Dear Alina, We Make New College Graduates Employable

Posted by Alana Kadden Ballon on Jul 11, 2013

photo by Lewie Osborne

Dear Alina,

I recently read your NYT piece about your older son’s high school graduation, and your worries that follow him to college. (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/29/your-money/a-quest-to-make-college-graduates-employable.html?hpw)

First, congratulations! Getting your kid through high school (and maintaining your sanity) takes a lot of work.

Second, try not to worry about his job prospects. My clients will hire him.

When filling an opening, employers have choices. They can hire experienced entry-level employees at lower cost or they can hire experienced employees who got their entry-level training somewhere else. My consultancy, Inqune, and our clients believe that the first model is more profitable, although it requires investment up front.

In baseball, the best teams in the major leagues have strong farm teams where they develop high-potential players. Once developed, those players progress to the major leagues. When other teams hire away that talent through free agency, they pay a premium, often quite large.

Since its 1926 inception, IBM has prioritized talent development in its recruitment process: they hire thousands of interns each year, and 40% of their entry-level hires come out of this pool. Salesforce.com, and Accenture are well-known for recruiting at colleges and developing employees who stay for more than 5 or even 10 years. Employees value the training and investment the company makes, the opportunities to advance and the culture this learning and development environment promotes.

Inqune focuses on small technology firms who, like their larger counterparts, prioritize hiring employees who can learn content quickly, apply it, and learn something new as the environment and products change. Our clients know that recent college graduates have spent years studying, writing and taking tests. These grads are skilled consumers of knowledge. Our clients leverage our team to teach specialized skills for doing their job and basic skills, including:

  • Business Writing vs. University Writing
  • Presentation Skills
  • Client Meeting Etiquette
  • Company & Client Social Events
  • Travel & Expense
  • Relationships at Work

In my next post, I will explore 7 things that your son, and the young women and men like him who are about to start their college years, can do to prepare themselves for work at a company that will invest in him once his schooling is done.