With graduation season quickly approaching and summer internship opportunities on the horizon, there are important considerations to making great hires that could lead to landing the next key members of your team. Most recent graduates won’t bring much hands-on project experience to the team; therefore, it’s much more of a trust hire. Here are a few guidelines I recommend you consider to increase the odds of making an impactful hire:
• Soft Skills: Looking beyond what you might see on a resume, place a premium on soft skills. As the role of IT has changed to be more front and center in developing corporate strategies to gain a competitive advantage, IT professionals are expected to be collaborative with their counterparts in other areas of the organization. Additionally, employers are increasingly seeking out communication skills, the ability to solve problems and a track record of successful teamwork. As you interview potential new grads to join your team, use behavioral interview questions such as, “Give an example of a time you faced a conflict while working on a team and how you handled it,” to determine if they bring those skills to the table. Technical skills are important, don’t get me wrong, but most agree that you can develop technical skills much more easily than soft skills.
• Tech as a Hobby: Seek out candidates that have technology hobbies. Recent grads that build robots, have built websites, apps, or computers and even gamers should pique your interest. These individuals are not just looking for a job in technology – technology is how they enjoy spending their free time. In my experience, candidates in these categories bring a lot of raw skills to the table that you can develop. And because they are passionate about technology, they will invest the necessary time in training. Additionally, tech-savvy students or recent grads can potentially be a partner in bringing unique perspectives to solving business problems using technology.
• Passion for the Opportunity: Employees who are passionate about what they do are an incredibly valuable asset. They need less motivation as they are energized to do the work they enjoy. As you consider recent graduates for roles in your organization, ideally you’re looking for candidates who have researched your company and can explain why your organization appeals to them. If they have done the research and can articulate why they want to work at your firm, and express genuine motivation to be a part of your team based on the research they have done, they will likely take ownership of their own career because they want to make it work.
Many of these concepts apply to hiring summer interns as well. If you have the opportunity to bring on an intern, it’s an excellent way to see them in action and get them acclimated to your company culture. When they graduate, you will be in a stronger position to land them before another organization because you have the inside track.
Additionally, the odds of that full-time hire working out successfully are much higher because there is no mystery coming into the relationship. Both sides have a good understanding of the job duties, expectations and company environment.
It’s a great time of year to be looking at your next potential team members, either through full-time employment or internships right off the college campus. As the technology employment market remains candidate tight, campus recruiting might open up the opportunity to grab a promising candidate with a lot of potential to “grow your own” versus continuing to battle in the war for talent in the marketplace.
These tips can be beneficial in guiding you to increasing the success of a new hire for the employer and the employee. As always, we welcome your comments below.
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