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Recruiting employees for success in entry-level positions

Posted by Scott Fiore on August 14, 2019

There’s more than a grain of truth in the saying, “You hire for attitude, train for skills.” In fact, the late Herb Kelleher, founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines, said, “You can always teach skills. One needs to hire attitudes that fit the firm’s culture.”

Now, I’m not about to downplay the importance of skills. I’m a recruiter–I look for candidates who have the skills our clients need. I respect professionals who devote years to learning skills in school or on the job and, often, years more perfecting them.

But skills alone don’t make a great employee.

Overcoming the risk of recruiting employees at the entry level

Have you had the following experience? You’re recruiting employees to hire for an entry-level position. You review candidates whose skills appear untested or underdeveloped. Hiring any of them feels a bit risky. I totally understand, because I’ve been there, too.

However, someone without experience but who is sharp, upbeat and confident may be just who you need to fill that entry-level job. You can train an employee with a clean slate in a way you need for them to perform well in the job.

Employers often have lofty requirements for positions when recruiting employees for entry-level jobs. Research by TalentWorks, a developer of job-matching software, found that six out of 10 jobs in need of entry-level employees asked for at least three years of experience. By not considering those with little or no experience, companies can miss out on promising new talent.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, “Some emerging professionals seeking entry-level jobs are faced with a daunting conundrum—companies are asking new graduates to already have years of experience before they even apply for entry-level jobs, making it more difficult for some young adults to gain a foothold in the labor market.”

Still, I understand the risk. So, when recruiting employees for entry-level positions, here are a few ways to look beyond job experience and accomplishments and focus on other relevant strengths:

  • Have candidates assessed for strengths and traits that you seek for success in the job and compatibility with your company.
  • Consider candidates’ involvement or leadership in extracurricular school or community activities.
  • Attend job and career fairs to meet and talk with prospective candidates face to face.
  • Contact career services offices at area colleges and universities for recommendations for recent graduates.
  • Look at candidates’ social media activity to determine how they present themselves in a public forum.

Need assistance with job recruiting or hiring employees?

At TriStarr, we can help you screen candidates by doing personality/behavioral assessments, performing background checks, and conducting first-round interviews. Our recruiters and employment specialists can assist you, whether you want to find the best candidate for a full-time position or need temporary administrative staffing or professional staffing services.

At TriStarr, we offer a Good People Guarantee. If a client isn’t completely satisfied with a full-time or temporary recruit, we will replace the person with another candidate at no cost or provide a refund.

TriStarr is a professional temp and employment agency in Lancaster, Pa., also serving Harrisburg, York, Lebanon and Reading. Contact us online, or give us a call at (717) 560-2111.