Hiring employees straight out of college might seem like a roll of the dice to some, but what these recent grads might lack in real world experience can be compensated for by their energy, enthusiasm and the fresh perspectives they bring to the table.
If you are considering hiring some recent college graduates, here are a few quick and easy tips to get the most out of their efforts in the workplace.
Tap into their strengths. Nobody can do it all, even a seasoned pro, but this is particularly true with someone fresh out of college. Determine exactly what they do best and lean on them for that as much as you can.
Feed their enthusiasm. If you find a recent grad really digging into a particular aspect of their job, try to juggle the workload if possible to help foster that positive attitude. You’ll get better results and also let them know you care about their happiness in the workplace.
Embrace their opinions. Sure you won’t always want to use the input of someone fresh to the actual industry, but it’s important to let recent grads know you do respect their ideas and want to hear more of them. One of the bright spots about working with the younger set is the fresh perspectives they bring to the table, so you’re just shooting yourself in the foot by downplaying their suggestions.
Put yourselves in their shoes. Everyone has a first job out of college, and most of us had some of the same nervousness, trepidation and insecurity about making our first real position a success. Keep that in mind and try to nurture their growth and efforts while providing the kind of supervision you would have liked to have received in your first job.
Be a mentor more than a manager. While recent grads in your workplace need supervision as much as (or more than) other employees, try to recognize their lack of experience and aim for mentorship over management. For example, when mistakes are made shoot for solutions rather than casting blame—and look for ‘teachable moments’ where a misstep might be an opportunity to educate your employee/s and foster future growth.
Make the job fun. Yes it’s a workplace and not a party, but by making the office environment and company activities more enjoyable you’ll more effectively tap into the zeitgeist of your younger staffers. So think of easy ways to make the office more enjoyable without hurting production, like office pools for the Super Bowl, funny clothing contests tied to Casual Friday, or other lighthearted diversions.
Patience pays off. Expect a learning curve any time you’re working with a new employee, but especially someone right out of college. Avoid rushing them into anything too intense without extensive training and you’ll be rewarded by confident employees who know what they’re doing and take pride in being good at it.
Communicate goals clearly. It can be tough for anyone new to an organization not knowing exactly what is expected of them, but probably even more so for a college grad in their first serious position. Make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to precisely what they’re trying to achieve—both short- and long-term—and you greatly increase an employee’s chances of succeeding in their new position.