4 Benefits of Bringing in Entry-Level Hires and Top 4 Skills to Look for
There are many reasons why companies across different sectors recruit entry-level employees. Despite their relative inexperience, entry-level professionals bring a range of advantages to the organisation. You may however be concerned that the relative inexperience of entry-level hires can hinder their productivity. But fret not - the right training can quickly bring your new recruits up to speed.
Read on to learn about the four major benefits that entry-level workers bring to your organisation, and the top four skills to look for when recruiting entry-level employees.
Benefits of Recruiting Entry-Level Workers
Benefit #1. Entry-level employees bring new ideas
This is one of the most common reasons for employers to bring in entry-level workers. Compared to someone who has worked in the same industry for years and is well-versed with your organisational culture, an entry-level employee is less likely to come in with preconceived ideas. Additionally, an entry-level professional may be aware of new ideas and developments outside of your industry which can be applied in your organisation or sector.
One of the great things about younger employees is that they see our business with fresh eyes and not in the same way as people who have been working the same role for decades. This brings new ideas and ways of working so that they can teach our existing staff something that could have been overlooked.
- David Lee, CPD Online College
Benefit #2. Entry-level workers keep staffing costs modest
A practical advantage of hiring entry-level workers is that you can keep labour costs down. The flip side is that you would need to make an initial investment of time and money to train your entry-level recruits. Nevertheless, your organisation will eventually benefit from this investment in training when the employees gain experience and increase their productivity.
If you consider that a UK worker changes employer every five years on average - and that’s how long your employee stays at the company after being trained - your organisation will have more than sufficient time to reap the benefits of your initial time and training investment.
Further, employees who are offered training and progression opportunities are more likely to be motivated and stay on at the company.
Benefit #3. Entry-level professionals increase workplace diversity
Entry-level hires - whether they are young professionals or career changers who have reskilled - can help increase the diversity of the workplace.
Diversity in the workplace can be seen as a mixture of the difference in people’s thinking, values, perspectives and philosophies. These differences could stem from age, gender, ethnic background, professional experience, educational qualifications, life experience and more.
A team with a high level of diversity will be able to bring multiple perspectives and different problem-solving processes. This will help your organisation consider issues differently, maximise out-of-the-box thinking and enable you to make more inclusive decisions.
Dr Jill Miller and Melanie Green at the CIPD argue that one of the benefits of a diverse workforce is that it “can help to inform the development of new or enhanced products or services, open new market opportunities, improve market share and broaden an organisation’s customer base.”
Benefit #4. Employers can mentor and develop entry-level talent
Many employers who hire entry-level employees have an eye on developing the employees’ potential so that they can grow into more senior positions. The employees’ improved skills and experience will benefit the company. Additionally, an organisation who successfully nurtures an entry-level employee’s talent is likely to be rewarded by the employee’s loyalty and dedication.
As a tech start-up with some very experienced founders (20+ yrs experience each), we purposefully employ entry level employees to:
a) balance out the demographic profile of the team
b) ensure we have fresh opinions and ideas represented
c) help mentor graduates and help them set off on their career journey
d) keep our staffing costs modest
- Rachel Smith, Co-Founder & Director, Lifefyle
Top Traits to Look for in Entry-Level Employees
Employers from across different industries told us what are the top skills they look for in entry-level hires. While certain skills can be boosted with training, the right mindset is essential for the entry-level professional to shine in their role.
Trait #1. Willingness to learn
Overwhelmingly, business owners and managers pinpointed a hunger to learn as a key mindset they look for when hiring entry-level employees.
I want people who love to learn new things on my team. In every organisation I have been part of, this has been key to transforming our future. We need people who are excited to see “what’s next.”
- Brian Gawor, Vice President of Research at RNL
Trait #2. Excellent communication skills
Communication skills is one of the most important skills that recruiters look for.
“[A core trait we look for is] excellent communication skills, both verbal and written,” Smith says. “This goes along with having the confidence to challenge leaders and share their own ideas when appropriate.”
Carter Seuthe, VP of Content for Credit Summit, agrees but notes that this skill is often not explicitly taught in formal education at college or university. Seuthe says, “One of the skills that's most important to me is an entry-level employee's ability to communicate. They often don't teach this to college grads, or they don't teach it in a way that's actually useful.”
Hence, if you find that your new recruits haven’t had adequate training in effective communication, it’s worth investing in communication skills training for them. After all, as Michael Humphreys, founder & CEO of Z Grills Australia, says, “Someone good at communication will be more successful, productive, and efficient at a faster rate.”
Trait #3. Strong computing and digital skills
You might expect your entry-level recruits to possess at least a minimum level of computing literacy. However, gone are the days when a basic understanding of copy and paste is sufficient. Most industries are undergoing digital transformation. It is therefore imperative that all your employees - not just your new entry-level recruits - are equipped with the skills they need to help your business thrive in the digital age.
Trait #4. High level of personal effectiveness
You may have found that a happy and confident employee is also likely to be a more inspired and productive team member. Therefore, in addition to ensuring your employees have the technical and professional skills to do their jobs, it’ll also be beneficial to both your employees and your organisation to give your employees training in personal effectiveness.
Like communication skills, many people often learn self-management skills on-the-job or through their daily life experiences. While some people could learn these skills effectively in this way, many more would benefit from attending formal training in these skills.
The great thing about personal development courses is that learners can apply these skills in different areas of their lives. They would also be able to start building up the good habits of time management and workload management throughout their careers.
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