People who say college grads feel entitled or aren't willing to work hard haven't found and hired the right college grad for their company, culture, or the job itself, says Todd Berger, CEO of Transportation Solutions Enterprises, a Chicago-based logistics firm that offers transportation services.
Great talent is among the Class of 2014, he says. If you're interested in finding and attracting those individuals, here's how:
1. Go where they are, and do what they enjoy. Sharp, soon-to-be college graduates (the kind you want to hire) attend university job fairs, Berger says. "It's the best bang for their buck and helps them meet employers in a variety of industries." Stand out by hosting a happy hour at a bar or restaurant later that evening. Invite the best candidates you met throughout the job fair, and get to know them in an informal setting. Bring along employees who are engaging and can best represent the company's culture, he suggests.
2. Look beyond the resume. "Since fresh grads have minimal experience, hiring managers need to consider long-term growth opportunities," he explains. Don't look at the resume as a recap of what they've done but, instead, as an indicator of what they can accomplish. "Were they involved in activities or clubs in college? Did they hold leadership positions? Were they able to balance several activities and a full class load? These are all indicators of a strong work ethic."
3. Find recent grads who would be a great fit culturally. Identify the personality traits that top employees at your company share, and then look for those in candidates. "Our top performers are fiercely competitive, articulate, organized individuals, so these are three qualities we look for in candidates," Berger says. "Remember, every company's culture is different, so find what personalities excel in the environment. During the interview, get to know the candidate's personality and determine whether they are a culture-fit. This can be done by asking off-the-cuff questions that aren't directly career-related, or by having multiple employees meet with them."
It's more cost effective to invest time upfront finding the right talent and properly training them than it is to deal with the amount of emotional and financial damage that employee turnover will cause the company, Berger adds. "So take the time to find the right hire, and don't limit yourself to the job description. Get creative when thinking about the candidate's future and what could possibly be," he concludes.
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