Is it worth hiring a graduate who has no work experience?

Last updated Sep 19, 2022

A young candidate fresh out of university sits in front of you.

You can see the eagerness in their face and you feel inclined to give them a chance because as everyone knows the youth is the future right?

However, every business owner knows that hiring a recent university graduate can be risky and challenging, especially if it’s their first experience in the corporate world.

While some employers try to avoid hiring recent graduates, preferring to look for older applicants with more professional experience, many businesses today are starting to change their tune and take chances on younger and less proven workers.

Identifying the pros and cons of hiring new grads and seasoned professionals can help you determine which type of employee you should hire. 

In this article, we explore the reason for, advantages, and disadvantages of hiring new graduates.

Should you hire recent college graduates or experienced workers?

There are advantages and disadvantages that come along with hiring experienced workers and recent college graduates for your business. New grads typically cost less money, but they require more time investment for training. Experienced workers have the crucial knowledge new grads lack, though they can be expensive and set in their ways.

Consider the whole candidate, not just their ability to do the job. In addition to matching the skillset required, be sure they have soft skills and will fit into the company culture.

Why hire fresh graduates?

Aside from graduate-centric job openings, there are a variety of reasons why you should consider employing recent graduates for other roles in your organization.

Offer your organization reduced salary costs

One of the most appealing aspects about hiring a graduate is that, because to their lack of experience, they are prepared to work for much less than more experienced professionals. Most companies aim to maximize profits, therefore lowering yearly salaries might be beneficial to the company.

However, keep in mind that recent graduates will require extra training to get them up to speed with the company’s processes and procedures. This might cost the company more time and money in the long term.

They give you a new outlook on things

They offer a unique viewpoint and a wealth of new concepts that they’ve picked up from innovative thinkers at school and instructors who push them to think outside the box.

By hiring staff from different generations, you will bring a variety of attitudes and thinking styles to the workplace. Younger employees will have different experiences than their older colleagues and an awareness of current cultural trends. They can contribute new ideas by looking at things with fresh eyes

Furthermore, as they are just starting their career, there’s no need to unlearn outdated ways or undesirable behaviors that seasoned hires may bring with them.

They’re are adaptable

If they are starting their first job, they will most likely have no pre-formed work habits or routines, so they will be willing to change the company’s working hours and culture. They’ll also be eager to impress, so you’ll have a good shot at fitting in where you want them to. Employees under the age of 25 are less likely to have outside commitments such as family than those over 25.

This is advantageous for businesses as it means they can be more flexible with working hours and are less likely to need time off.

They’re easy to train.

Graduates are like sponges that take in all of the new information you offer them. You have a solid advantage here because it is their first time working in the business world. They are, effectively, a clean canvas with which to learn new talents and gain experience in a variety of areas.

This can be very beneficial to businesses because it means they can mold their new hires into ideal employees. It also saves time and money hiring an experienced person and then having to train them to use your systems and processes.

They know their way around a computer (and technology in general)

Today’s graduates are, as a generalization, technologically savvy and able to quickly learn any tools, software, or hardware required for the job. They may also be able to assist other employees with technology. In addition, they likely have a proficient understanding of social media which can benefit branding and networking for the company.

This is an important skill in the current job market as most businesses use some form of technology, whether it be to communicate with customers or manage files and data.

Addresses your needs for succession planning

It’s difficult to find first-level managers from the outside since no matter how competent their management abilities are, they are unfamiliar with the team and company culture. Hiring entry-level college graduates over a long period of time allow you to rapidly transfer the best into supervisory and managerial roles.

This is an important consideration for businesses as it can be difficult and expensive to find qualified candidates from the outside. Additionally, hiring from within ensures that company values are upheld and that the new managers are familiar with the team and company culture.

Some disadvantages in hiring fresh graduates

They lack experience

Graduates have no way of showing whether they would excel in the position you need to fill, and compared to more experienced workers, they lack knowledge and insight into the field. They will also make more mistakes as they are still learning the ropes.

This can be costly for businesses as it takes time and money to train employees and if they make mistakes, it can cost the company time and money to fix them. Additionally, experienced workers are generally more productive and efficient than those who lack experience.

They may have unrealistic expectations

Many fresh graduates have idealistic notions of what their first job will be like. They may expect to be given more responsibility or pay than they are actually entitled to, and they may be disappointed when they realize that they are at the bottom of the totem pole.

This can lead to frustration and resentment amongst employees, which can negatively impact morale and productivity. Additionally, it can lead to a high turnover rate as employees may leave the company in search of a better position.

They may not be able to commit long term

Many fresh graduates are still in the process of finishing their education or have other commitments that prevent them from being able to commit long-term to a single employer. This can be disruptive for businesses as they may have to constantly train new employees.

Hiring decisions you must make

Though some may claim that there are benefits to hiring either only young or only older employees, the fact of the matter is that a diverse workplace composed of both kinds can function just as well – if not better. Younger candidates might lack professional experience, but what they make up for in enthusiasm and energy more than balances out this shortcoming. And besides, in today’s job market you have the chance to snatch up talented individuals before your competition does.

If you’re looking to hire young professionals, here are some ideas that may help:

Balance your expectations

Temper your expectations on how much professional experience they have. More important in these situations are educational history, passion, and potential. If you’re hiring for an entry-level job, a recent graduate is an ideal candidate.

Remember that hiring is an investment

Hiring any employee – experienced or not – is an investment. You need to invest time in training them regardless of how much experience they have. The key is to find someone who you think will be worth that investment.

Don’t forget about soft skills

Soft skills are becoming increasingly important in the workplace as they are difficult to teach and train. When hiring recent graduates, look for individuals who have strong communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.

Do your research

When hiring anyone – not just recent graduates – be sure to do your research. This includes everything from reading their resume and cover letter to checking their references and conducting a background check.

The decision of whether or not to hire fresh graduates ultimately comes down to what your business needs. If you’re hiring for an entry-level position, recent graduates can be excellent candidates. However, if you’re looking for someone with a lot of experience, you may want to look elsewhere.

No matter who you hire, be sure to do your research and invest time in training them so they can be the best employees they can be.

Emphasize a growth culture in your organization

The fear that a recent graduate may be a needless expenditure of time and money (since they might change their minds about a position after some time) can be allayed. You may do this by assuring these individuals that they will be included, involved, and heard. Assist them in seeing potential future opportunities. Offer space for professional growth to assist with retention.

What are your thoughts on hiring fresh graduates? Do you have any tips for hiring – and retaining them?

By: Curran Daly + Associates


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