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Hiring New Graduates

29 May, 2014 By: Steven Branstetter

It is that time of year again when thousands of young professionals graduate college and look to enter the work force. The market will soon become flooded with new graduates desperate to start their careers. Some companies are able to take advantage of this situation and make great additions to their organization by hiring the future superstars of their generation. Meanwhile other companies can get caught up in all the commotion and hire a re-tread or get bogged down with applicants missing out on the hot new talent in the marketplace. Let this article be your guide to navigating the sea of new graduates to help you add great additions to your team.

So, first things first; all new graduates have limited to zero experience. So if you think you are going to hire the savior to your company think again. I know some new graduates have held internships or maybe even worked a full time job, but this still does not get them past an entry level position. I personally worked full time through college for a Fortune 1000 company, and even went through corporate training, but considered myself a rookie when it came to the “real world” after graduation. Now I am not disqualifying internships or other positions on a new graduate’s resume as they play a key deciding factor when looking at a recent graduate. With that being said, what then do you look for when considering new graduates for a position with your company? Consistency!

Consistency is the top quality you should be looking for when considering a new graduate. What is consistency? Let me explain. You are looking for patterns of success, work ethic, and some type of involvement. Where they involved in sports? Were they members of clubs and organizations? Did they receive academic awards? Did they work full time though school? Did they complete their degree in four years? These are all checklists that you need to be looking for. I know it may be very difficult to find a candidate having all of these traits, but again you are just looking for consistency. These will tell you if your candidate just skated their way through college or if they worked their hardest and made the most of it. Now that we have discussed some traits of a qualified recent graduate, let’s talk about why it is important for you to consider them versus other candidates.

Them or Me

First and foremost is compensation. Most college students are not accustomed to making a very high level of income while attending school.  The average college student goes from making $15,000 a year while in school to a first full time position making $30,000. They have just doubled their income and most likely had their largest pay increase of their career. Now you will come across some candidates that feel just because they have a degree that they deserve a certain level of compensation. These are not the candidates that you should be considering, as they obviously do not have an understanding of the value of money. If you do find an amazing candidate that is being picky about compensation, try giving them a 90-day review with the possibility of a raise, given satisfactory effort and results. Now besides compensation why else should you hire a new graduate?

We have all heard the saying: “My biggest strength is also my biggest weakness.” This too applies to recent graduates. Yes they have little to no experience for the position that they are applying for, so how do you turn this into your advantage? Someone with no experience has not yet formed bad habits. You get to train them from the ground up. This is a huge advantage for any company. Company culture is a newer buzz word in recruiting and by hiring a new graduate they will not bring in negative traits that other companies might have instilled within more experienced candidates. With the right training, a new employee with zero or little experience can and will be able to surpass other employees that may have multiple years of experience with different companies.

It’s always good to remember that when you hire a new graduate, you are making an investment. Not an investment in the form of stocks or a new product, but in a person. People always have the greatest return possible. Their potential is impossible to predict and their growth is limitless. Think back to the person that gave you your first start and how much of an impact they had on your career. Everyone needs a starting point, so who's future career are you going to start for them this spring?


Steven Branstetter is an executive recruiter at Crawford Thomas, a nationwide executive recruiting firm based in Orlando, Fla., with offices in Houston, Dallas, Atlanta & Washington, D.C. He has extensive knowledge with recruiting in the office technology industry for both OEMs and independent dealerships. Branstetter can be contacted 321-257-0811; steven.b@crawfordthomas.com; http://www.CrawfordThomas.com

About the Author: Steven Branstetter

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