Hiring Employees in the New Generation
Trinity Employment Specialists, Tulsa, OK
In the last few months, my heart has gone out to new graduates who are trying to get their foot in the door to start their careers in their selected career fields. There are a number of reasons for this that I think may help those who are trying to get their careers moving. There are 2 main things that are growing as key roadblocks to those who have little to no experience. The first is the obvious, which is lack of experience. And the second is the perception that many employers have mostly new grads (otherwise known as Generation Y). Hopefully, I can add some light on these topics for those who are dealing with situations like this in their career search.
Lack of experience: I just got off of the phone with one of our potential candidates that is very eager to work and I am somewhat comfortable that she would be a hard worker. However, she just has no experience under her belt. And as a result, she is hearing the words “you have no experience” often and is becoming very frustrated with it. I wanted to offer some encouragement and some assistance to her while she is in the midst of her search. First, I encouraged her to just simply do more than anyone else in her situation would. Which would hopefully help her to stand out to employers. What I meant by that was to contact businesses that are in her field by a cold call and ask to introduce herself to the HR manager or recruiter for the position that she would like to apply for. I recommended that she first introduce herself, and if they were not interested in her to volunteer to be an intern at no cost to them. My thinking here is that they would see the potential and the drive that is unusual within the general perceptions of Generation Y. Those who are diligent and relentless in their job search will eventually find someone that sees that drive. As an employer, trust me, it is rare and when you find that drive and commitment, you better hold on to it.
Generation Y: I highly recommend to new grads to read, understand and know the perceptions that are being talked about by almost every HR professional in the United States right now about Generation Y. I was in a meeting with one of our larger clients yesterday speaking to their director of HR. He specifically told us that he did not want anyone that was a new grad. He told us that they ultimately needed someone with at least 5 years of experience, but he then began to describe his experience with those that he has hired from the Generation Y. He described them as a tea cup; someone who appears competent, however, requires a lot of hand holding and you have to treat them very delicately. He then began to tell a story about one of his existing employees who he claimed to be “very intelligent” who seemed to have to be supervised on literally everything that she did, even though he continually reminded and encouraged her that she was very capable of understanding the concepts, however never took the time to do that. She immediately needed his help and guidance rather than seeking an answer herself. You could see that he was very disappointed and frustrated seeing so much talent and intellect that just would not go and do anything without his approval.
The problem that new job seekers are seeing now is that there are many articles written in every newspaper around the nation. I have seen articles in the Wall Street Journal www.wsj.com, USA today www.usatoday.com, The New York Times www.nytimes.com. Even the Harvard Journal wrote a very interesting article about how to hire in the 21st century (https://hbr.org/2014/06/21st-century-talent-spotting). And there are many other newspapers that print articles every week on this subject.
I think that it would be very beneficial for those that are breaking into their career fields at this point in time to know and understand the main concerns that employers have and to address them when they have the opportunity to have an interview. One thing that I think would make our customers feel much more comfortable when hiring someone that is fresh out of school is to hear some of their concerns addressed. By bringing up the “elephant in the room” and saying that “I know that there are many perceptions about hiring new grads and I want you to know that I do not fall into the many pitfalls that some of my colleagues are known for and tell them how YOU are different. This will let the employer know that you are aware of the main concerns and that you are cognitively going to make an attempt to not display the undesirable behaviors that are being talked about throughout the nation’s HR departments.