The graduation season is on and so is the hiring process for another class of young professionals. Recruiters will have the arduous task of skimming through the resumes of these graduates and recruit them for entry-level jobs and career success.
One stark difference that you’re going to encounter is the generation gap between you and the Millennials and Generation Z. Their behavioral and economic tendencies and sensibilities differ from the older professionals in your workplace. You may have first-hand experience in this matter while working with 20-something interns. Apart from the obvious generational differences, how you approach hiring someone with no work experience should be quite different from how you’re used to doing this process i.e., hiring seasoned professional with loads of work experience. We bring you some pointers on how to better hire among the pool of fresher to accommodate your workplace needs.
Cut some slack for experience requirements
Young graduates cannot have extensive resumes and it is unreasonable on your part if you expect them to have one. Even if a student spends the better part of their 3 or 4 year college experience preparing for a particular career, they still have a lot to learn about your industry and the position. They might not be aware of the nit-picks, the lingo, tools and best practices that the job entails. It is also somewhat unreasonable to expect them to have hands-on experience of the job they are applying for. Try instead to look for candidates who are intelligent, driven and can be moulded into doing the job as per your requirement. Shortlist the ones who have good GPAs and extra-curricular background(debating, social work, internships etc.). If someone has struck the perfect balance between marks, extra-curricular activities and a social life, you just might have struck gold in terms of hiring. Bingo!
Orientation and training is the key
Remember that the person you just hired was until recently living in the closed and protective environment of their college. Hence, you need to buckle up to provide them with some hands-on training and orientation. However, if you find your resources and time stretched thin by the idea of such exercises, you might be better off hiring an experienced person. Let’s just admit one fact straight out. A majority – if not all – companies that hire recent graduates do it to cut costs. One more advantage that you derive out of hiring someone fresh out of school is that they can be thought of as a ball of clay that can be moulded into an ideal team member. An experienced professional might try to shake things up and do stuff the way they already know best but a fresher is more receptive to learning the exact processes your company requires employees to follow. A subordinate in every sense of the word.
It’s also important to teach a young employee how to conduct themselves at the workplace and deal with the challenges a career present. In addition to a comprehensive training program, a formal mentorship program will help them grow professionally. Consider pairing any recent graduate you hire with a senior employee who can provide guidance and feedback.
A meticulous interview is a must
An interview process forms the backbone of the hiring process. However, when you are placing your bets on a newcomer who has a total blank sheet in terms of past records, the interview process becomes all the more crucial. Try and get to know the pulse of the candidate from the word go. Get them to disclose their professional ambitions and how they perceive your company in the bigger scheme of things. Does the person looks trustworthy or will they jump ship in search of greener pastures as and when the opportunity arises? Gauge their maturity level and try to ascertain whether they are ready for the transition from college life into the cutthroat competitive world of adulthood.
Don’t go too much into the skills and experience domains for reasons already made clear above. Point blank ask them why they applied for the job and how are they planning to tackle it on a day-to-day basis if get hired. Get an idea of their interest in the role and your company since many people with no experience apply to multiple entry-level jobs and hope for the best.
Be fair and legally compliant when hiring interns
A fairly common practice for a company is to hire someone from college as an intern before hiring them as a full-time employee once they graduate. The young professional has the opportunity to get their foot in the door and the company has the chance to train and get to know them before making an employment commitment. Internships are generally mutually beneficial in nature. Most employers make the intern sign an agreement before bringing them on board. Although the internship scenario in India is mostly unregulated, there are safeguards that employers can put in place to ensure workplace harmony, no incidents of harassment or worse and a general protection of self-interest of both the parties involved. The young person should receive training that benefits them as their career starts in exchange for working for free.
Some guidelines that can be put in place:
The intern fully understands they will not be compensated (if they fall under unpaid category) or understands the compensation they will be receiving (for providing enterprise or labour) clearly.
The intern receives training that relates to their field of study.
The internship schedule accommodates the student’s class schedule.
The internship concludes when the intern has completed their company-provided training.
The intern does not replace a full-time, paid employee.
The intern does expect a paid job at the end of their internship.
Never take the intern you hire for granted and as someone who can do your company’s tedious work for free. Instead, create a formal internship program that provides the participants with valuable training and helps get their careers off to the right start.