What ever happened to the entry-level job? Sure, organizations post "entry-level" jobs, which fresh-faced university and college grads swarm to apply for, but many of these positions call for experience - some up to three or more years! So, invariably, the job often goes to candidates who have more experience.
Many new graduates are struggling to find jobs in their field of study, but they're itching to put their skills and knowledge to use. It's a Catch-22: Organizations want entry-level candidates with experience, but how are new grads supposed to get any experience if no one will hire them?
The thing is, it's not just new grads that are missing out. Organizations are short-changing themselves when they bypass new graduates in the candidate pool. Millennials are leaving school full of energy, fresh ideas and skills, and a drive to make a positive impact in the business world - that includes your organization.
Here are seven reasons why new graduates would make a great addition to your organization:
1. No job experience doesn't mean no experience at all
Although a new grad may not have years of on-the-job experience, it doesn't mean that they haven't gained valuable experience elsewhere. Volunteer activities, roles in student organizations or clubs, internships and part-time employment can all help develop important skills.
For instance, a roll as a volunteer soccer coach can teach important leadership, teamwork and communication skills. Or a part-time retail job during the summer can teach you attention to detail and time management skills. Don't mistake non-traditional experience for no experience at all.
2. A generation of continuous learners
It is rare that you will ever hire someone with the exact skill-set listed in a job description that is ready to be a top performer with no training or supervision. In fact, I'd argue that will never happen. Since you're going to have to train someone, it makes sense to train a new graduate who is accustomed to learning and makes learning a priority in their day-to-day activities. As continuous learners, not only will they adjust quickly to the new role, but they will continue to seek to develop and grow their skills. They're enthusiastic and not afraid to take on new challenges and obstacles.
Engaging new graduates through continuous learning opportunities can establish a competitive differentiator for your organization in today's competitive market.
3. New, innovative ideas and fresh perspectives
New grads are keen to understand the way things are done and are not afraid to ask "why?" This can prove useful for your organization when analyzing old methods and developing efficiencies wherever possible.
New to the corporate world, new graduates haven't become accustomed or cemented to a particular way of doing things from previous roles. As such, they can bring an innovative, fresh new perspective to your organization.
4. New grads are great collaborators
Very few projects nowadays can be accomplished without teamwork, especially in the increasingly globalized business landscape. Collaborating across geography and across business functions is becoming essential to how an organization operates.
It is not simply enough to put a group of intelligent and creative people in a group and hope for brilliance. You need team members who know how to collaborate, leverage each other's strengths and navigate the changing landscape of collaboration and communication tools. This level of collaboration comes naturally to new graduates who have been immersed in collaborative learning throughout their education. They can also help foster a culture of collaboration throughout your organization.
5. New graduates are comfortable with new technologies
One of the biggest advantages of hiring new graduates is their ability to navigate new technology and the ever-evolving digital social landscape. New graduates grew up immersed in technology - I vaguely remember dial-up, but I have no recollection of the pre-internet world. And while older generations may shake their heads at young adults with their face to a screen and their thumbs running at lightning speed, this tech immersion comes with an advantage - digital literacy.
The dawn of the digital age has seen technology continually transforming the way we do business and embracing the mobile workplace is increasingly important in the global marketplace. Tech-savvy new grads will be able to adapt quickly and can bring fresh ideas, tech skills and new ways to collaborate digitally and do business - which can help accelerate the success of your organization, making their talent a competitive differentiator for your business.
6. Think about the long-term
For businesses, it is important to not only think about the positions that need to be filled now, but also think strategically for your needs over time. What long term capabilities can your new hire bring to your organization? What knowledge or skill gaps will exist when current employees leave?
By identifying high potential new graduates and investing in their development, you will be able to build a strong talent pipeline that can adapt to address the challenges your organization may face as you grow. You will have bench strength to tackle problems before they arise.
7. New graduates have lower salary expectations
If none of the reasons above have convinced you, let me say this: Hiring new grads makes good dollar sense! Undoubtedly, it is a goal of any business to save on costs and be profitable. Well, you have to pay for experience - and since it is a lack of experience that sparked this whole discussion in the first place, new grads are a cheaper alternative to more seasoned employees, saving your organization on salary costs.
Now, this doesn't mean you can pay new graduates extremely low salaries (i.e. salaries that fall drastically below market rate). It does however provide the opportunity for companies to hire a talented employee at an entry-level rate and to invest in developing that employee to become a top performing star within your organization.
Don't miss out!
When filling entry-level roles, it can be tempting to hire a more experienced workforce veteran rather than a recent graduate. But giving a new grad their first employment opportunity and then investing in their continued development could prove to be an incredibly wise long-term decision for your organization.