Hiring Recent College Graduates For your engineering teams? Then, you must read this...

Lakshmi Priya Radhakrishnan June 16, 2017

Asset 116.png"It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change." Charles Darwin

We are in a competitive business world that is constantly reinventing itself. In a world of increasing global competition, it’s not always the big that eat the small, but the fast who eat the slow. Without a doubt, global businesses seek to be agile and ready for change, while maintaining economical advantages. Thus, building and nurturing smart teams that are responsive and adaptable to market dynamics holds the formula for success. One of the key initiatives for this is hiring fresh talent from colleges.

While hiring could be a time tested approach, acclimatizing new college graduates to corporate demands may take some time. And that is the challenge. In this blog, we discuss the added value, the challenges and areas of learning for college graduates. 

Why should you hire recent graduates?

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They are agile: Young professionals have not yet gotten seeped in a particular technology or a steady way of doing things. Thus they are innately agile and able to learn new technologies and methods faster and more easily than more experienced professionals.

They are ambitious: Recent college graduates are eager to get noticed, willing to work hard and achieve goals. Thus the efforts they are able and willing  to put in turn out  to add a lot of value for the team and the organization. 

They are innovative: Younger generations are internet savvy, have exposure to global news, international developments and are usually well-informed. Thus they are able to bring in fresh perspectives that are usually lost within isolationist organizations.

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They carry no baggage: They will never say ‘This is how we always do it’. They carry no baggage, and are hence innately curious and eager to learn and adapt.

They are loyal: Research has shown that employees tend to be loyal to companies that invest in their training and development. New graduates tend to stay with companies that take the time to groom and mould them, and provided them with fulfilling work. If their induction and training is taken care of thoughtfully, freshers will rarely leave for another employer.

Why do leaders find it challenging to hire and induct young professionals?

It is true that engineering students just out of college are not fully wired to the demands of a core engineering job. They are not immediately part of the engineering leader’s idea of a dream team since they come with some inadequacies:

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Working in comfort zone: One of the banes of our education system is the mode of learning by routine, within strictly set rules and parameters. Many recent graduates do not respond well to challenges in the workplace and prefer to be given instructions rather than face challenges on their own.

Lack of application: While knowledge of technical concepts is important, it is critical to know how to apply these concepts in the real world. Working on the job needs skills and not mere knowledge, and that comes only by learning how to practically apply what one knows theoretically.

Inadequate problem-solving skills: The basic job description of an engineer is to be a problem-solver. An engineer must have both the aptitude and the skills for solving problems. There however is very little exposure to solving practical industry problems in the engineering education system. Thus they may tend to give up too easily, or rely on seniors when challenged.

Choice.pngLack of confidence: Students from smaller towns and lesser known colleges lack the confidence to present themselves and communicate with confidence. Hence they are unable to articulate what they know, or understand what others say. This is a major impediment to their productivity.
Lack of job readiness: Nuances of working in a team and workplace dynamics need to be mastered by freshers if they have to add value to the team and to the organization. Basics such as documenting what was discussed, networking with the right people, figuring out what needs approval and what does not – these need to be understood and practiced by new hires before they are taken seriously by their more experienced colleagues.

The engineering manager must therefore be not just a manager, but a thoughtful mentor and guide for the new members in his team. Managers need to create an environment that is balanced between support and challenge. On the one hand, young professionals need to be supported with care and empathy when they are learning the roles; on the other hand, they need to be challenged to explore and use their potential.

The biggest challenge for hiring new college graduates is inadequate training and preparation for the role. Training is critical for them to be set up for success, and hence the training plan has to be carefully drawn up and executed.

High-impact, outcome focused training to get the best out of young talent:

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The intensely competitive industry in the 21st century needs and demands engineering professionals who are technically proficient, agile, can think on their feet, can handle global environments and requirements with ease, and can communicate with clarity and confidence.

To help recent graduates acquire these skills, a training program must take place that develops these seven must-have skills to new engineering graduates :

  • Technical knowledge – Knowledge of engineering concepts
  • Innovative thinking – Ability to think of new ideas
  • Application of technical knowledge – Ability to use textbook knowledge in the practical world
  • Critical thinking – Ability to think, judge and evaluate data and information
  • Analytical thinking – Knowing how to break up a task into smaller ones to solve them or data into smaller coherent bits to judge them.
  • Communication skills – Ability to understand and make oneself understood
  • Teamwork – Being able to work with others in a team.

To find the best talent and empower them with world class expertise, read on about CORE, B-WI’s popular Industry-Academia connect.

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Topics Career Oriented Engineering | CORE