Hiring Students From the Top of the Class
Many good startup companies rely on the powerful combination of experienced wisdom and youthful energy from their employees. While it is important to have people who know the industry and have valuable professional connections, it is also key to have hard-working junior employees who serve as the future of the company. However, hiring students with talent and enthusiasm is hard for some startups. We’ve put together a few tips for finding and enticing recent graduates to work for your company.
Allow a Comfortable Dress Code
Ask yourself: is it really that important that all of your computer programmers show up to work in a jacket and tie? Perhaps it would be acceptable for your sales team to dress casually on Friday because they don’t take sales calls. Ask yourself: what really is so offensive about jeans?
Most of the time, rigid professional dress codes are nothing more than a matter of habit and tradition. While business attire may be essential when meeting clients face-to-face, chances are a relaxed dress code could be a positive around the office. Students today are not accustomed to wearing a jacket and tie. With the exception of business students, they likely bought their first one in anticipation of their job interviews. As such, recent graduates would be much more comfortable at a company that allows them to dress somewhat casually. Leverage this knowledge when you are hiring students.
Offer Work-Life Balance
In the past, recent graduates would quickly take the highest-paying, most prestigious job they could. The millennial generation tends to have slightly more discerning tastes. Some firms have found ways to entice young professionals with positive work-life balance, relaxed office conduct, and fun social perks to the jobs they offer. Many millennials are less focused on the size of their paycheck, or the recognition that comes from their business card. Recent graduates often seek the opportunity to use the time that they’re not in the office to pursue other interests, like reading, exercise, or volunteering.
It is often said that prior generations lived to work, while the youngest one today works to live. While some top students will still chase jobs with fat paychecks, fancy computers, and long work hours, it is important to note that some very qualified talent is searching for a well-rounded career opportunity.
The best way to rope in top-quality graduate talent is hiring students before they graduate. Students sacrifice hours that could be focused on studying or partying to instead seek an internship over the summer. Students know that when they graduate, their value as employees will be judged based on the relevant and applicable skills they have, and many graduate with clear shortcomings. You can bring in one or two of these talented students in their penultimate summer, and while they work for you (at a relatively low wage) they will be exposed to your corporate culture and grow comfortable around your offices.
An internship also gives you the opportunity to “trial-run” potential graduate hires, with no commitment. If they perform well, you are in an excellent place to convince them to return after their final year. On the other hand, if they don’t live up to expectations, you can look elsewhere when hiring students.
Tell Graduates that You’re Hiring Students
This might seem simple, but most of the time recent graduates are hesitant to cold-call companies. Especially if you’re a small firm, they may not assume that you are currently hiring students , unless you make it very clear that you’re searching for new talent. It doesn’t take much: simply dropping a post into your social media calendar can put the word out that you’re in the market for some top-quality young talent.
The internet has made it easier than ever for students to explore their employment options upon graduation. However, it also means that companies that perform best in google searches (that is, big firms) tend to be the ones that students are most aware of. Chances are, the perfect recent graduate is out there, weighing the benefits of working at generic, soulless Firm A, or bureaucratic, boring Firm B. It doesn’t take much to put your opportunities on their radar and hire students with lots of talent, but you have to position your openings strategically.
Do you have experience hiring students from the top of the class? Post any tips you may have!