Don’t shy away from hiring students! We surveyed nearly 300 students from across different colleges and universities, 65 percent of students are looking to gain experience in the workforce while still in school, whether it be a part-time internship or a full-time job. In fact; nearly 15 percent of those young professionals are looking for full-time employment. Many are willing and eager to gain experience with anyone who is willing to give them an opportunity. They are swimming in a world of “no’s” and “not enough experience.” The dreaded catch 22 of not being able to gain experience because they don’t have experience is haunting them, yet making them even more hungry for those positions. Give them their first yes, and they'll stay loyal to you!
Eager to Learn
Their brains are still in school mode, which means anything you throw at them they would be able and willing to grasp and probably faster than that of the average person. Not only are their brains sponges, but they are hungry for information. Studies show that millennials and college grads value knowledge in a workplace and want to absorb as much of it as possible. So, while many experienced employees may come in with preconceived notions of how things should be done, younger recruits are adaptable and will start doing things your way, taking notes and considerations in the process.
According to Pew Research Institute, 74 percent of all internet users are on social media. However, 89 percent of those users are between the ages of 18 and 29. Further research shows that “The average user of a social networking site has more close ties and is half as likely to be socially isolated as the average American.” Companies are looking for individuals that will be innovative and forward-thinking, which means hiring more technical savvy candidates. The millennial generation basically doesn't remember a time when the internet did not exist, which will serve many organizations well in this endeavor.
Students tend to have more of an open mindset, which means they would be more willing to experiencing change and adapting to new environments. This is not something most people take too well when it comes to the workplace, especially with Gen Xers and Gen Y, because the average experienced employee is pretty much already set in their ways. Students may be set in their ways in terms of who they might be, but when it comes to working habits and details that will make a difference in the efficiency of your organization, generation Z will be starting from scratch. It's always easier to mold play-dough fresh out of the box before anyone else had a chance to play with it, and when it comes to hiring and training, that's an advantage you get with younger hires.
When it comes to hiring those that are going to make an impact and get along well with others, younger candidates are better for that than most. They have grown up in diversity, which means they are most likely to along with most people. Most Gen-Zers and Millennials expect diversity and understand what it really means: being around those with different experiences, majors, backgrounds, religions, etc. This makes it more likely that they will fit in with any organization.
There’s no doubt that it’s a competitive world out there for students. They want to be noticed by companies and too many have very little luck. When they do finally get an opportunity, they are incredibly loyal to the company that gave it to them when they had little to no experience, to begin with. Additionally, offering projects for students to work on while they are still in school will give them the opportunity to have them prove themselves. Even if they decide not to move forward with you at the time of hire, it is likely they will recommend your company to others, allowing you to build brand loyalty!
There are many reasons why hiring someone who may not meet your "experience" requirement is a good idea, but mostly, it comes down to this: experience doesn't suggest that that particular person will make a positive impact on your organization. It's possible to hire someone that has never sold anything in their lives except for themselves when getting their new position, and they can become a leading salesperson for your organization. At the same time, you can have someone who has had 20 years of sales experience join your team and fail to understand the dynamic, structure, culture and much more, negatively impacting their performance, drive and so forth.
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