Getting ready to hire a college grad? Here's how to set them up for success
With unemployment remaining low, your company might be looking to hire some college grads this summer. Here’s what you need to know to make this strategy a winner.
The benefits of hiring college graduates
According to Julie Bawden-Davis in her article “12 Professionals Offer Tips for Hiring College Graduates” for American Express, there are several distinct benefits to hiring candidates who are fresh out of college. Because they’re digital natives, they’re incredibly tech savvy and they can offer innovative ideas. And as community-minded people, they can help promote the company culture and energize the organization with their new perspectives.
Set them up for success
Despite the benefits hiring college graduates offers, it can be challenging to add new employees to your team — especially if they’re not accustomed to the pressures of working fulltime. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to set them up for success:
- Make sure they’re a good fit for the company culture. During the recruitment process, ask yourself if the candidates will thrive in your company culture. You can often form an impression of this by considering the cultures of their schools. In addition, you should look at things like achievements and extra-curricular activities, as well as each individual’s professional persona.
- Integrate them into the team. Instead of simply introducing new employees, give them the opportunity to get to know the various team members. You can do this by setting up one-on-one lunch appointments for them or even asking the new hires to shadow some of the team members they’ll be working closely with.
- Assign them mentors. The Forbes article “Creative Onboarding Strategies to Set Your New Hire Up for Success” reports that mentors should be more senior employees who can counsel the new hires and help them adjust to the organization.
- Help them get wins right away. In his Harvard Business Review article “7 Ways to Set Up a New Hire for Success,” Michael D. Watkins advises that this is a good way to help new employees build their confidence. Encourage them to focus on one or two objectives instead of taking on too much.
- Provide career coaching. If you want new talent to stay with your company for the long term, it’s important to offer them clear career paths. Take some time to understand each new hire’s career goals and help them determine how they can reach them within the company.
It’s also important to check in with your new hires on a regular basis after the first week. Give them the opportunity to ask questions or share some of their experiences. This will enable you to give them better guidance — plus, it can help you fine-tune your onboarding strategy for future hires.