Find out what skills and additional help they may need to excel in entry-level roles
Recent grads can be a cost-effective staffing choice — and a popular one. The largest quantity of employers in the U.S since 2007 planned to hire college graduates last year, according to a CareerBuilder survey.
Some companies, however, have expressed concerns that recent graduates may not be quite ready to handle their first full-time job.
Seventeen percent of employers feel academic institutions aren’t adequately preparing college students for the workforce. Forty-four percent worry students may lack real-world experience; 23 percent feel entry-level roles today are more complex than in the past.
Students, too, are concerned they won’t have the necessary skills to be successful in the workplace.
A Strada-Gallup survey found just over half — 53 percent — of students feel their major will lead to a good job. Only 36 percent believe they’ll graduate with the proficiencies they’ll need to perform well at work.
If your company plans to give a number of recent graduates their first official job this year, depending on the number of internships and other opportunities they’ve had, some onboarding, training and other adjustments may be required.
To help your organization successfully integrate right-out-of-school hires into your office environment, consider the following suggestions:
Know which positions may not need as much assistance:
- Gallup’s research found students pursuing business degrees, as well as ones preparing to enter STEM roles, felt fairly confident about graduating with the skills and knowledge they’d need for a successful workforce outcome.
In areas where skills shortages exist, employers may discover the best candidates they can find still need additional instruction. Employers in the U.K., for example, struggle most to find grads who can fill HR talent management roles, according to the Global University Employability Survey published in Times Higher Education; in Germany, a network and information security skills shortage exists. Identifying candidates who’d be dedicated, passionate employees, and then working to round out their skill set with additional training can be a potential solution.
Hands-on guidance may help
- Organizations that participated in the employability survey expressed a need, yet a low level of satisfaction with graduates’ critical thinking, adaptability and initiative capabilities.
CareerBuilder survey respondents identified interpersonal and problem-solving capabilities as the two biggest skills recent graduates lack . Teamwork abilities were ranked as the third biggest deficiency. Mentoring can be one way to show entry-level role hires how to utilize problem-solving techniques — and, at the same time, provide experience working with individuals and teams.
Encourage recent grads to practice communicating
- While it’s true millennials grew up with technology woven into their everyday lives — and are, as a result, generally very comfortable using it— it’s not always the communication method they prefer. A PwC survey found 96 percent of Gen Y members want to talk face-to-face about their career plans and progress; yet there seems to be a disconnect between how well employers and millennials feel communication is occurring.
While 79 percent of students consider themselves proficient in oral and written communications, just 41 percent of employers feel recent grads are adept at communicating, according to a survey released in February 2018 from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. For new hires who may not be used to expressing themselves in a professional work environment, experience is key. Offering opportunities to speak in small meetings and other somewhat informal settings, as well as providing communication-oriented training geared toward recent graduates, may help.
For additional suggestions to help recent grads — and other hires — acclimate into their new position, read our posts on making the onboarding process a success, bridging the skills gap and why companies can benefit from focusing on soft skills.