Hiring recent graduates can often feel like a gamble. Most of us might know that feeling of walking up to a slot machine and pulling the lever waiting for our lucky sevens that never show up. But I’m one to argue it’s not as difficult to find qualified candidates as one may think, especially if your company is using a platform like Pangea.app.
As someone who has been on both sides of the hiring process, entry level jobs are the gateway for college grads. That means a new hire from the college world would most likely be some of the company’s top talent and a real asset to the team. If you’re looking to expand your team and hire employees, it’s something you should keep in mind while reviewing resumes and going through the interview process.
So let’s get to the why…
College Grads Are Some Of The Best Candidates
The coronavirus pandemic is intertwined with the labor market, along with all the global developments that have contributed to a looming economic crisis. College students who graduated in 2020 are scarred by a tumultuous hiring process that often took way longer than they expected because of the pandemic.
We can’t deny the numbers. Only half of the class of 2020 was employed full time six months after graduation. And if you brought on any new hires during this time, chances are they weren’t completely sure that they even matched the job requirements, especially for an entry level position.
A recent study from a global education technology company called Cengage found that 49-percent of students who graduated within the past year did not feel like they were prepared for a particular job. About 39-percent of respondents said it was because they didn’t believe they were the ideal candidate because they didn’t fit the job description.
Uh, hello!? Some companies are requiring a student who attended a four-year university to have three to five years of experience for particular positions. How do companies expect to find top candidates when the job description already excluded such a large number of people who could be the right candidates? In fact, grads only fill 58% of entry level jobs as more experienced candidates look to fill the same positions.
It’s especially shocking when only 27-percent of college graduates say they work in a field related to their major, according to a survey revised by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 2014. The point? If someone can take on a new position without meeting the job description and learn new skills, then someone who might be a first hire could definitely do the job without having FIVE years of experience.
And let’s not forget the - sometimes - ridiculous amount of steps that go into applying for any job, not just for a beginner. Digital Marketer Marina Krivonossova once applied to a job posting with an appealing description but terrible pay and called the application process “horrifying.” She was expected to put her time into an application process for a position and pay that wasn’t even going to pay off in the end.
Because of her experience looking for a new job, Krivonossova asked more than 1,700 people what they thought a smooth application process looks like. A majority of them, 57%, said only one to two steps were necessary.
Even if your company isn’t necessarily looking to hire a full time employee, it certainly should take this into account when reviewing the freelancers you’re going to bring on board.
Recent Grads Want To Love Their Job
Let’s be real, the coronavirus pandemic changed everything about work – from the job search to the hiring process, and even the job description. Job descriptions in a post pandemic world will now say whether new employees will have to respond to work in person or if they can fulfill their responsibilities from home.
Even though people loved to save on the commuting time, none of that mattered. Some people saw the pandemic as an opportunity to peruse job postings in their field or cast a wider net and jump fields. If I’m being honest, I know at least one 2020 recent grad, if not more, who decided they weren’t a good candidate for a full time job and kick started their own business or started to freelance.
However, your youngest employees may now become some of your most dependable workers since Harvard Business Review found that resignations actually decreased for workers between the ages of 20 and 25, the perfect candidate for entry level jobs. These job seekers don’t know where the economy is headed and without a chunk of change saved up to follow their dreams, they don’t really have the financial resources to up and quit their jobs.
Recent grads are picking up the so-called slack that was created when mid-career employees (an experienced professional) started “The Great Resignation,” which is still in motion. We started seeing this exodus in 2020 when employers paused hiring to focus on internal finances and started bracing for the negative impact COVID would have on their bottom line. It carried over into 2021, when nearly 48-million people voluntarily left their companies. People not only got sick of their employers but they got sick of waiting for the economy to pick up so they could get a raise.
Even so, imagine all those recent grads just waiting for one job offer worrying about what a resume gap would look like to employers or when student loan payments would need to be made. They could have been an ideal candidate that companies had to pass on because they graduated at the wrong time and settled for a job offer that paid the bills. Companies on Pangea.app are typically doing exciting things so hire employees that are thrilled to get the job offer.
College Graduates Breathe New Life Into A Company
Fresh faced and green, college grads make the perfect new employee. Once the offer letter is signed they’re enthusiastic to take on a new role, so tech savvy they make the onboarding process a breeze, and are ready to create - or whatever it is they’re going to be doing. Hiring employees of all different ages will help your business connect with every generation.
