What to Look for When Hiring New Grads

Gina Deveney
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Hiring new grads can be a way to bring fresh talent into your business, as well as giving young people the opportunity to start their careers. However, you need to approach the hiring process carefully to ensure that you hire the best candidate for the job.

As well as the academic knowledge they learned during their college courses, recent graduates must have a range of other skills if they are to succeed in the workplace. Communication skills and the ability to work in a team are vital assets in most careers, but it can be difficult to tell whether candidates possess these skills simply by reading their college transcripts. When hiring new grads, always conduct an interview. During the interview, make sure you ask questions about times when the candidate has worked with other people to complete a task, as well as focusing on the candidate's personal achievements.

When hiring new grads, it is best to conduct several interviews that test the candidates' performance in a variety of environments. For example, you could set tasks for groups of candidates to complete in order to see how each person deals with the challenge of working with others while under pressure. Using this kind of active assessment when hiring new grads allows you to get a much greater insight into the candidates' interpersonal skills than can be achieved during a traditional interview.

Recent graduates generally do not have much professional experience to talk about during an interview, which can make it difficult to assess their competence. Asking to see samples of candidates' college coursework is one way to find out whether their skills match the role for which your business is recruiting. When hiring new grads, you can ask for a work sample to be submitted as part of the application process, or ask candidates to bring along projects that they completed as students for discussion during the interview.

Another way to predict whether or not new grads perform well is to look for experiences on their resumes that are indirectly related to the advertised role. Even if candidates have never had the opportunity to carry out paid work in your field before, they might have had work experience or internships in a related industry. You can also look for evidence that a candidate has taken part in relevant volunteer work, as this shows self-motivation and an eagerness to learn. Ask candidates about these experiences to find out how well they coped when working in roles related to your industry.

New graduates are unlikely to be perfect candidates for a job, as they lack experience. However, by following the above tips when hiring new grads, you can sniff out those candidates who have the potential to thrive in the environment of your business.

Photo courtesy of t0zz at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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  • THEA P.
    THEA P.

    This is great information, but any comments about non-traditional students, like myself, who do have experience? Is the approach similar?

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