Right now, employers across many industries are struggling to hire and retain employees. A post-pandemic labor shortage is partly to blame, but companies have been having a tough time filling job positions for a while.
Some argue it’s a skills gap problem, while others point to changes in the labor market sparked by the shifting priorities of millennials and Gen Z workers. However, requiring years of working experience for most job openings (while offering entry-level salaries) doesn’t help, neither does an increasingly complicated online job search and interview process.
In any case, there’s a solution. Hire a recent college graduate.
Open job positions can stall your company’s growth. Here are 11 reasons why hiring a recent college grad may be the right move for your organization.
1. They’re Affordable
Because of their lack of experience, recent college graduates don’t usually expect high starting salaries. They seek to gain experience and obtain training that will help move their careers forward. Furthermore, Gen Zs (born between 1997 and 2012) tend to put less value on salary than previous generations, favoring rewarding work that allows them to make a difference in the world.
2. They’re Available
New grads are more likely take on work odd shifts or irregular schedules and travel frequently or extensively. Most of them don’t have the responsibilities of marriage and kids competing for their time and energy. They’re also more open to relocating than established employees. There’s no big family to uproot, and they see relocation as an adventure rather than an inconvenience.
3. They’re Highly Motivated
College students attend school for years, often paying for it themselves, hoping to graduate and embark on their dream careers when they graduate. While it doesn’t always work out that way, new grads typically are highly motivated to shine at work and move up the ladder. This drive is beneficial for business, especially those with ambitious scale-up or expansion plans.
4. They’re Teachable
Yes, they lack experience, but this can be an advantage to employers who prefer to hire people they can mold to fit their company cultures and working styles. In many cases, it’s easier and better to teach a new employee from scratch than having to “uninstall” inadequate or bad pre-existing habits and mindsets picked up from previous jobs. The result is an employee whose attitude, approach and working style is aligned with what the company needs.
5. They’re Tech Savvy
New grads are the most tech savvy generation in the history of the world. They’ve grown up surrounded by hi-tech gadgets just as baby boomers grew up with toy trains, hula hoops and dolls. Nowadays, you see toddlers showing their grandparents how to use a smartphone.
Tech expertise is a huge advantage in today’s workplace. New grads can easily adopt and adapt to whatever technology you use at your organization. Most of them can intuitively grasp how to use technology they haven’t used before.
6. They’re Knowledgeable
Recent college grads have up-to-date, in-depth knowledge about specific subjects. After all, they just spent years in college learning and being tested on this knowledge. They’re in touch with emerging trends and can relate to the attitudes, motivations, purchasing behaviors and communication styles of people of their own generation—a highly desirable demographic for many companies.
7. They’re Innovative
New grads bring a fresh set of eyes and new points of view and ideas to work. After spending several years learning about their chosen fields and polishing their critical thinking skills, they tend to be curious, ask questions and notice things that existing employees miss. Most new grads are eager to contribute their ideas and promote innovation in your organization.
8. They’re Results-Oriented Risk-Takers
Modern organizations need team members who are willing and able to take on projects with uncertain outcomes. New grads don’t have a career reputation to lose, so they’re more likely to take risks in order to gain experience and recognition. They’re also more likely to be results-oriented, having learned and applied this concept in an academic environment.
9. They Work Remotely
Having navigated college in the Digital Age and graduated during the pandemic, many new grads are very familiar with working remotely. Given their tech abilities, they won’t have any trouble getting up to speed in a virtual or hybrid work environment.
10. They’re Adaptable
Rapid change is a given in the Digital Age. Our education system requires students to adapt to different subjects, teaching styles and class environments in order to get ahead. While existing employees tend can be set in their ways, new grads embrace change. They’re used to tackling it and jumping through hoops to get things done.
11. They’re Connected
Recent grads have a totally different contact pool than you and most existing employees. They can contact other graduates, professors, researchers, internship co-workers, well-connected relatives, etc. That may come in handy for your organization.
New college graduates are motivated, teachable, tech-savvy, forward-thinkers who can adapt to new environments. They’re open to your training and coaching for less compensation than their more experienced peers. They have fresh ideas and an eagerness to perform well at work. Don’t overlook them!