Wood Words

Fresh College Graduates are Flooding the Middle TN Job Market – are they right for your business?

The diplomas are ready.

Throughout Middle Tennessee, a fresh crop of college graduates will be entering the job market. But should you hire them?

The (somewhat frustrating) answer is: “It depends.”

Today, Wood Personnel presents the upsides and drawbacks of hiring recent college graduates. Hopefully, the information will help you decide if these potential employees are right for your business:

The Pros

Fresh job skills and ideas. Having grown up with the internet, recent graduates are fearless, tech-savvy and can easily adapt to the multitude of technological advancements that are impacting your business. They may even be able to step in and train your existing team! Furthermore, new graduates won’t be constrained by the same ways of thinking that may limit your seasoned employees. Without these “blinders” on, they can bring novel approaches to the challenges your organization faces.

Lots of enthusiasm. Young employees have seemingly limitless energy to bring to their jobs. They’re eager to please and eager to learn. And with typically fewer outside commitments (such as a family to care for), these employees may have more time to devote to work responsibilities.

Economic advantages. From a cost perspective, you can expect to pay a fresh graduate 20% to 40% less than an experienced candidate. In addition, these candidates are less likely to ask for more money or leverage your offers against others – simply because they have less experience with negotiations.

Pliability. Compared to a seasoned professional, a newbie is much easier to “mold.” In many areas they will be starting from scratch, so you won’t have to re-train them, replace previous knowledge, or break bad habits experienced employees bring with them.

The Cons

Lack of work experience. This is probably the biggest potential drawback to hiring a recent graduate. While many job skills can certainly be taught, sometimes there is no substitute for the perspective and expertise only years on the job can bring. In addition, it can be difficult to gauge how well a recent grad will handle the pressures of a real workplace without a track record. If you plan to hire them, build in additional time for training, supervision and acclimation to your culture – and prepare yourself for a few “rookie mistakes.”

Unrealistic expectations. You may find that younger workers have a certain sense of entitlement – expecting opportunities to be handed to them on a silver platter, so to speak. While this is certainly not true of every recent graduate, inexperienced job seekers may not understand the realities and difficulties of finding a good job. They may expect you to “sell” an opportunity to them or spoon-feed them the skills and training they need.

Lack of a clear career path. Even with four or more years of education, graduates have had little time out in the “real world” to explore their career options – and may not know yet what they truly want to do with their lives. So even if the opportunity, pay, benefits and culture you offer are stellar, a recent graduate may still leave you unexpectedly (after you’ve invested significantly in their training).  So when interviewing these candidates, make sure there’s a good fit between the career progression for the available job, and the candidate’s two-to-five-year career plan.

Hiring fresh graduates may or not be right for your organization. But no matter what type of talent you need – entry level through seasoned professional – Wood Personnel can make hiring a top performer easier. Contact your Nashville employment agency for more information.