Ask any college kid what it’s like to get a job, and they’re likely going to provide the same answer every time: it sucks.
And usually it’s the employer’s fault, thanks to unrealistic expectation, or improperly wording a help wanted ad. The jobs that are available in your average college town are in high demand, and most of the time, never open. For the job seeker who’s on summer break or looking to level up, even in the mailroom, there’s a problem that seems to come up over and over and over again: “we need your help, but you need experience.” This scenario has become the proverbial chicken and egg conundrum.
An employer can change this stigma, though. By thinking more clearly about what they’re looking for, but also how they word help wanted ads, these small tweaks could boost the number of applicants and get people in the door who are passionate about doing a good job.
Champion the newbie
Students aren’t grizzled veterans, and for some industries, that’s a good thing. A student that shows interest and has enthusiasm is typically adaptable and easy to teach. Think of a student as a blank canvas ready to learn vs. someone already stuck in their ways. What a student lacks in experience makes up for sheer desire to succeed.
Keep job descriptions clear
Here’s the thing about job descriptions: people try to make them way more complicated than they need to be. If you’re attracting new talent, just say so. Be explicit in that you’re looking for help and tell applicants that a cultural fit is just as important as experience. Explain the mission of the company, what you’re looking to do, there’s a good chance some unique candidates could come your way. Depending on the industry, maybe ask those applying to submit an important piece of content, or reason that sets them apart from their peers.
Champion soft skills, if someone is really nice, or is fluent in French, that goes a long way and can be seen as something to build upon. Translate experience that might prove to be valuable to the job and could ease a new hire into something later on.
Because students have been born into a culture of technology, it’s what they know. And chances are, they know social media better than you. Why not hire someone for social media posts to get their feet wet with the company and see what happens from there? It’s a great entry point. Some companies go even further and create a blog for new hires and recent grads to talk about life at the company.
Offer to trade
This one is for the job seeker, but if you’re looking to learn but are short on a specific skill, use what you do know. If you’re a killer pastry chef, but want to learn how to cook Italian, find a way into the kitchen via trade. If you’re great graphic design but want to learn the ins and outs of marketing, ask to shadow under someone and discount some design work to sweeten the pot. If you’re a plumber but are looking to get into electrical, that’s a trade that’s mutually beneficial to most construction teams. All you have to do is be savvy about what you offer a team and how you can help with your existing skills.
If you’re out on the hunt or looking for your next critical piece for your staff, or just need some help moving boxes, check out the Adia blog. We’ve got a little something for everyone.