What to Consider When Hiring New Graduates at Your Small Business

by Evil HR Lady on December 5, 2019

Hiring new graduates is a great way to get talented and enthusiastic entry-level employees on board. However, those fresh faces pose some unique challenges. Onboarding new employees properly is always important, but especially when you hire new grads. For many of them, their position at your company is their first experience spending consistent time in an office. As such, they may not know the ins and outs of workplace etiquette and expectations.

Even a new graduate with multiple internships under their belt probably won’t have experience with other aspects of working life, such as health insurance and 401(k) plans. A great onboarding program sets them up for success from the beginning. Here are five tips for starting new grads off on the right foot.

1. Explain Your Culture on Day One

The transition from school to the workforce isn’t always smooth. You can make it easier by laying out what they can expect their working life at the company to look like. For example, even though college students are adults, there are “adultier” adults at colleges who generally go by Dr. or Professor.

To keep reading, click here: What to Consider When Hiring New Graduates at Your Small Business

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth West December 5, 2019 at 4:36 pm

Good point about opting out of a 401K. If the job is entry-level and your business has little room for advancement, I doubt a new grad employee is going to be a lifer. Many small businesses don’t or can’t pay a high enough salary to make saving a lot of money feasible. It goes out as fast as it comes in (and you did mention student loans).

If the employee does leave, they may not have enough in the 401K to roll it over. They’ll be forced to cash it out, which will trigger a penalty, and they’ll actually lose money. This happened to me when a previous job forced us to participate and then laid us off.

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Dorothy Young December 5, 2019 at 6:33 pm

Two errors in your post:

Your employer cannot “force” you to participate in their 401(k) plan. “Opt out” means the employer signs you up UNLESS you opt out. This is the more recent model; in the old model you had to proactively opt in, and very many people never bothered to do that, leaving money on the table in the form of any employer match, and thereby jeopardized their retirements. But you can always choose to opt out; that’s generally a bad decision, but it’s yours to make.

You can always roll over your own contributions to an IRA if you leave (are laid off, in your case). Even if you’re not vested in the employer contribution, your contribution is yours. If your custodian forced you to cash out, you still could have set up an IRA for the money.

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Observer December 6, 2019 at 2:49 am

You have mentioned this before, and it’s simply not true. It doesn’t matter how small your 401 is, you CAN roll it over into a qualifying account.

Not that an employer should force a person to contribute to it, but that’s not what’s being suggested. Opt out means exactly that.

I’ll take your word as to what happened at your former employer, but SOMEONE was not telling the truth. Because you should NEVER have had to cash out the account.

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Mark K December 6, 2019 at 11:51 pm

Well you still don’t lose money. You pay the 10% and income taxes, so depending on how much you make and what deductions you have….well, you’re taxes will be higher but you also had the 401K balance as income. I did it before once when I had a small 401K with a company that never picked up the phone, but they had a “cash out” button so I just clicked it one night and ended up paying alot of taxes. But you can’t lose money unless you’re tax rate is over 100%.

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MariaRose December 5, 2019 at 9:50 pm

I like the first point on the list-explain your “culture” at the workplace because of these “adults” come into their first job with the expectation “they” are going to create the change in that environment to the betterment since they are the “enlightened ones” not the people already working who have been successfully maintaining the status quo of the company. Okay, not every person onboard is the ideal teammate, but each is a member of the team for a reason and no one likes someone who wants everyone else to bend over backward to deal with them. All the rest of the topics discussed should be covered during the initial introduction to the workplace since these new graduates have the tendency to push issues if not given detailed instructions.

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MArk K December 6, 2019 at 11:57 pm

I would also mention phone us. I notice people reaching for their phones for no reason or at the slightest discomfort or challenge. People need to think twice before doing that. I also like to remind younger staff members what the history of cell phone and internet was. 15 years ago, no smart phones and most companies blocked loads of websites and monitored web use. People got sick of it, so companies loosened standards, but it’s gone too far in the opposite direction at most companies. Nowadays, I’ve seen many entry level people think it’s normal to watch youtube videos at work and sit on your phone for 15 minutes at a time instead of thinking about what you could be doing for your job. It becomes especially more difficult if someone in a higher level role is doing it as well in front of them

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