Why to Hire New College Graduates: Think Young in 2015

As we wave goodbye to 2014 and welcome 2015, now is the perfect time to look back on what we’ve learned and think about where we want to take our recruiting in the new year. A common theme in 2014 was millennial recruitment. Millennial recruitment was a hot button issue, and one that seemed to bring up a lot of emotions, mainly confusion, from HR  and hiring managers unsure of why to hire millennials and what benefits they bring. Keeping this in mind, I decided to look back on my 2014 and compile a list that sums up what millennials bring to the table and why they should be a serious part of your 2015 recruitment plan.

Why Hire New College Graduates

The Case for College Graduates at Your Company

Before we dive into my recommendations for your 2015 recruitment plan, I want to clarify that for those job seekers who have recently graduated college, that being a college graduate does not guarantee you a job even in this current healthy economy. Campus recruiting and recruiter programs are designed to find the best talent to fill important and growing roles for the organization. Companies who invest in these type of programs are actively looking to engage with college graduates and those interested in internship programs.

College Graduate Skill #1 – Enthusiasm

New grads can breathe fresh life into your company. They are excited to land their first job after college, and they have an enthusiasm that can only come from the excitement of a new chapter in life. Focus on applicants who have a real zest for your company’s mission, even if they don’t have the experience you want. It is better to have a happy employee who is willing to work hard and learn than an expert who lacks drive and doesn’t care about the company. Enthusiasm and drive are qualities every company wants, and Millennials deliver: 30 percent started their own business while still in college, and 92 percent believe entrepreneurship education is essential in today’s job market and economy.

College Graduate Skill #2 – Humbleness

Contrary to what many say about millennials, they aren’t any more entitled than a more seasoned worker. It is inevitable though that you will run across some candidates who will show their hand and reveal that they are not the best team player. To catch these types of potential hires during the interview process, mention some of the more mundane jobs the prospective entry-level hire will be tasked with, like organizing files or doing the expense reports, during the interview. If they balk or object , remind them that most employees start with the company that way to learn the ropes, then keep looking through your pile of applications for someone that may be a better fit.

College Graduate Skill #3 – Multitasking Skills

Most college grads have mastered the art of multitasking. This trait is something that, if taken advantage of properly, will translate to increased productivity within your company.  Millennials have grown up living their lives on multiple screens, texting while surfing the web and holding conversations all at the same time. Their ability to juggle many things at once means that they are particularly suited to jobs that entail a lot of variety. Don’t be afraid to give them a few varied tasks once on the job to keep them on their toes and the job interesting.

College Graudate Skill #4 – Tech-Savvy

There is no denying that recent college grads have an edge when it comes to technology. They grew up in an age of computers and the Internet, and they are quick to learn the latest programs and software. You’ll spend less time holding their hands during the training process, and they likely already be familiar with many technologically efficient solutions and strategies. Millennials will also most likely have the best insight into what technology their contemporaries are using, giving you direct access into the latest trends and places potential customers might be.

College Graduate Skill #5 – Eager to Learn

These young adults, born between 1976 and 2001, are more educated than any previous generation. Twenty percent of Millennial males have completed at least four years of college, and 15% of females have done the same. This love of learning extends to their careers as well. Over 60 percent of Millennials report that the most influential factor in their current position is opportunity for personal development, and just over half say that opportunities for career progression make a company more attractive. This means that they are eager to learn and want to grow with your company. Use this to your advantage by giving them opportunities to learn new skills that are relevant to their position and they will quickly become your most valuable hires.

As your 2015 hiring gets underway, keep these points in mind. Recruiting millennials, recent graduates and college grads can give your company an edge and starting early means you’ll develop a system and beat the competition for top millennial talent.


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Sean Little

Sean Little is the VP of Marketing for FirstJob, a marketplace for recent college graduates looking for quality career opportunities. Sean has previously written articles for Elite Daily, General Assembly, SmartRecruiters, and others. When not busy trying to help recent grads find their dream job, Sean can be found out in San Francisco partaking in live music.


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