It’s that time of the year when newly-minted graduates are all vying to land their first entry-level job. When resumes from these recent high school or college graduates come across your desk, they will characteristically lack the relevant job experience in the field that is desirable. However, that alone should not disqualify them from the job. While this presents a hiring risk, giving them the benefit of the doubt might pay off. So before you throw them to the reject pile, look for four things to better assess each candidate’s adequacy.
A school transcript will provide you with the candidate’s grade point average and the classes they took. This snapshot of their academics can not only tell you their intelligence, but also their commitment. Their responsibility as a student and their willingness to take on challenges (based on the kind of classes they took) will tell you a lot about them. It will also tell you whether they are able to maintain discipline (consistent GPA) or if they’re capable of bouncing back from a slump.
Student organizations, volunteer opportunities, and travel experiences will help you paint a better picture of them. Also, how they chose to spend their free time will tell you a lot about their priorities and passions. Extensive travel might be indicative of ample real-world experience. This could mean they have acquired skills such as problem-solving, planning and flexibility.
Requesting and contacting a candidate’s references can also be wise. It will provide you with further insight into a candidate’s potential to succeed. Talking to people who have known a candidate can give you an idea of how they manage long-term personal and professional relationships. They can also give insight into instances when the candidate went above and beyond the job description. This can help you to have some insight into whether or not the candidate is likely to care about doing a job right, or if they’re only doing it until their shift is over.
If a candidate looks good on paper, give them a chance to make a good first impression in person. An interview will allow you to assess their confidence, personability and ability to sell themselves.
Taking all of this into account should provide enough information to see if a candidate will be a successful part of your team. Hiring someone who has a demonstrated a willingness to learn and overcome challenges might be worth the investment. You can then train them from being an imperfect candidate to becoming the perfect employee.
For more tips on hiring or the interviewing process, check out our blog!
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Matthew King is the owner of the Startup Forums, Alkries LLC, and co-owner at TR King Insurance Marketing. Partner at Independent Life Insurance Agent Association, Medicare Training 101, and Final Expense 101. When he's not creating content about running successful businesses here. He's most likely developing processes, diving into SEO, or gaming with his friends and wife.
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