Due to the fact that most graduates lack work experience, their assessment seems challenging to recruiters.

Of course, when you are about to recruit a graduate, you are not expecting to find the best fitting job skills, so how can you make the best selection?

The focus should be on their character and soft skills, because only these will show their true potential and provide any indication of their future job performance.

Should you hire a graduate?

Many companies are often scared to invest time and money in a graduate, because it is doubtful whether he will fit in the company and more importantly…if they will stay. For this reason some companies are collaborating with some internship programs, in order to “test” candidates before moving to the final hiring decision.

An example of these programs could be the “Gefyra Project”. It’s a program that gives the opportunity to graduates and undergraduates to begin their work adventure, through an internship. This internship program is the best way to gain work experience, develop your skills and enrich your CV as a candidate, while for the recruiter it is a low-risk method to determine job fit.

The millenial generation offers only positive results to your company. They bring new ideas and they have a new, fresh way of thinking that is more progressive and relevant to today’s digital world.

These upcoming talents are doing their first career steps, which means they are ambitious and willing to learn more and gain as much experience as they can. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to build on entry-level candidates and see them grow inside your company.

What should you look for in graduates?

As we mentioned above, your recruitment should be based on assessing the candidates’ soft skills, but which are the most important ones?

#1 Teamwork

Teamwork may be the most important skill a graduate should possess. This skill is a strong indicator on potential to be productive, and cooperate well with the team.

By working in a team towards a common goal, individuals develop synergistic interactions, which brings several advantages to organizations, such as creativity, resolution of conflicts and trust inside the workplace.

Junior Candidate - The Owiwi blog

#2 Adaptability

The business landscape changes all the time and you have to be ready for that. Adaptability describes the ability to deal with change successfully and adjust to different and/or new environments. Thus, an adaptable person can carry out multiple tasks and can make changes to merge with new ideas and different opinions.


#3 Willingness to change

This skill can be identified with flexibility. It describes the willingness to modify behaviors in response to changing circumstances and adapting to situation – specific demands. Benefits of this skill could be the easy adaptation to difficult situations and the openess to new challenges. Most significant is that these employees accept critisism and don’t face difficulties working in a team.

#4 Accountability

A workplace in which employees are engaged without being accountable is unsustainable. Being accountable is being held answerable for your actions, behaviors or decisions. Having an accountable employee, means you have a responsible person in your company. An employee, who is pulling his weight and not relying primarily on others.

#5 Decision Making

The process of selecting the best logical choice among several alternative possibilities. It refers to the individuals’ ability to make a decision and/or even demonstrate the initiative to do so. When someone possesses this ability he can face with a decision effortlessly. Moreover, he can come faster to a problem’s solution by following his own ideas and not established policies.

Junior Candidate - The Owiwi blog

#6 Resilience

Resilience is the ability to recover or bounce back from setbacks and failures.
It is also the ability to adapt well to changes and to keep going in the face of adversity.
Someone who has no resilience will be nervous and stressed during work changes. Furthermore, rejection and failure will make them feel weak and give up quickly.
Hence, you can’t move on your business with people that are not optimistic and can’t come to terms with failure.

#7 Integrity

Integrity reflects your inclination to engage into moral behavior. The ability of integrity comes with dependability and honesty. Employees must be committed with the organization’s values and policies. This is the reason why integrity is required.
You don’t want an employee that will turn a blind eye and will be dishonest in case of unethical behaviors in the workplace.

#8 Learning Agility

This skill reflects to your willingness and ability to learn. Of course, when you are a graduate you want to gain experience and increase your knowledge. You must remember that this is your aim, you don’t have to give up and you have to listen to others’ advices. Employees should always ask for feedback and search for new ways of doing things at work. When this skill is missing your potentials to develop your job skills and be more productive will be eliminated.

Junior Candidate - The Owiwi blog

These were the 8 most important soft skills that a recruiter should take into account when they are about to assess a junior candidate.

What else can help you to take the final hiring decision?

There are lots of ways that a good recruiter can use to recognize skills. For example, hiring manager can ask for accomplishments or look the candidate’s profile or even look the structure of the graduates’ CV. He can also use unexpected or behavioral questions about specific situations in the workplace.

Even though these methods could sound familiar to a skilled recruiter, they will not have such time to “test” the soft skills of every graduate.

A new HR trend that could be the solution for this problem is gamification. The usage of gamified recruitment tools could have many benefits in your assessment process. The most valuable is that it saves time and you have valid results about candidate’s soft skills based on psychometric measures whilst offering a unique experience to candidates and users.

Top Advice for Junior’s Recruitment

Every recruiter is searching for the best candidate, who will fit exactly in the job position. To achieve this, they must reject many applicants. But when it is about graduates you should handle it more carefully. You should pay attention on how to say that they didn’t get the job. Due to the fact that it is their first career steps, they might get disappointed. Furthermore, you should maintain a strong employer brand and keep them to your talent pool for the future consideration.