When universities and colleges come to an end in the spring, an influx of new graduates will begin looking to jumpstart their professional career. I’m sure if you’re a recruiter, hiring manager, or business owner you know exactly what this looks like.
Many companies are hesitant to hiring faces fresh out of the books – but why is this? I would argue that new graduates bring a breath of fresh air companies should be striving for.
Hiring individuals who are unsure of their career interests or come with less professional work experience sparks reluctance amongst businesses. However, these concerns shouldn’t deter you from hiring graduates because of all the many great attributes they have to offer.
Employers will always be searching for new talent and thinking of ways to improve retention, so why is it that most fail to see the perks of hiring new graduates? Organizations can benefit from the fresh and diverse perspectives that these individuals bring. Younger generations are not afraid to ask questions and challenge the status quo. Curiosity can lead to uncovering inefficient processes in the workplace, increased collaboration, and enhanced performance.
Graduates can bring new ideas to a team and apply current thinking from their academics, keeping the company up to date on trends and new findings. Individuals who ask lots of questions will inspire creative ideas.
Most new graduates have grown up in a world full of technology. 96.3% of individuals in Canada ages 15 to 24 have smartphones. Although they may lack professional work experience, they’ll most definitely come with applicable technical skills. The majority will have received an education that exposed them to new applications, software, and video conferencing. Think about how much less technical training they’ll need if they come in with a greater aptitude for technology. Digital natives - those who grew up with modern technology - are already familiar with the the technology that is reshaping our economy, making further innovation more easily adapted. Employers will find the generation currently entering the workforce much more adaptable to new technologies and processes, encouraging the whole team to take on new challenges.
These fresh and curious minds can help you match the speed at which your industry is changing.
A “Blank Canvas”
Unlearning bad habits or old ways isn’t something you have to worry about when hiring new graduates. You get a chance to “mould” them according to your company culture and values. Think about your mindset going into your first job after graduation – eager, optimistic, and open to new ideas. The lack of professional experience actually allows graduates to easily adopt your company’s way of doing things.
Because new graduates are still figuring out what they want to do with what they've learned, they are more likely to be excited to learn a variety of new things. Having someone join who is enthusiastic about the work that you do and in learning how your company works makes them a highly valuable part of your team. New grads are more likely to jump into jobs they are passionate about and will bring that enthusiasm into their work.
All Experience is Good Experience
Whether it be skills gained from retail, food service, or volunteer experience, they are almost always transferrable. Let’s think about the skills you would gain from volunteering – leadership, planning, communication, etc. What about from the foodservice industry? Teamwork, customer awareness, time management, etc. All these skills are valuable and useful, no matter the workplace or industry.
"Transferable skills like leadership, communication, resilience and problem-solving are often far better predictors for future success." – Brain Weed, Founder & CEO at Evermore Advisors
Transferrable skills can make an impact from day one. Although you will need to provide job-specific training to the new graduates, they will be able to utilize their prior experiences and transferrable skills to make the ride smoother.
Companies should be open to hiring new graduates regardless of the experience they may or may not have. Recent graduates have a lot to offer in terms of insight and ideas, and all industries should recognize that.