How to Recruit Entry-Level Employees

Some companies are so accustomed to associating years of experience with top-tier talent that they lose out on acquiring entry-level employees with untapped potential. Experience is necessary, but so is taking a chance on recent graduates, career changers, and those returning to the workforce. 

Thankfully, other companies are looking to recruit entry-level employees. But sometimes, knowing where to start can be a challenge. 

Benefits of Recruiting Entry-Level Employees

The truth is, there are a lot of benefits to hiring entry-level talent—and these candidates may offer more to a company than many realize. Their fresh perspectives, eagerness to learn, and ability to take risks can make entry-level talent a major asset to any organization. 

This list contains just five examples of the many potential benefits of recruiting entry-level employees. 

1. High Levels of Motivation 

One of the first benefits of hiring entry-level employees is that your company can benefit from their motivated attitude. Individuals new to the industry or fresh out of college are typically ambitious, enthusiastic, and highly motivated to utilize their education or newfound skills. This level of motivation is beneficial because they’ll be eager to build up their credibility and reputation, which requires top-tier work. 

2. The Ability to Train and Mentor

The next benefit to consider is, as mentioned, the ability to train and mentor. An entry-level employee will be more receptive to learning from the experience of a seasoned worker. Sometimes the most valuable trait of an employee is untapped potential—a potential that can be molded into a promising professional in the field. 

3. Innovation and Fresh Perspectives

Additionally, entry-level employees typically have lots of new ideas alongside their highly enthusiastic attitude. These employees see things with a fresh set of eyes. Despite a lack of experience, new employees like this can actually teach others as they offer a unique perspective and typically have new and innovative ways of getting the work done. 

4. Open to Taking Risks

Speaking of new and fresh ideas, innovation within an employee is highly desirable. But innovation can also be risky, and seasoned employees tend to shy away from risks the longer they work in an industry or with a company. 

5. Diversity in the Workplace

Lastly, entry-level employees help increase diversity in the workplace. Hiring recent graduates, young professionals, and career changes provides many unique backgrounds to the working environment. This increases distinctive problem-solving techniques, perspectives, and ideas for the team and company culture. 

What to Look for in an Entry-Level Candidate

What you look for in an entry-level candidate may differ depending on what you hope to gain. But in general, you can look for fundamental factors in a new employee, including: 

  • Education. Depending on the industry or nature of the work, further education may be necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of the open position. 
  • Transferable skills. Entry-level candidates will lack industry-specific experience. But volunteer opportunities, extra-curricular activities, and unrelated work experiences can teach valuable soft skills necessary for success in any position. 
  • Teamwork. Everyone must work with others at some point in their career. Prioritize recruiting candidates with a demonstrated history of working well alone and within a team structure. 
  • Ability to accept feedback. Employees and employers always have room for improvement, but receiving feedback and constructive criticism is necessary for growth. Candidates who receive feedback and apply it to their professional development make excellent employees. 
  • Integrity, reliability, and accountability. Hiring managers typically won’t find a candidate who checks off every box. However, many industry-specific competencies can be taught depending on the position—integrity, reliability, and accountability can’t. 

Types of Entry-Level Candidates

A critical component of recruiting entry-level employees is knowing what demographics to target. When some people think of entry-level work, they automatically relate it to recent college graduates. However, the pool of individuals seeking entry-level roles is much more diverse than some realize. 

If you are looking to recruit entry-level employees, consider targeting these groups of people: 

  • Recent graduates—college and high school. As mentioned, people stereotypically associate entry-level work with college graduates. But many decide to enter the workforce after high school without attending college. Hiring managers looking to recruit should consider both college and high school graduates depending on the industry and positions they’re trying to fill. 
  • Career changers. Some argue that we live in a time when more people are changing careers. Reasons for a career change vary, but these individuals are a great demographic to target. Not only are they eager to learn a new industry, but chances are they have many transferable skills from their previous work history. 
  • Workforce returners. Many people spend time away from paid, full-time employment for several reasons. That may include leaving to care for children, family members, or themselves due to a disability. Despite the time away from work, these individuals will still have valuable skills to offer. They’ll become a target demographic upon returning to the workforce. 

RELATED: How to Evaluate Entry-Level Job Candidates

How to Make Your Company and Your Open Positions More Desirable to Entry-Level Candidates 

Another key step in finding entry-level talent is to consider what you can do to make your company and positions more desirable to these candidates. 

Many prospective candidates are not solely concerned about hours, pay, and benefits. While these are all still important, many workers are showing interest in companies that offer growth opportunities, company culture, and work-life balance. 

Attracting new talent to your entry-level positions is tough with the number of job postings. That’s why standing out from other companies when recruiting entry-level employees is vital. You can do that by: 

  • Creating job posts that provide clear descriptions, explain requirements, and indicate on-the-job training 
  • Offering a comprehensive benefits package—perks like tuition reimbursement may help you stand out even more to entry-level employees 
  • Showcasing active growth opportunities within your company 
  • Offering a flexible hybrid schedule if possible 
  • Utilizing social media to promote and illustrate company culture to prospective candidates 

In addition to making your company more desirable to these individuals, recruitment methods also influence your acquisition of new talent. 

Return to work vs remote work. Companies are posting far less remote roles, but job seekers are still applying for mostly remote jobs. How can we bridge the gap?

Methods for Actively Recruiting Entry-Level Employees

The age of technology offers many benefits to hiring managers, recruiters, and other staffing professionals looking to acquire fresh talent for their companies. Technology has revolutionized the recruitment process for companies and candidates and augments recruitment strategies we’ve used for decades. But what methods can aid in your recruitment process? 

1. College and Job Fairs

These expos have been around for decades. Nevertheless, they prove fruitful for acquiring talent. College and job fairs allow companies and candidates to meet and discuss potential career opportunities. This is an excellent way to showcase what your company has to offer, peruse a number of entry-level candidates, and find the perfect employee right there and then. 

2. Technology and Social Media

Social media isn’t only a place to stay connected with friends and family—it now offers an opportunity for employers to seek out new talent. With the creation of platforms like LinkedIn and Indeed, companies can search for top-tier talent, network with entry-level professionals, and share company perks, all from a single device. 

3. Social Referrals

Despite this age of technology, there’s still value in knowing the right people and creating professional in-person connections. Social referrals encourage people to attract talent from their network. Good people typically know good people, and you can acquire top-tier talent by simply asking current employees who they’d recommend for the job. 

Don’t Overlook Entry-Level Talent 

Entry-level employees need experience, and taking a chance on them means acquiring employees who’ll strive to learn, grow, and continually improve their work performance. You can begin recruiting these top-tier candidates today by making your company stand out, knowing who to target, and choosing the best ways to target them. 

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