Hiring a new staff member can be a daunting time for any business owner. Skilled workers, those that have acquired a skill by either completing further studies or learning on the job, are often the most preferred applicants. However, finding a skilled worker that fits your business culture can be both very difficult and financially draining.
Time-poor business owners often hire over-skilled workers just to alleviate training inexperienced workers to do the same job. Skilled/experienced workers still require some induction and training and thus introducing them is a costlier exercise, even if it seems like it will be easier to have an experienced worker longer term. If this sounds like your business you should consider hiring undergraduates.
While they initially lack experience the entry level salary often reflects this and you get the chance to induct someone into your systems and culture without any prior workplace habits. Undergraduates also provide invaluable benefits that will help build your business grow and maximise your return on investment. Here is why your next employee should be an undergraduate;
- At ease with technology and social media. Undergraduates have been raised during the technology boom, so it is something they have lived through, rather than something they need to learn. Their exposure to software and social media platforms gives them confidence in adapting to new programs and taking on new challenges. Their expertise can assist your business in marketing through social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or your business website. Generating online traffic to these pages will increase your brand exposure, list higher on Google searches and help your business win new work.
- Provide fresh perspectives & innovative thinking. The success of any businesses is measured by their ability to innovate. Undergraduates’ inquisitive nature means they are more likely to challenge why something is done a particular way and offer a more effective solution. They also provide new industry and business knowledge through their current studies of the most modern academic practices and strategies.
- Up-skilling other employees. Training an undergraduate can be an up skilling exercise for other employees. Taking on the role of ‘buddying’ an undergraduate can help employees build on their interpersonal skills, managing qualities, and time management. These positive relationships also build a constructive working environment.
- Succession Planning. Hiring an undergraduate can be great for succession planning. By hiring an undergraduate it gives your business the opportunity to identify and develop a prospective business partner or leader early on. It is also likely that the undergraduate will remain loyal to the business if they actively know there is the capacity to work up the ‘pyramid’.
- Work longer with less interrupted hours. Undergraduates are likely to have fewer out of work priorities, such as their own family or even health issues. This means that they will have less interrupted work hours and be fully engaged during the workday. Their energy and enthusiasm to learn will create a positive working environment and encourage other employees to go about their work the same way and share ideas.
- Refer new work. Undergraduates are often overlooked when businesses think about winning new work through employee referrals. Because undergraduates are still young and generally still active in sporting teams and large friendship circles they often have a far greater reach than what we give them credit for. Their referrals not only win new work for your business but they also provide a great opportunity to target a younger market.
At Accru Melbourne we pride ourselves on our undergraduate retention. Our HR team work with neighbouring universities to pick undergraduate students that fit the Accru culture. Our success is built on their enthusiasm and desire to learn.
If you have any further queries about our experiences with hiring undergraduate students feel free to call our office and one of our HR team members will be happy to talk to you.
By Joshua Hesse, Accru Melbourne