Monday, November 28, 2016

Why recruiters prefer not to hire fresh graduates

"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur" - Red Adair

We all understand that it is not easy (or almost impossible) for fresh graduates to land on a job these days. There are a lot of factors that cause this nightmare to fresh graduates, mainly because academic education itself is not enough to equip them in the real working life.

1. Hiring fresh graduate cost more to the company
The notion that hiring fresh graduates is cheaper compared to hiring a professional is not a good judgment. We judge that based on the monthly salary paid to them - a fresh graduate cost RM2,000, whereas a professional will cost RM5,000 and above. 

When we hire a fresh grad, we need to factor in training to equip them with the relevant knowledge and skills, wait for them to warm-up in the position, and fine tune their working attitude. All these preps take about 2-3 years. 

In a corporate world, 2-3 years is a long journey and a fast pace company has no time to wait for the fresh graduate to mature. If a professional is hired to fill the position, he or she is able to sprint run in their tasks and add more value to the company without having a mentor to monitor their every move. A professional could have helped the company earn more, hence corresponding to the salary the get.

This is why you may find some companies impose 6 month confirmation for experienced staff and 1 year confirmation for fresh graduates.

2. No reference of attitude and performance
Being in the dean list prove that you are smart, yes. But it does not prove that you are able to perform as an employee. Whereas, candidates with previous experience are able to show their performance through various means - project contribution, cost saving methods to the company, pay slip that shows zero leave, pay increment to show continuous performance, certificate of attendance, promotions, etc. Those references are more solid compared educational references.

3. Fresh grads tend to leave
The retention period of one employee is at average 3 years based on industry research. This means, as a recruiter, I have to expect the new hired will be leaving the company in 3 years time. Referring back to point #1, it takes about 3 years to fully prep a fresh grad into a real working life. Why would I risk hiring a fresh grad, spend all the resources to guide them and having them resigned in 3 years? So, hiring an experienced candidate is a better option.

4. Talent bar has been raised
An employed person tends to improve themselves due to the working environment that need new skills. As a fresh grad, you have no means to compete with the experienced employee that know the industry inside out, who can predict what's new in the next few years. A fresh grad education is solely based on the book and they are lacking in terms of new findings, skills, and knowledge. In a competitive business world, a fresh grad is on a disadvantaged position due to this reason.

After reading the four points above, what do they mean to you as a fresh graduate? This is not a post to demotivate your quest to search for your first job. However, it is a reality slap for you to judge your own weaknesses. Pick up what is lacking between you and an experienced candidate and fill up the gap in terms of character, attitude, knowledge and skills. The good news is, part-time, contract, freelance, and intern job are considered as experience as well. Get as many of those experiences you can to lift yourself on the same par as an experienced candidate.

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