How to hire and train recent college grads

It’s that time of year when students finishing up their senior year in college are creating their first professional resumes and considering what life outside the classroom might hold for them. You might think there’s too much uncertainty in hiring someone without any work experience, but these recent grads can actually be great additions to your staff. For one thing, if they obtained a degree relevant to your industry, their skillset and knowledge reflects the very latest advances in the field. But to get the most out of your hire, keep these tips in mind.

Consider both hard and soft skills

If you are hiring in an industry that is constantly changing, like technology or medicine, you will likely be impressed by the cutting-edge hard skills listed on the resume of a recent college graduate. But regardless of the industry, transitioning from using those skills in a classroom to implementing them in the real world is challenging. You want someone who is willing and eager to learn, change and adapt to fit the specific needs of your company. You can glean some of these soft skills during the interview by asking how they would respond to hypothetical scenarios.

Implement a structured internship program

First, consider bringing recent graduates onto your staff without hiring them full-time. Accepting interns is a great way to do this, but make sure your internship program is structured. Set the expectations of the internship at the outset. Define the internship’s length, hourly compensation, and weekly hours. Also create expectations for what happens when the internship is over. If the intern seems like a good fit for your company and has the right attitude, consider hiring them on in an entry-level position.

Altruism and the big picture

Take into account that most recent college graduates are members of a different generation than most of your current staff. They don’t just want to punch the clock and make a good salary. These members of Generation Z are looking for job opportunities that give them good work-life balance and the ability to affect change.

If it makes sense for the position, allow employees to utilize flex-time or work from home. Emphasize that you value the employees’ output—quality and quantity—rather than the hours they clock. Don’t worry about employees taking advantage of this flexible approach. Ambitious, motivated employees will excel under these circumstances and it will become obvious who among your staff is content achieving the bare minimum.

Train with technology

Recent college graduates grew up with social media and the internet, so they will easily adapt to technology you utilize for their training. They will appreciate the efficiency and organization of software like Conductor Orchestrated Training, which allows you to access, maintain and manage all employee training metrics in one location. If you haven’t implemented this software in your company’s training regime, get a free trial today. It will facilitate your employee training and onboarding for new hires—both tech-savvy college graduates and others!