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Challenges Facing Employers Hiring Interns and Recent College Grads

Challenges Facing Employers Hiring Interns and Recent College Grads

One of the biggest challenges facing college graduates is finding the right type of job afterward. However, many employers actively recruit new graduates because they know they’ll be a great asset to the company. These employers often work closely with colleges to hire the best and brightest students since they’ll add value to their bottom-line. For example, BlackBerry (RIM) has worked closely with Waterloo University in Canada to recruit potential graduates right after they finish university. These students have been screened beforehand so they can join the company right away. It’s important to understand these students show exceptional skills in their field of study.

With that said, there are still a lot of challenges for employers when looking for the brightest people to join their organization right out of college. I did some research and found five major challenges that I’ll discuss below.

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Heavy Competition

There is enormous competition between companies when looking for the best people to join their team. Many employers will likely target the same colleges making it harder for a single company to recruit the brightest graduates. In order for these companies to improve their chances, they’ll offer higher pay and packages to get an edge on their competition. With competition being so high, there’s always the threat of these new hires being taken away after one year. For example, if a specific company doesn’t hire them the first time around, it doesn’t mean they won’t try and hire them a year later.

Keeping the Talent

New graduates know when they get hired by a company that their success will be capped because they’ll often have to sign lengthy contracts. The contract will also limit their mobility within the company. In the end, their growth and profit margins are limited going forward. New graduates recognize this so are working to gain experience and quickly leave right after to pursue a higher position. In the end, companies are faced with the challenge of replacing employees after they’ve invested so much time and money into their progress.

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To keep new graduates with the company longer, they’ve started to –

  • Promise development over the years
  • Hire them under their own company name for tax benefits
  • Offer higher than normal salaries
  • Pay for master and MBA programs
  • Pay for housing, flights, and travel costs

Cracking Under Pressure

Since college graduates are hired right after graduation, they have a lot of pressure on them to perform. They have been brought in because of their exceptional skills and companies are hoping they’ll increase profits, diversify products, etc. But, this pressure causes them to crack and they don’t perform the way they were expected to. The company is left with an under-performing employee because they are contractually not allowed to terminate a contract. To try and make things better, they put the employee through a training program which will cost the company millions of dollars.

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To prevent this issue, more companies are working with universities to offer co-op programs to screen future employees beforehand making sure they can work in a fast-paced environment.

Loyalty

Many companies think hiring the best right out of university has enormous benefits. This is true a majority of times, however, some companies still have problems with employee loyalty. Hiring too quickly can force you to overlook character, which is very important in the employment process. For example, what happens if the graduate joining your team is NOT a loyal person? What happens if they are dishonest or can’t be trusted with confidential information?

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These are all questions which should be answered before bringing someone on board, however, the pressure of quickly hiring the best sometimes forces companies to overlook this component.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard attracting the best to your company especially with so much competition. You’re bidding to win a graduate to join your team.

It can be a huge asset hiring young fresh vibrant people in your organization. However, at the same time you are getting inexperienced graduates who may not perform well in a fast-paced environment. If you’re a company planning on hiring new graduates direct from college, then do your research and prepare yourself accordingly.

Featured photo credit: abacuspay.com via abacuspay.com

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Rizvan Ullah

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

More About Continuous Growth

Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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