that executives, recruiters and front-line managers often have different views on what they value most in a new hire, particularly in an early-career employee.

Before posting a position, consider:
* Is your organization more concerned with academic credentials or with a graduate’s work and internship experiences?
* Are you open to considering a variety of majors, or do you want only those candidates from a specific field of study?
* Are hard, technical skills more relevant to the position than soft skills such as teamwork, time management, problem-solving, etc.?
* What sort of candidate will benefit your organization both immediately and in the longer term?

2. Consider your culture

Study after study has demonstrated that Millennials expect a very different work experience than do their Generation X and Baby Boomer colleagues.

For example, nine of 10 Millennials expect feedback once a day. They also view continuous learning as a way of life and anticipate changing jobs frequently.

That makes it crucial to have clear policies and procedures in place at the corporate level so all employees understand what is expected of them and how and when they will be judged. Job descriptions and performance review forms should be standardized, and HR leaders must proactively coach managers to help them adapt to their new reports’ preferences.

3. Get off to the right start

In addition to feedback, new associates coming out of college are seeking a personal connection and opportunities for growth and development. Employers can set the stage by conducting onboarding that continues through the first 90 days of employment.

Create a development plan early to show the employee that there is opportunity for him or her to learn and grow at the organization. Job shadowing and cross training can be another way to engage Millennials, expose them to different opportunities and demonstrate how their current role fits in.

Starting a Young Professional group at your company helps connect this generation of new hires to one another and encourages them to consider taking a leadership role to gain more exposure. If you don’t have a YP group, suggest a few people cross-functionally with whom your new hire can set up lunch or a one-on-one.

You also might consider using social media to engage new hires. If you have a large group of college hires starting at the same time, set up a Facebook page for them to join and connect with one another before they start. You can use this page to keep them up to date on company news and happenings during the preboarding phase.


For more tips on hiring best practices, watch this free webinar by Paycor Organizational Development Specialist Allison Flynn.

Want to be sure your recruitment processes are optimized to support organizational success? Learn more about Paycor’s automated Applicant Tracking System and its ability to drive the best hiring decisions for your organization’s needs.


_Sources: USA Today, The Fiscal Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education