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Sink or Swim: How Organizations Can Benefit From Hiring Fresh Grads

Colleges and universities around the country have wrapped up their commencement ceremonies, and the caps and gowns have been packed away.  Summer marks a time when thousands of new graduates flood the job market looking to embark on their career paths.  In an uncertain economy, does it make sense for organizations to dip their feet into the recent grad hiring pool? 

In fact, it is always the ideal time to hire a new graduate.  Of course there is an inherent challenge associated with working with fresh grads:  they lack in-depth, post-graduate work experience.   In spite of this, organizations can reap the benefits of hiring those fresh out of college because they have many assets, including:

Moldable—Recent graduates haven’t worked at many organizations, so they aren’t set in their ways and don’t have expectations about what a workday should look like or how an organization should be run.  Their “greenness” is actually an advantage, because they’re highly trainable to your specific organization and its needs. 

Enthusiastic—Fresh grads are excited to come to work each day and eager to learn.  They want to drink in all the new experiences of work:  becoming efficient at their jobs, learning about the organization, becoming familiar with the culture and discovering working life in general.

Ambitious—This crop of recent graduates are confident in their abilities and motivated to be successful.  They are anxious to build their resumes, so they will often volunteer for projects, even stretch assignments.

Surprisingly experienced—In recent years, colleges have stressed the importance of work experience to their underclassmen.  Therefore, upon graduating, many students have completed at least one internship, co-op or summer job in their field.  Many already know how to work.  In fact, some grads have had several internships that can equal one or two years of “real world” working experience.

Technology-savvy—This generation of graduates has grown up with technology.  They already know how to email, check voicemail, text message, write a blog, use a PDA and conduct research on the internet, all while listening to their iPods!  They won’t require much ramp-up time to master your company’s technology – and can even make suggestions for newer, cutting-edge tools!

Knowledgeable of specific skills—Many industries, such as software, healthcare and technology, require their employees to possess knowledge of constantly evolving skills.  In many cases, recent grads are up-to-date on all the latest techniques, procedures and technology for their industries.  They don’t have to be trained because they mastered the required skill sets in class. 

Affordable—Since they need experience and don’t have bulky resumes, college graduates don’t command large starting salaries.  Organizations can hire from this population at a reasonable cost.  And in this shaky economy, many grads have adjusted their salary requirements accordingly. 

The summer is an ideal time to fish recent college graduates out of the hiring pond.  They are new to the professional world so they can easily adapt to the specific needs of your organization, yet many have legitimate work experience.  New grads are an economical choice to help your organization thrive. 

Photo Credit: PharmaLogics