A recent survey from CareerBuilder.com revealed that 2016 has a strong hiring outlook for college graduates. Results showed that about 67 percent of employers said the would be hiring recent graduates. This is the highest the hiring rate has been in nearly a decade. And more importantly for those graduates, 37 percent of those employers plan to offer higher pay than last year.
Graduates of just a few years earlier than this class are probably a little disgruntled about this news. What gives – how did this hiring forecast suddenly become clear and sunny skies? There are a number of things human resources have to take into account for reasons behind this hiring boom. The Washington Post spoke with chief executive of consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas John Challenger, to discuss why this might be.
"Most industries, outside of energy, are really doing quite well, and that makes the environment much more receptive than in times of higher unemployment or in times of recession. The market is generally strong, companies are filling their pipeline with new grads and they have strong recruiting programs out there."
"Hiring teams are still picking apart resumes."
Booming industries are only part of the puzzle, however. You also have to take into consideration the fact that the baby boomer generation is starting to slow down and retire. According to the Washington Post, there are increasingly more opportunities in the educational services and federal government in positions like health care, finance and insurance. The source explained that even though the employment rate for new graduates is on the rise, hiring teams are still picking apart resumes for ones that demonstrate exemplary aptitude beyond their major and GPA.
But employers are still nervous.
Despite the great news for college graduates, this also means that there is about to be a great deal of change for big and small businesses alike, and company leaders are still relatively nervous about the on-taking. CareerBuilder's chief human resources officer Rosemary Haefner explained some of HR's hesitancy with the new prospects in the survey's official release.
"In addition to an improving economy, we are beginning to see a rising number of retirements, which is creating more room for advancement and creating opportunities for entry-level candidates, said Haefner. "But just because there are vacancies doesn't mean college students are always ready to fill them."
And there's more data to back this uncertainty. The survey also revealed that about 24 percent of employers do not believe in the competencies of the universities themselves and find that these institutions should be doing more to prepare students for organizational roles. In fact, 47 percent of employers think there is too much emphasis on book learning when the focus should be on real-world skills. There are also a fair amount of employers that find academic environments are struggling to keep up with technology, and that many students' degrees aren't anything useful for companies. More and more business heads are wishing their new hires had better interpersonal, problem-solving and leadership skills to boast on their resumes.
But if universities aren't training their students, that means the burden falls on you, the new employer. What can your HR department do to get ready for new employees?
How to prepare for the incoming wave of new employees.
HR departments are going to be juggling a lot of balls with this onslaught of fresh blood. They will have to revise tactics for recruiting in this newly competitive market, they will have to process payroll duties and they will have to revise retention and culture strategies to ensure those new hires don't jump ship too soon. And of course, they will have to train all tiers of employees, from new hires to the leaders of the company. For small businesses, it's a smart business move to employ an HR outsourcing company as they will be able to help comb through the intricacies of this shift without you even having to lift a finger.
But in the mean time, check out these quick tips for how your HR department can handle new employees:
- Give regular feedback and training: Millennials want to feel like their company and its managers are investing individual time and effort in their career development, reported Training Industry. They just want regular feedback and reassurance that their work is adding value to the company. Training will especially be important for the new employees because, as stated earlier, employers don't think new college grads have the right resources to do a good job. Don't delay this education – start giving them the skills they need right on day one.
- Offer flexible work plans: This generation is job searching with an eye for flexible plans that allow them to do things like work from home when they want, and get paid time off.
- Up your volunteer game: Millennials are looking for a company that gives back to their community. A good way to do this is to implement a volunteer program that gets the whole company involved, explained the source.