If you speak with almost any new grad looking for work these days, they'll express their frustration in almost every job posting they come across -- everybody wants experience! Even the most junior positions on job boards today are looking for at least 1 year of work experience. To job seekers new to the game, this begs the question "How do we get experience if no one will hire us?"
While hiring new grads solely to help them build experience is a nice gesture, you may not see it as making business sense. If you do it strategically, though, it actually has many competitive advantages. Consider these benefits of hiring professionals fresh out of school:
Lower salary expectations. Some do have inflated ideas about what they should make, but many are willing to start at a lower salary and work their way up.
Willing to do grunt work. Again, except for those with inflated egos, many new grads will start at the bottom and do tedious grunt work that's takes time from your senior resources. Of course, if you want to keep them happy and help them grow, you'll need to provide some interesting projects as well.
Learning mind-set. Students are programmed to open their minds and learn new things. They know how to take notes and ask questions which means onboarding should be a lot more efficient.
You can mould them. Professionals who come from other companies often come with their own habits that may not fit your company's process. New grads are fresh and open-minded which means you can mould them into the type of worker you want.
Innovation. The atmosphere in a college or university is often one of critical thinking, research, and understanding "why". Having somebody on your team who is still in that mindset can have great value for your organization. Of course, you need to be open to suggestions.
They can work hard. Earning a degree is high pressure. Especially towards the end of a semester, students only succeed if they learn to multi-task and work long hours. This is a skill that sometimes slides after somebody's been in the workforce for a few years.
They're up-to-date in trends. While they don't have much practical experience, students are knowledgeable with current theories, formulas and research. They also often still have good relationships with professors and access to their school's research.
Hiring a new grad not only has these short-term benefits, but the long-term benefits are also invaluable. When you hire a star, fresh out of school, it means they're working for you and not your competition. If they're under the right leadership, they may develop a strong loyalty toward your organization and help bring other great talent into the company. Do you hire new grads? Do you have any positions that could be filled by a new grad? Have you ever considered an internship? Let us know in the comments below!