IT grads are still on the market: Will you hire them?

October 19th, 2010 | Hiring Resources | No Comments »

The graduating class of 2010 has been out of school for around 4 months now, more than enough time for most to find a job in this creepingly recovering economy. However, almost half of them are reported to still be on the job market, according the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). And a significant chunk of these unemployed graduates majored in the computer sciences field.

With all these tech graduates still looking for jobs, your inbox is probably inundated with their resumes. It may be tempting to pass over them in favor of more experienced candidates. But before you hit the delete button, keep in mind that while these youthful job seekers are not your traditional candidates, they have the potential to become some of your best employees. Below are some tips to apply when hiring them:

1. Look at more than just paid work experience. Valuable experience can come from more than just a full time job. Look for internships, part time jobs, volunteering, and extra-curricular activities. All of these can teach work ethic, teamwork, leadership skills, and more.

2. Offer a career path, not just a job. The best candidates want to grow. They may not have every requirement you’re looking for in a position, but if they have the drive to learn and improve, they will treat that position as a valuable step in their career path and may exceed your expectations.

3. Focus on soft skills. Most technical skills are teachable, so they may be a lacking the level of expertise you’re looking for, but if they’re a fantastic fit at the company, they may be worth more than your dismissal. Note their level of enthusiasm, willingness to learn, and overall personality and attitude.

4. Be aware of how you present yourself and your company. Even if you do find the graduate with all the technical and soft skills you want, they’ll be analyzing you too. They may be what you want, but are you making sure you’re what they want?

5. Ask what they’ve been doing since graduation. Employment gaps are questionable in any candidate, but may be slightly more admissible in a recent student, depending on their activities since graduation. Have they used their unemployed time to their advantage, or have they simply had a prolonged summer vacation?

Clare Webster – Marketing Director at Ashley Ellis