Your business is growing and you have an entry level position opening up.

Do you hire a new grad, or look for a more seasoned pro that is willing to dip down to entry level? Both kinds of hires are available these days.

The real key for me is gratitude.  Some of my most successful hires were recent grads who did not present themselves well in an interview setting, so my job offer was the only one they received.

They joined my shop with a heart full of gratitude and a willingness to work like crazy to repay me for the opportunity. 

I tend to lean toward the new college grads, given the choice.

Here's why: 

  • They understand new software and technology more intuitively than any other generation.
  • They haven't learned any bad habits from the marketplace yet, so you can actually etch best practices onto a blank slate.
  • If you hire the right grad, they will be grateful for the opportunity, instead of acting entitled to the job. 
  • Steady employment during school - hopefully they paid their own way through school. These grads know how to work hard and manage their time well. They also understand financial implications and budgeting better than those who had a free ride from their parents.
  • Internships - These grads were looking ahead to their professional career ahead of time. This shows me that they are serious about doing professional work and have ambition.
  • Personality - Look for grads that are sincere, not charming.

This one took me a few years to figure out. The grads that are good looking and super charming in the interviews usually made terrible hires. Once hired, they spent more time giving me a snow job than actually doing their work. Try to hire grads who mean what they say and will keep their word. You know what I mean.  

If you hire the right grad, you'll have an "A plus" hire at an entry level salary. It's a once-in-a-career opportunity that you can capitalize on again and again. 

Have you tried hiring grads? What has your experience been?