When businesses plan to expand, they are in search of new members to add to their existing team.
The process of recruitment can be strenuous for most employers, largely because finding the right fit for the organization and its corporate culture is a daunting task.
In addition to this, you have to look through thousands of applications and resumes to shortlist potential candidates that feel are right for your organization.
Do you know that employers give preference to students over experienced individuals for certain job categories?
Indeed, an increasing number of students are working during their education, with more than 70% of college students in the USA working whilst in education.
For students, the benefits of working whilst studying may seem obvious: there is a strong correlation between the graduate employment rate and work experience whilst studying.
In the European Union, those graduates with no work experience were on average 10% more likely to be unemployed. But what makes them so desirable to a prospective employer? Let’s find out.
Read more: How Can Recruiters Avoid Gender Bias In The Workplace?
Should You Or Should You Not Hire Students?
Here are 9 reasons listed below that prove how students and freshers are the new investment that companies should make if they want their business to break the glass ceiling.
1. They Have a Unique Outlook
The younger generation has a different and unique perspective on life. These young minds are born in a completely different era and so, their ideas are as individual as they are. The younger generation is more aware of current trends, what is in fashion, and what is not.
Students are surely worth the investment because they bring in new ideas for your existing team to experiment with. By hiring a student or a fresh graduate, you bring in first-hand market knowledge, a knowledge that you can use to your company’s advantage. They bring fresh eyes to the company’s problems.
2. They Are Adaptable
In addition to having a unique outlook on life in general, these students are also willing to adapt to changes in their environment. This is something you cannot easily achieve with experienced people, who show resistance to changes, big or small.
Those from the millennial generation and onward have a flexible mentality partly borne from a perceived necessity to be so. Millennials have witnessed considerable societal changes in their relatively short lives.
Think about globalization, the fourth industrial revolution, and ever-increasing connectivity. Millennials see these macro-trends and understand their need to adapt to them.
They face the scenario of working for the next fifty years and adopt the mantra that ‘the jobs of the future haven’t even been invented yet.’ Given the rapid pace of change in technology, millennials understand that adaptability will be key in future-proofing their careers.
3. They Ask Questions
Another reason the employer prefers to hire students in the organization is the fact that they ask questions when working. You will not find a lot of experienced professionals trying to seek a solution to every question they have at work.
Asking questions is not something that is commonly encouraged within the rigid structure of large corporations, but this is an example of something they can learn from startup culture.
To them, a practice such as this is derogatory. But, in fact, it is not. It is alright to have questions and there is nothing wrong with having someone respond to these for you.
The young and inquisitive minds ask how and why matters are dealt with in a certain way. Their knowledge is fresh, and their curiosity can lead to new solutions to the problems a company is facing.
4. They Are Tech Savvy
Students are typically members of a younger generation and as such, technology-savvy individuals. They are digital natives, having been raised using the internet.
They have explored it, learned from it, and mastered it too. So, just imagine what these young, brilliant minds can teach you and your existing team about technology and its various uses.
If you are looking to hire developers for the position of social media marketing, graphic design, content writing, or basic computing, there is no better option than a student.
A poll by INSEAD business school found that 60% of millennials believe the digital skills of their current employers are inadequate.
As the general societal trend towards digitalization continues, digitalization of the workplace is also occurring, increasing productivity for businesses i
n a broad range of industries. As students represent those most comfortable with the shift towards technology, they are best placed to adopt such technology effectively, working efficiencies within the company.
Read more: 10 Practical Interviewing Tips For Recruiters
5. They Are a Clean Slate & Keen to Learn
Experienced workers are often set in their ways of working and interacting with peers.
This can lead to an entrenched way of thinking, and makes adaptability issues prevalent, stifling creativity. Student-workers, on the other hand, are easily able to adapt to the culture of your individual company as they have no established patterns of work. They come to you and your team with a clean slate, the cleanest you can get.
This allows you to mold these employees in a way that is most relevant to your business.
They are open to new ideas and learning from the working environment, and this is as true for business skills as it is for company culture. Students also come from the academic space, and as such have developed a habit of learning.
As a result, these young minds are keen to observe and learn from their own, and other people’s mistakes.
This eager attitude means that students engage more with the company and its culture, and has proven positive effects on productivity, with a recent study finding that a 10% increase in employee engagement investment resulted in a $2,400 increase in company profits, per employee, per year.
6. They Are Innovative
Another reason that qualifies these students as worthy of investment is that they look at the same matters as you do, but differently. Their fresh perspective allows them to come at problems from angles that more experienced workers cannot. This is because of their acceptance of innovation as an integral part of the business.
Indeed, many educational programs are now tailored toward creating innovation.
One such example, the ‘Cross-Border Innovation and Growth’ program in Scandinavia aims to match students and startups allowing them to “co-creative” innovative practices within the business, promoting tangible growth.
Such programs are increasing in popularity as their importance is better understood by students and businesses alike. If innovations are the key to success, the ability of student workers to explore alternative solutions should not be under-estimated.
7. They Have Powerful Ideas
The ideas of those new to the job market are not to be underestimated. Just as they will learn a lot from more experienced employees, you will also have something to gain from them.
Brainstorming with employees who are new to the world of business can produce surprising ideas. Their lack of experience can lead to some serious out-of-the-box thinking.
This is coupled with the fact that for many businesses, these young employees represent a key target group in terms of consumers.
For those companies who target a younger demographic for their products or services, having a group of employees of the same demographic can be invaluable in better understanding your consumers.
In hiring students, you have a sounding board for how your ideas will be received, as well as a source of ideas directly from your target group.
8. They Are Energetic
These young people are more energetic and enthusiastic about work. Student-workers and recent graduates alike are motivated by factors beyond simply collecting a paycheck: they see their jobs as an opportunity.
As they are new to the workforce and likely inexperienced, students typically find it more challenging to secure a position in their chosen field. As such, they value their job much more, and for this reason input more energy into their work.
It is for this reason that large corporations such as Danske Bank are hiring an increasing number of student workers and fresh graduates.
These big firms understand the value of an engaged workforce, but also the value of training and retaining talent, and the consequences that failing to do so can have on the future of the business.
9. They Are Team Players & Capable of Multi-tasking
Lastly, hiring students is worth the investment because they have the experience of working in teams on group projects during their education.
They are accustomed to managing group dynamics in order to produce positive collaborative results.
As such, they prove to be dedicated and understanding team players.
They are also adept at multitasking and have hard time management skills to increase their productivity. Whilst experienced team members might be more experienced, a scientific study shows that the ability to multi-task reduces with age.
Multi-tasking is critical in the modern working environment in order to meet deadlines. Unconvinced that the young are competent multi-taskers? As evidence, ask yourself the question: can you manage your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Snapchat all at once?
Well, they can, and they have been doing it from a very young age.
In Final Words
If you are an employer looking to hire, then it is a brilliant idea to search through student profiles and resumes, because they are definitely worth the investment. These fresh individuals may currently be on a trial run, but remember, they represent the future of your business, and should not be overlooked at all.
Written by: Jurij Radzevic
Jurij is a growth hacker with experience in digital marketing and SEO. He graduated from The University of Southern Denmark with a master’s degree in Marketing, Globalisation, and Communication. He currently works as a Head of Digital Marketing at Valuer.ai in Copenhagen. You can reach out to him via LinkedIn.