As a part-time college professor, I can’t let this time of year pass without giving all employers my Top 10 list of reasons to hire a recent college graduate:
No. 10: Grads know what the point of social media is (and isn’t).
Instead of trying to figure out what your company should be doing to attract customers on social media, hire a native. These kids have been doing social media full-time since high school and they know more about the way people prefer to interact online than you ever will. Sorry to say, but it’s true. You can then teach them your brand position, marketing message and what you’re trying to accomplish (things you know well) and they will be able to translate this online for you.
No. 9: Grads are eager to work and grateful for jobs.
In these tough economic times, recent college grads are the new immigrant labor force. They come from the faraway land of academia and are eager to work their fingers to the bone for you for little money. What’s not to like about that?
No. 8: Those grads know many others just like themselves.
If you do hire a grad and enjoy their work ethic and approach to your projects, your grad will know right where to find 100 more employees just like themselves to add to your company.
No. 7: Grads have never known a disconnected world.
They were born in the 1990s, for Pete’s sake. They grew up in a software-enabled world and are more intuitively familiar with software at every level of usage than most of us “adults.” They learn software instantly, they use it for entertainment, and when they start teaching you about it, your life will be better.
No. 6: Grads are more thoughtful now than in earlier years.
Universities have made a concerted effort to help round out the consciousness of their grads. Instead of being interested only in making tons of money, they are now also concerned with their fellow man and the environment. They’ve got a lot on their minds.
No. 5: Grads are good for your business contact network.
While they were in school, grads connected in social media to all of their peers and their professors. As this graduating class enters the work force, a network of several hundred businesses begins to jell. What employer would pass up the ability to tap into this network?
No. 4: Forming relationships with your university is a good idea.
If you are looking for focus groups, interns, project help or ideas for a marketing campaign or engineering project (or anything, really) then get involved with your local university. They have thousands of bright students who will give you free ideas and labor in exchange for the holy grail of “real world experience.”
No. 3: Grads have been taught to collaborate in person and online.
The New Education System is teaching students in different ways. Instead of sitting through lectures to earn their degree, they are now taught to collaborate on projects and work together as teams. And they know how to use tools to do this online as well, which will help your business.
No. 2: Grads are used to working on projects with a zero budget.
If you want projects completed on time, with high quality and no cost, hire a grad. They’ve been doing it for four or five years now, and understand how to get big results for no money. Most of them use free online tools and free hosting. You could use a little of that free stuff these days.
No. 1: If they aren’t hired, they’ll form competing companies.
Grads have learned that having a job isn’t the only way to make a living. If they aren’t hired, they can harness their social network and their knowledge of technology to form a competing company that will probably beat the pants off of you. Hire them to keep them docile.
Marci De Vries is president of MDV Interactive, a web consulting firm in Baltimore. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.