Right after a graduating class hires is when the market gets hot. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the professional and business services sector saw the largest number of hires in May, with 320,000 people added to that workforce. And the market continues to grow as qualified candidates enter the workforce pretty consistently, especially following graduation.
Take self taught coder Jason Cox, who says he has started keeping himself open to helping and connecting with new talent. Serving as a mentor by reviewing a resume or helping a potential candidate make a connection with a company helps Cox determine if someone could be good for his team or any other team.
Think about Return On Investment
Hiring young talent can pay off in the long run. Hiring managers can use interview questions to gauge a new candidate’s strengths compared to other candidates. The initial onboarding process and training could be the hardest your team has to work once they actually get the hang of the job. They’re not the first employee your team is going to have to train but they could be one of the easiest employees to train. I say that because recent college graduates are a blank slate and your team can decide what they need to know and how they need to do it in order to align with the company’s mission.
And they’re young! There’s longevity when you work with a young candidate, especially if there’s opportunity to grow within the company.
And if you’re afraid of retention? Then take a page out of Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, “train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
The Entry Level Generation’s GOT GRIT
What determines grit? I would argue deciding to work for yourself and joining the freelance market.
Younger candidates are ditching the traditional hiring process and forgetting the resume (that typically has talent digging up skills they acquired from extra curriculars in third grade) and cover letter to kick start their own businesses. Forget the employee handbook, they’re ready to be the boss.
But They're Still Open To Job Opportunities
That doesn’t mean they won’t answer a sporadic job posting but they are no longer the job seeker and instead deciding what positions will best fit their portfolio to help them grow their own brands. It’s no longer about managing remote employees, but instead about managing remote engagements. And since they’re working for themselves, they’re going to work for their reputation and help fulfill your company’s mission.
The freelancing pool is growing and most freelancers in the United States are young. According to Finance Online, nearly 64% of freelancers are under the age of 34.
Mind blowing? Wait for it...
To take that even further, 39% of freelancers are under the age of 24 - that shows college graduates and college students are taking the initiative and creating their dream jobs. Your company might even get to work with top talent without having to offer all the benefits that come along with a full time position.
Knowing why to hire young candidates is the easy part…but only if you’re using the wrong platforms, which are typically third party apps.
How Third Party Platforms Facilitate Hiring
There are so many outside job sites that can help a business make a new hire but they don’t always make navigating the hiring process as easy as it could be. And the hiring process for remote workers and freelancers all differs. There’s no right way to do it but there’s certainly an easy way.
There’s no doubt you’ve heard of the major companies like Upwork and Fiverr. They’re different platforms but they serve the same purpose. They’re both considered some of the top websites to find freelance candidates and for candidates to find jobs, not necessarily a way to hire employees.
Each website features different areas of freelance that experts might be interested in. A candidate can look over job descriptions and figure out what company is offering positions that work for them. The same goes for businesses looking to bring in a new employee - they get to review each candidate and figure out who they might want to hire.
Upwork is unique in that a candidate can present a finished product before they’re even brought on board. A company can then decide if they like the plan and purchase it without going through the guesswork. Upwork does offer the traditional ways of hiring a candidate, but doesn’t necessarily focus on one particular route. It’s up to the company to decide what would best fit the project or position.
Fiverr is not much different. It aims to connect businesses with ideal candidates. A lot of its content does center around helping and inspiring freelancers, which is great.
And even though there are several other platforms companies and candidates can use, there is still a gap in the market when it comes to hiring college grads or hiring employees who are just a few years into their careers.
Pangea.app Enhances The Hiring Process - And Beyond
Pangea.app strives to be a place where a young professional can connect with a business looking for its next employee. Full time, part time, freelance, or anything in between, Pangea.app has been home to a slew of successful professional engagements. Some companies weren’t even looking to make a new hire and fell into the perfect candidate.
That’s typically because the professionals who use our come with basic skills, understand responsibilities and don't have to undergo an exorbitant amount of training. They’re ready to jump in when the contract is signed and the hire is complete.
This may sound great but you might be wondering how Pangea.app actually differs from the platforms mentioned above.
Trust Me, It Does
Hiring employees is stressful enough and managing them can be even more stressful. Pangea.app gives freelancers and their clients the guidance needed to carry out a successful engagement, whether it’s long or short term. From when and how to communicate to ensuring payment is worked out before the contract is signed, Pangea.app wants to see all engagements thrive. We provide employer resources and want to ensure each party’s needs are met.