Graduates can put down their shades for now, because the future doesn't look as bright as that old song promises.


A study recently released by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reported that businesses plan to hire only 2.1 percent more college graduates from the class of 2013 than they did from the class of 2012. Yet the employment numbers are improving, so why are businesses so reluctant to hire new graduates?


It turns out, many hiring managers are finding that college graduates don't possess the skills they need to become successful employees. Weakness in science, math and even spelling, can get job candidates shown the door.


CNBC reports that:employee training


A survey of 500 hiring managers by recruitment firm Adecco, found that a majority—66 percent— believe new college graduates are not prepared for the workforce after leaving college. Fifty-eight percent said they were not planning to hire entry level graduates this year, and among those managers hiring, 69 percent said they plan to bring on only one or two candidates.


"Too many students are graduating with a weak background in science and math," said Mauri Ditzler, president of Monmouth College.


"We need to make sure our graduates know the basics and many don't."


A frequent mistake graduates make that keeps them from getting even an interview is spelling, according to the Adecco survey. Forty-three percent of managers said spelling errors on resumes can automatically disqualify a graduate from being interviewed.


In fact, 54 percent in the survey said they failed to hire anyone in the last two years because of a weak resume, regardless of having a good interview.


Are you planning on hiring college graduates or have you been shying away because too many possess weak skill-sets? Consider developing special training programs and mentoring to get new hires who have recently graduated college up to speed and maximize their value to your company.

Training Tips

To develop a good training program for your employees, start with a Training Needs Analysis (TNA). The TNA involves identifying the training requirements needed to close the gap between an employee's present skills and those needed to perform the job at an optimum level.


You will need to determine what training new and existing employees need, so they can perform their job functions and responsibilities as successfully as possible. It is also important to think about how you will manage workloads and processes to enable employees to participate in training while limiting any negative impact on your business.

Planning Your Training Program

The following questions can help you determine who should do the training, how it will be delivered, and how the program will be funded:

  • Can the skill or knowledge gap be addressed by mentoring with other employees?
  • Are there employees who are capable of developing and/or delivering a formal training session?
  • Are there online training programs available?
  • Is it possible to start a study group that brings employees together to learn and enhance their skills?
  • Should a professional trainer be hired?
  • Can the training program take place at work or off-site?
  • Does the training need to be accredited or non-accredited? Are there certifications involved?
  • Is there financial assistance available from the state or federal government for training employees?


For more tips on building successful recruiting strategies for your company, check out our section on Recruitment & Hiring.


And for a review of other key HR tasks related to hiring, performance reviews, and discipline, be sure to check out our "Must-Do" HR Checklist, available free for download.


Image Credit: Victor1558

Topics: Human Resources, Recruitment and Hiring

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