Why Fresh Grads Make Effective New Employees

By Danni White on October 30, 2016

Every month, the U.S. Labor Department releases a report on the economy and the workforce. At one point in our country’s history, it was elating to hear such a report.

However, over the past couple of years, excitement around this subject has dimmed to almost abysmal levels.

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One of the reasons is that while there are more than enough jobs to go around for everybody, there are seemingly fewer qualified employees to actually take these jobs. This isn’t to say that recruiters aren’t doing their job. These days, regardless of the industry or promoted job description, there is stiff competition for the most qualified candidates in the working world.

Online tools such as LinkedIn have made it that much easier for human resource managers and recruiters to discover and court top talent. While businesses make many major decisions, one of the most important is finding the best people to do the best job at optimal speed and effectiveness. Of course, when you’re trying to decide between an experienced candidate and a recent grad, there are many pros and cons.

Some employers may think they don’t need to focus on attracting recent or soon to be college graduates as much as other age groups. However, if you are looking to build deep future talent within your company and thought leaders in the industry, you might want to think again.

Here are just a few reasons why fresh grads make effective new employees.

They are technologically savvy.

Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, explains, “Young people hold the key to unlock the future of companies. They have all the bright ideas and are extremely savvy with technology.”

Without a doubt, one of the biggest advantages of hiring a college graduate is their ability to think through computer applications and navigate the latest, innovative technology. Many elder statesmen, unfortunately, don’t have the same handle on technology and lend themselves to a slower work environment. College grads raised in the age of technology are more dependent on computers and thus are fast learners.

They are easier to manage.

When compared to experienced or established workers, college grads are much easier to manage and to teach. The saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” applies here. While new college grads definitely want to feel like they are a part of a team and that their contributions are valued, they are usually more concerned with their day to day workload.

Besides that, college grads spend less time involved in office politics and more time doing the actual work. A large number of college grads are self-starters and self-motivated, requiring less micro-management and more big-picture training. As they say, “hire for attitude, train for skills.”

They are incredibly teachable.

For all the talk about the entitlement of millennials, it isn’t much of a surprise that most college graduates are very teachable. I mean, after all, they did have to sit through class after class, lecture after lecture, and turn in assignment after assignment even if they didn’t think it was necessary.

But what it really boils down to is this: young people love to learn new things. If the company you’re recruiting for is attempting to invent or create something new, then college grads are your best bet.

They are the next generation of leaders.

A good reason to recruit college students and recent graduates is because over time, they will become the next generation of leaders. Recruiting your next chief executive officer or chief financial officer or even your next chief of human resources and talent will be far less expensive and less risky than trying to recruit from the outside.

You have the added benefit that the 30 something year old who’s been with the company since 20 has a good grasp of the company vision and goals and has the chops to actually steer it in the right directions.

They are more willing to take risks.

So we’re often told not to take risks and to play it safe. But how much innovation has come out of playing it safe? Very little, I’d imagine. Companies who are on the front lines of making things happen in the world take incredible risks with their time and their talent. The idea of risk completely stokes them to imagine and create bigger and better things.

Older people, quite honestly, are not as enthused about taking risks. They are most likely comfortable where they are and more familiar with what they’ve always known. Hence, the need for a younger crop. A company that grows stagnant pretty soon dies. New college grads can help keep their companies alive and thriving with their new ideas and daredevil tactics to get work done.

They always ask “why”?

New college graduates are faced with a massive amount of information on any given day. Their ability to decipher between the essential and the non-essential and always preface every new idea with “why” can be beneficial to any company.

Being superior communicators, team players, and agile change agents puts them at the forefront of new possible ideas and sets them up to be superior leaders. Understanding the significance of their work — the why — influences them to put forth their best effort and achieve good, consistent results.

To quote educator Diane Ravitch, “The person who knows ‘how’ will always have a job. The person who knows ‘why’ will always be his boss.”

These are just some of the many reasons you should consider hiring recent or soon to be college students. Young people do aspire to change the world and approaching them with the right offer can work well both ways.

By Danni White

Uloop Writer
Liberty University
Danni White is a developmental psychology graduate student at Liberty University. She works in the digital publishing, media, and technology industries. After this degree, she will go on to work on a PhD in social psychology in which she hopes to do research on perception and social cognition’s impact on human behavior. She hopes to apply this research in corporate HR departments and community-based organizations. In her otherwise limited spare time, she blogs, writes and reads. She loves coffee, sports, music, cooking, meeting new people, and binge watching Netflix.

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