Six Tips to Make New Grads Feel Welcome

Jolene Pilgrim
17 Oct 2018

If you’ve been following the Simply Hired blog, you know we’ve recently been covering the benefits that hiring recent grads can bring to an organization.  In the short term, younger employees can spur innovation in process and approach across the company.  Recent graduates will often bring that fresh set of eyes that is needed to help innovate and also demand diversity and HR initiatives that positively impact corporate culture.

With all the positive impacts the newly minted workforce can bring to your company, it only makes sense that employers would want to take all necessary steps to effectively integrate these fresh new faces.  While many larger companies have official training programs designed especially with this goal in mind, onboarding new grads can seem like a daunting effort to smaller companies or to those without official policies in place.  With the goal of easing the burden and providing an abbreviated roadmap to launch your process, below we cover six tops to make new grads feel welcome that can benefit any company, large or small.

Make No Assumptions

Established companies will often have a standard set of onboarding materials that covers basic policies, procedures specific to the given position.  If your company is established, perhaps there is an expectation that those coming in the door will simply know what’s expected of a professional in the workplace.  With a new graduate, it’s never safe to assume, well, anything.

The first step to successfully welcoming new graduates into your company is to start from scratch.  From the basics such as expected start time to a full job description, including duties, no detail is too small.  Ask your recent graduates plenty of questions about what they need to know, or feel like they don’t quite have a grasp on, and you’ll set them off on the right track plus give them a big boost of confidence.

Benefits, Policies, and Procedures

In line with tip #1, recent graduates are far more likely to have little to no prior professional experience before joining your company.  One of the biggest frustrations of any new hire is often in learning policies and procedures that to more experienced workers may seem rote.  Go over items such as work from home expectations, retirement, healthcare, and any other benefits or policies that you may typically take for granted.  This is also a great opportunity to ensure you aren’t making the same mistake with even seasoned new hires in skipping out on vital information that could help make the first few days of onboarding smoother.

Get Social

Long gone are the days when you could expect workers to show up, do their job, and exit at the end of the day all while remaining happy and productive.  Given the increasing importance of careers, having a sense of family in the workplace is more important than ever. In addition, the ability to make your employees feel that you are invested in their happiness and fulfillment goes a long way.

With all this in mind, social events have become a must with companies looking to successfully integrate and get the most out of young grads.  Cocktail hours, welcome lunches, and team building events are essential for bringing on board recent graduates. While these events may seem social, they are will let your new employees feel like the company is taking the time to get to know them personally and is taking steps to ensure their mental and social well being, both of which are large selling points among younger workers.

Provide Training

As we mentioned earlier, it’s wishful thinking to expect any new employee to hit the ground running without a fair bit of context around their job duties and responsibilities.  Training your new graduate employee will be essential to help them feel comfortable and welcome on the job.  Training can take the form of specialized instruction in individual tasks but should also include long-term thinking that allows the employee to see your investment in their growth.  Leadership and communication skills courses will not only benefit the individual employee, but it will also ensure you have the best shot at building from within solid and lasting in-house talent.

Offer Mentorship

Even if you have a substantial incoming class of recent graduates, younger employees can often feel ostracized or alone when not provided with guidance withing an established team.  To help overcome this hurdle, consider implementing a formal mentorship program that pairs your newest employees with established veterans. Not only with these mentors provide valuable guidance, but they’ll also serve as role models and will help demonstrate what your new grads can aspire to achieve with a little bit of hard work.

Check In Regularly

Our final tip for ensuring new grads feel welcome in the workplace is a subtle reminder that communication should go both ways in a healthy employee/employer relationship.  Schedule a regular weekly or monthly meeting in which you discuss how the employee is transitioning, listen to any concerns and address deliverables and other goals. Checking in often with your new graduate employee will provide structure and will help ensure your talent is staying on the right path while allowing for any corrections to be made in a timely manner.

Have any other tips for ensuring new graduates are welcome and comfortable in their new job?  Drop us a line in the comments and share your insights with fellow Simply Hired readers in our community.

Jolene Pilgrim