Tips for Identifying the Ideal College Recruit

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost half of the current working population over the age of 25 will be of retirement age within the next two decades. In many cases, this rapidly aging workforce has made it mandatory for businesses to adapt their recruiting techniques to focus more heavily on college graduates.

Running a background check on a new grad, though prudent and recommended, may provide less intelligence than that of the average hire. With little or no work experience and fewer years of life to have committed a crime, background checks on college grads is often, to no surprise, on the cleaner side. So how do you collect enough information regarding the candidate to make the right hiring decision?

First, a note: most candidates omit their grade point average unless it is 3.0 or higher. So in addition to probing for scholastic aptitude and the relevance of a candidate’s educational background, (ex. the institution attended, major, minor or degree earned, etc.), hiring managers can consider these other options:

  • Just because a college graduate looks good on paper, does not make them a shoo-in for the job. It is important for the applicant to fit in with the company culture. The “trivial” small talk before and after an interview can be used to evaluate a job candidate’s fit with your company’s culture. Asking questions like “What was the last good movie you saw?” may lead you to learn more than you expected.
  • Look for a candidate’s relevant work experience through internships, part-time jobs, extracurricular activities and volunteer work.
  • Assess the amount of passion the job candidate has for the job in question. In general, employees motivated by their jobs tend to be more productive workers. Ask questions that are relevant to “Why do you want this position?” The answers should generally highlight the strengths of the company and the challenges of the job function. Beware of candidates with generic answers that do not have an enthusiastic attitude.
  • Seek a candidate that brings more to the table than a hiring manager would expect. An applicant that comes in prepared to ask questions and explain how their qualifications can specifically contribute to the company is a successful interviewee.

Attracting and hiring the best entry-level candidates provides a unique challenge. Using a blend of conventional and alternative recruiting techniques can give you the advantage in finding the right employee for your company.

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HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs.

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