Overlooking the risk of hiring new graduates

June 27, 2013 at 11:27 am Leave a comment

In a new survey released June 10 by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 53 percent of survey respondents shared that they feel that the class of 2013 is far more likely to be under-qualified for the jobs for which they apply than their fellow applicants. Talk about a reality check after four years of undergrad or graduate work.

It’s tough enough that 62 percent of survey respondents state that there’s more competition for jobs overall due to the tough economic climate, but the survey also indicates that most HR professionals see no competitive edge from many of these new grads fresh on the job market.

Sure there may be drawbacks (49 percent of survey-takers say the single biggest skill these new graduates are lacking is basic grammar, spelling and skill writing in English), but what benefits might these new graduates bring to your organization? Well, most survey respondents (49%) find these applicants to be highly tech savvy, and many have come out of school with a network already in place within their industry of choice. These survey takers (54%) also find that these graduates are willing—perhaps more willing than their peers in recent years, given the length of the hiring slowdown that is just now beginning to pick up—to take entry-level positions to build up their experience, and Generation-Y recruits have a reputation for giving any position their all.

Are you still wary about hiring these brand new recruits? If that is because you’re like one of the 25 percent of survey respondents who say that they currently lack the resources to train these under-qualified graduates, consider letting them learn on the job through a mentorship program. Talk to your existing staff about the benefits of becoming a mentor, such as the opportunity to take a fresh look at their own job, the development of their leadership abilities and the opportunity to learn new skills (for example, picking up some of that technological savvy) from their mentees. This in turn provides the organization with an individual who is, in time, fully trained in the best practices for your company.

Keep in mind, for a mentor program to become a successful part of your organization, the HR department should work closely with these new partners, from finding appropriate pairings to managing expectations and resolving conflicts.

Want to learn more about the SHRM survey? Visit www.shrm.org for the full results.

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Entry filed under: Recruiting, Training. Tags: .

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