If you are a business owner who intends to hire a few college grads, do you know what to look for, what to ask, and how to identify the best candidates? There’s a bit of art as well as sciences to finding people who can truly mesh with your organization and stick around for more than a few months. Here are some tactics you can use before, during, and after interviews to make the right decision.
Start with Resumes
Don’t rely on automated resume screening programs to do anything but a first scan. After you narrow down candidates based on majors, grades, and fields of career interest, read every resume carefully. Try to get a feel for what people are like before you meet them, and pay special attention to non-academic activities like charity work, public speaking experience, and hobbies. It’s all about seeing the whole person rather than a one-dimensional interview subject.
Offer a Two-Week Evaluation Period
Many grads like the idea of a two-week walkaway period. These new forms of quick internships offer full pay, but there’s no obligation on the part of your company to hire or for the graduate to accept the position. At the end of the period, schedule another interview. At that time, both you and the trainee will have a much better idea of whether a permanent position would make sense.
Offer Targeted Financial Incentives to Top Candidates
Keep in mind that most of the people you speak with financed their studies with loans and are always in search of ways to lessen their financial obligations. These days, the average college student who borrows money spends time online researching what student loan proceeds can be used for, how to creatively repay the obligation, and when refinancing makes sense. Those you interview have just spent four years being careful about not spending loan proceeds for unauthorized purposes, like vehicle payments and travel.
If your company is willing to help grads repay some or all of their education borrowing in exchange for long-term employment, you’ll have access to a wider pool of interested candidates who intend to turn their first job into a career. Some employers pay half of a new hire’s monthly obligation for the first one, two, or three years of employment. It’s a fair, effective, relatively inexpensive way to attract top talent.
Do a Social Media and Cyber Footprint Check
Not every person you interview would make an ideal hire. Without digging too deep, do a quick check for highly embarrassing social media posts, cyber footprints that might conflict with your company’s goals, and obvious signs of illegal activity on the part of the applicant. It’s better to discover these kinds of things now rather than two or three months after hiring someone.
Many employers feel ill at ease doing this sort of investigating. Rest assured, the applicant has likely done the very same thing about your organization’s top managers, founders, and key workers. If you provided interviewer names to an applicant prior to an interview, for example, job candidates will often find out as much as possible about the person before the meeting.