Many companies focus their recruitment drives on graduates and often having a degree is a pre-condition for interview. If not, companies only offer apprenticeship opportunities to school or college graduates. However, many administrative, lower level roles are not complex or specialist enough to necessitate a degree or a long-term training programme.
Hiring employees straight from college is a great option for these types of roles. As candidates will be under 21, they’ll offer value for money. They are also often enthusiastic and keen to learn and, for the most part, will be content carrying out more menial tasks that graduates may see as ‘beneath’ them. This is because college graduates are a blank canvas, they have very few preconceptions of the workplace and have not had time to pick up any bad habits!
Without a degree, college graduates may have a more limited skill set. However, this is not always a bad thing. It allows you, the employer, to mould and shape your workforce from the very beginning, again preventing any problems further down the line.
In any case, if you employ a University graduate, they may have many of the transferrable skills that they need (eg. organisation/time-management) but it is unlikely that they will have specialist knowledge of the hard-skills required. Furthermore, just under half of 18-year-olds are confident that they have the skills to enter full-time work immediately and their biggest worry is not their own ability but the competition for job roles.
Training College Leavers on the Job:
As previously mentioned, college leavers do not start work with no skills at all and much of what you will have to teach them would have to be taught to university graduates too. Having said this, you will have to tailor your training programme and the role.
At the age of 18, many young people have not had a huge amount of experience managing their own workload. This is something that you have to take into account. They need to begin their working life in a highly structured environment. It is a good idea to carry out regular appraisals to make sure that they understand what they are doing wrong and right.
They should also have clear goals and objectives to work towards and some idea of future opportunities. It is also a nice idea for them to spend their first week shadowing different members of staff, sitting in on higher level meetings and working in different departments. If they do not have a very good understanding of the sector, which is likely, this will help them to understand what the company does. It will also give them an idea of possible career advancement paths.
If the job role requires specific training qualifications, these can also be given out on the job. See our upskilling your workforce section for more information.
How to Hire College Leavers?
If you are interested in hiring young people straight from college, you can advertise jobs through college recruitment fairs and employer talks. To find out more, see our Working with Schools section.
Also, by advertising jobs in a normal way but making it clear that a degree is not required, you are targeting this group. You should be aware, however, that employment law legislates against only employing certain ages groups. This means you can make jobs available to young people advertise them on sites with a focus on this age group, but you cannot discriminate against older people who apply for the position.
If you are interested in highlighting your job opportunities to a younger generation of workers, you can do so on Eluceo’s very own job search site.