Hiring an entry level employee is one of the biggest challenges HR departments and recruiters all over the country face. Although one might think that hiring out of college for entry level positions is easy and certainly a lower risk than higher paid mid management and executives, this is not the case. Hiring out of college, an employer has very little to go off of. You merely have access to information such as a resume, their academic accolades (which is becoming more and more controversial on whether that leads to a good business professional), and how they carry themselves in an interview. This is in stark contrast to the wealth of knowledge you find when looking for someone with previous work experience for mid management and executive level jobs. These candidates have years of business and professional world experience for your HR and recruiting departments to lean on when making a decision. This begs the question, what constitutes a great out of college entry level hire?
When most businesses look to hire out of college, they look for the presence of the soft skills that one may possess that would suggest they are top level talent, but what exactly are those soft skills? In a recent NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) study, 160 national employers were surveyed. Of those 160 Employers the top five traits they sought in a college grad were:
- Ability to work in a team
- Communication skills
- Ability to overcome adversity/ problem solve
- Hard work ethic
These top five traits mattered more to employers than other standout attributes like computer skills, creativity, being detail oriented, and analytical skills.
Let’s take a look at the top five skills employers look for when searching for graduates out of college. Leadership, ability to work in a team, communication skills, ability to overcome adversity, and hard work ethic. Now if you read that aloud it sounds a lot like you are describing an athlete. All of these skills are soft skills that take years of training to master. They are not technical skills or even skills that are so much associated with academia, like the aforementioned analytical skills or computer skills. It starts to make sense why employers would want to look for collegiate athletes when hiring young men and women with very little previous work experience. The skill set Student Athletes develop when honing their skills, balancing academics and athletics, training with a team, and competing day in and day out are the same traits that make a great employee.
That is why we created InXAthlete. We developed a simple and efficient platform that connects you, the employers, with Student Athletes looking for jobs and internships. We not only want the Student Athletes to succeed – we also want to see business, big and small, to excel in their out of college hiring practices and see a return on next level talent.