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The Best Methods for Hiring College Students

The Betts Team
October 10, 2016

Hiring college students can be a great decision for many startups and high-growth companies. New grads are eager to learn, bring a new perspective, and make up in intangible attributes what they lack in professional experience. If you’re thinking about hiring college students, below are five things to keep in mind.


Offering a job seeker their first professional experience can bring in great talent but also requires more training. You gain an employee that learns your company inside and out but have to be willing to spend the time laying out best practices. When hiring a college graduate, bringing a coach mindset is the best way to approach professional growth. Leading by example, offering training tips, and celebrating successes can cultivate amazing talent. Don’t expect a new grad to come into their first position knowing the ropes; take the time to teach your new employee and you’ll get the best results.


New graduates are drawn to career paths. The uncertainty of finding a job after college is daunting. When hiring college students, make sure you highlight the different opportunities that are available down the line at your company. Some of the best employees are those that are promoted internally. Start searching for keystone leaders at the college level and set them on the correct path. Offering a limited view of the position and role can unknowingly limit the applicants your company receives.


Make sure that you are hiring for a specific position. If you’re hiring a college graduate, have a skill and position ready for that new employee to take on. Instead of bringing on raw talent to your organization and expecting the person to suddenly impact a company or the better, give a new grad a runway. Setting up someone without career experience a defined opportunity where they can study the basics ensures a solid professional foundation. Filling a need in your company with a new graduate allows he or she to learn about your company and best practices, before you can move them into a more creative position.


In your job posting and interviews, hiring managers should focus on culture as a major aspect of the hiring process. When it comes to new graduates, find an employee who will grow within your team. Establish a mentor program early on for any entry-level or new graduate employees. Coming into the hiring process looking for intangibles and similar values will bring you quality talent that will benefit from working with your current top team members.


Last, but not least, don’t interview new graduates with a razor sharp focus. Having flexible specifications will allow you to hire the right fit for your company without excluding someone based on a small detail. Leadership, innovation, and coach-ability can all be discerned through countless different aspects in a job seeker’s background. Limiting your focus too soon can hurt rather than help your search. If you are hiring college students right after graduation, focus on finding employees that will help your company grow in the long term.