Mistakes When Hiring Recent Grads

With spring comes graduation and with graduation comes job-seekers. If your organization is looking to hire, now could be the perfect time – especially if you’re looking to fill an entry-level position.

But heads up: When hiring a recent graduate – to set both you and the young professional up for success – steer clear of these four common hiring mistakes:

Mistake #1: Waiting too long to extend an offer

This is the trickiest mistake to avoid, and that’s because it’s a bit of a guessing game. When hiring, you want to make sure you find the best possible candidate, but at the same time, you don’t want to lose interested (and qualified) candidates because of a too-long hiring process.

Consider this: According to PNP Staffing Group’s 2019 Nonprofit Staffing Report, when a desired candidate turns down a job, 36 percent of the time it’s because the organization waited too long to extend an offer.

Many Gen Z professionals are go-getters – and that’s a GREAT quality to have. But that just means they’ll be exploring as many job opportunities as possible, so when you feel like you’ve found “the one,” try and act in a fairly swift manner.

Mistake #2: Assuming they know how to manage your organization’s social media platforms

This one is a personal pet peeve of mine. Yes, pretty much all recent grads are going to be familiar with social media. They likely ALL have Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/etc. accounts of their own. But how you manage a personal social media account is VERY different from how you should manage a professional account.

Social media is about more than just understanding the logistics of how to post, how to use hashtags, how to use Instagram Stories, etc. It’s about branding and requires a deep understanding of 1) what your organization’s brand is, and 2) who your target audience is.

That said, if you’re looking for someone to manage your organization’s social media platforms, I highly recommend seeking someone with communications and digital media experience. Don’t try to throw that job duty in with a completely unrelated position (IT support, for example), simply because the candidate is “young.”

Mistake #3: Not asking for their input and/or challenging them enough

Sure, recent grads are brand new to the real world. They have a lot to learn! But they also have a lot to share – both ideas-wise and skills-wise – if you’re open and willing to ask. While overall strategy will still likely come from the top, make it a point to ask what their thoughts are and if they have anything new or different to add. (These are “fresh eyes,” so use that to your organization’s advantage!)

Similarly, because they’re young, don’t assume they can’t handle difficult tasks, work independently, or see projects through to completion. Challenge them and see what they’re capable of. They’ll likely appreciate your faith in them and want to go above and beyond.

Hiring is exciting! Yes, it’s a process that takes time, but just think of the end result: your team getting stronger and better. But remember: To be truly successful, the work doesn’t end once the hiring process is over. A strong onboarding process is key.

For tips on how to onboard effectively, check out our free guide, Best Practices for Onboarding New Staff!