What Do Employers Look for When Hiring Graduates?


Employers like to show a reasonable level of consistency when it comes to what they’re looking for in graduates. While there are some industry or company-specific requirements or needs that some employers have, most businesses have a clear list of expectations from a potential graduate.

Here are a few of the things that employers look for when recruiting graduates.

Good Grades and Relevant Majors

Achieving a solid grade as a graduate bodes well. Similarly, students can pick majors and minors with a degree. They’re also able to swap around when they dislike a topic by switching majors. This can lead to degrees that are a bit of jumble compared to a graduate who picked one course of study and stuck with it. Therefore, companies also wish to see relevant degrees without too much chopping and changing.

A Focus on Teamwork

Given that graduates are used to not only working solo but also completing group assignments with other students or a collection of them, they have useful recent experience of cooperating as a team. Working towards group goals and learning to get along with people from different walks of life in the pursuit of a shared objective is a valuable commodity for companies.

A graduate gets extra marks if they’ve previously worked in some capacity in a group setting. This could be part-time work during studies. They don’t need to have led the team to be seen as a solid team player worth having on-board.

Graduates with Experience of Reducing Waste

As many companies focus on being environmentally friendly, they also look for inspiration for how to move closer to a zero-waste operation. Often, they can take their cue from The Road To Zero Waste Universities which have taken an increased interest in actively reducing how much waste is created on and around campus.

This blog from Bevi explains more. For instance, one initiative for refreshment is to adopt Bevi as a drink dispenser. Staff can refill their own portable water bottle with low or no calories flavoured water, which prevents disposable bottles, cans or cups being used daily. Employers are hoping recent graduates can provide other suggestions, which might be adopted widely within the company.

With a zero waste university, the faculty staff has looked at how to prevent the moving in and moving out days being so bad from a waste standpoint. All the empty boxes and wrapping for new products bought by freshman students eager to get setup right from day one is very wasteful. Also, when leaving at the end of the college year, the amount of waste from discarded items is alarming. Yet, both students and college staff work together to reduce waste.

For companies that know they’ve got a long way to go with the goal of reducing waste, a graduate who’s been through a no waste campaign process already is a great source of new ideas. They’ll also have a better sense of what works with larger groups – much of the traditional advice is based on what homeowners can do, which isn’t useful to companies.

Fast Learners and Original Thinkers

Learning new concepts and pushing ahead quickly is an important part of taking on a younger person. Rather than being stuck with a dogmatic attitude about continuing to do things a certain way at the office because “that’s the way it’s always been done,” a graduate is far more likely to come up with new ideas work considering.

The benefit of a recent education using the latest thinking on certain topics is a greater focus on creating thinking and problem-solving. Instead of seeing business problems through a restrictive lens, a graduate comes to the issue anew,possibly with out-of-the-box suggestions. Not every suggestion will be inspired, but it only takes one great idea to completely change how a process or system will be operated in the future.

Good Organizational Skills

Whether the organization has already fully embraced an organizational system like Kanban to keep all projects, tasks,and sub-tasks completely manageable or not, a disorganized new employee is going to be disruptive to the rest. What companies are looking for is someone who can be methodical, logical, and organized in their work. This mean sit is more likely they can handle multiple tasks and different projects concurrently without melting under the pressure.

An employer would often like to see the types of projects that graduates completed to finish their education. They particularly will appreciate viewing examples of organizational skills clearly demonstrated within completed projects. Companies see this as a good sign to take into real-world work situations, even when the potential new hire hasn’t had a job with that job title before.

Understanding what companies are looking for in a graduate is instructive for educated job seekers. It helps to know what skills and experience to acquire along the way to be more attractive when going into the job market.


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