Graduation is rapidly approaching for a new class of college students, which means a huge crop of young professionals will soon be entering the workforce. The job market is looking up for both employers and job seekers from the millennial generation: research shows that more employers are planning to hire recent graduates this year than in recent years.
CareerBuilder’s annual college job forecast, which surveyed more than 2,800 human resources professionals and hiring managers, found that 46 percent of employers plan to hire recent graduates in 2011, a rise from 44 percent in 2010 and 43 percent in 2009.
Another study, from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, found that employers expect to hire 23,805 graduates this year, 19.3 percent more than they did in the 2009-2010 school year.
This is great news for members of the millennial generation who will be applying for their first job out of college. It is also promising for employers who will have the opportunity to hire recent graduates with diverse skill sets that are valuable in the workplace.
According to the CareerBuilder survey, the top skills employers are looking for from recent graduates are:
- Strong written and verbal communications – 69 percent
- Technical skills – 57 percent
- Project management – 44 percent
- Research – 30 percent
- Math – 31 percent
- Knowledge of using mobile applications and technologies – 21 percent
- Public speaking – 20 percent
- Basic accounting skills – 21 percent
- Adept at using social media – 16 percent
- Bilingual – 15 percent
4 Techniques to Hire the Right Recent Graduates
1. Take advantage of college job fairs.
Most colleges and universities host regular job fairs, where motivated students can submit their resumes and network with prospective employers and employers can meet a large number of possible employees. Career fairs operate much like an open house; hiring managers and job seekers can get to know each other in a more informal setting than a job interview and pave the way for the next steps in the hiring process. If you are looking to hire a new graduate from the millennium generation, take this opportunity to speak with job candidates to get a feel for their personalities, skills and experiences before you invite anyone to interview for open positions.
2. Interview, interview, interview.
The importance of careful interviewing during the hiring process can’t be overstated. Remember that you are looking for an employee who fits in with your company culture just as much as someone who has the knowledge and skills to do the job. When considering a candidate, conduct a series of interviews that examine his or her expertise, as well as other qualities you value in your organization, such as creativity, teamwork or communication.
3. Talk to their references.
When hiring recent graduates, be sure to speak with several of their references to get a well-rounded view of their capabilities and personality attributes. If possible, call professors and personal references as well as work supervisors and internship coordinators.
4. Look beyond traditional work experience.
Keep in mind that millennial generation job seekers are still young and just starting out their careers. They may not have extensive work experience, but take into account other factors, such as passion, curiosity and willingness to learn. Look at volunteer experience, internships, hobbies, entrepreneurial projects and other signs that a candidate might be the right fit for your organization.
Are you planning on hiring any recent graduates this year? What are you looking for in a candidate?
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