Pros and Cons to Recruiting College Students and Recent Graduates

Right now, the economy is ramping back up, and seemingly everyone is hiring. While unemployment remains higher than pre-pandemic levels, employers are competing more than ever (it seems) for talent. There are a lot of different ways to advertise for jobs and a lot of different avenues to pursue. One tactic many employers use is hiring on college campuses, looking specifically for students or recent graduates.

Let’s look at some pros and cons of recruiting these specific candidates.

Advantages of Recruiting at Colleges and Universities

Here are some advantages to using college job boards and looking to hire students and recent graduates:

  • There’s an eager pool of jobseekers looking for opportunities to showcase their skills.
  • They’re likely ambitious and looking to learn and grow with an organization.
  • The organization can get lots of applications at once if the job posts are timed right with school schedules.
  • Employers can often get onto university job boards, where their posts may be seen by thousands of students.
  • New grads are less likely to have bad habits they picked up from previous employers, meaning they can be easily trained on your processes.
  • Students are already accustomed to learning new things and thus are likely to be quick to learn new software and processes.
  • Students are also used to working in groups, meaning teamwork should come more naturally.
  • The organization may be able to hire at a reasonable starting salary because students and grads don’t yet have experience that would push their salary expectations higher.
  • Students and recent graduates are likely to be highly aware of current tech trends, which could be beneficial for the organization.
  • The new generation may be able to bring a new perspective and innovative ideas.

Possible Drawbacks to Recruiting Students and Recent Graduates

While there are clear advantages of this type of recruiting, there are potential drawbacks, too. Here are some to be aware of:

  • Posting jobs only in places where you’ll reach students and recent grads could cause a disparate impact issue and appear to be discriminatory toward older candidates.
  • Those still in school or who have recently graduated are unlikely to have experience in your field, meaning they’ll require more training and more time to get to full productivity.
  • People just starting out in the professional world may need extra coaching to navigate what’s appropriate on the job. They may not yet be used to managing professional demands and following appropriate workplace culture norms when required.
  • They may not have the appropriate attire for the workplace or the money to immediately purchase it.
  • If your employees are still in school, they may need more flexibility in their schedule to continue attending classes.
  • They may not have as many work references, which could make it tougher to make a candidate choice.

What has your experience been with recruiting those who are in or just out of college?