How to hire for an entry-level position
As a hiring manager, how certain are you when it comes to assessing the skills and experience of entry-level candidates? According to the Entry-Level Applicant Job Skills Survey, conducted by The Society for Human Resource Management, only about 20 percent of HR professionals were confident in their company to properly analyze strengths of entry-level job applicants. Moreover, about 11 percent of the participants said they were only slightly confident or not confident whatsoever.
How do you feel about your current hiring practices? Are you choosing the best possible candidates for each position you’re filling? With a strong set of guidelines and assessment processes, you can find high-quality candidates with the potential to take your business into their own hands. Here are a few tips for hiring entry-level employees:
1. Look beyond educational standards
You’ll likely have an educational requirement for the position, but make sure to look beyond this section in your potential candidates’ resumes. Because this is an entry-level position you’re trying to fill, you probably won’t shuffle through many applicants with prior job experience, so look elsewhere. Inc. Magazine suggested highlighting the extracurricular activities or side jobs your applicants participated in during college. Dave Scalco, founder and director of growth at Digitalux, said that this type of experience shows initiative in young people.
“Participation in a group or organization shows initiative and drive outside of the typical graduation requirements,” he wrote for Inc. “Take special note to leadership roles, awards earned and those who built something out of nothing.”
2. Ask interview questions based on experience
After assessing said experience, make sure to base your interview questions off of the positions held by the candidate. This makes every interview truly unique and can help you find that stand out employee you were looking for. Ask them about some of the challenges faced throughout their experience in college – even if they weren’t involved in extracurricular activities – and how they navigated through them. Basic problem-solving skills are key for nearly any position, so if your candidates have a positive track record, they’ll have the potential to fill the spot.
3. Discuss future goals during the interview
In a best-case scenario, you’ll hire a candidate who turns into a long-term team member. Someone who’s interested in making the most of their entry-level position, and potentially transitioning into a higher position with the company. Finding the ideal professional who aspires to make this happen may seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Just talk about his or her future goals during the initial interview.
“Discuss future goals during the initial interview.”
“In order to prevent entry-level employees from leaving, consider their future goals from the very beginning,” Entrepreneur contributor Andre Lavoie wrote in ‘5 Best Strategies for Hiring Entry-Level Employees’. “Actively ask them about their long-term career plans and discuss how they might see those goals through at your organization. Such questions will show candidates that the company wants them to stick around, and will allow their managers to guide them in the best way possible to fulfill their professional needs.”
Getting an idea of your candidates’ goals and aspirations from the start can help you navigate through your selection seamlessly.
4. Consider pre-employment testing
Once you’ve narrowed down your candidates, you may consider pre-employment testing. This gives you a chance to properly assess their ability to fulfill the position. Acing the interviewing is key, but pre-employment testing can act as the icing on the cake when choosing your next employees.