Why You Need to Turn New Grads into Employees 

The US labor pool is shrinking. One of the reasons companies can’t hire enough employees is simply that people haven’t been having as many children—and the trend is continuing. According to Pew Research, birth rates dropped during the pandemic and more US adults say they’re unlikely to have children. Some 44% of non-parent adults ages 18 to 49 aren’t likely to become parents. Since finding enough skilled workers will be an issue for the foreseeable future, construction companies should entice younger generations, like recent graduates, with development opportunities. 


Giving recent grads the ability to learn new skills and build their careers can make taking jobs in the construction field much more attractive. A recent survey by Amazon and Workplace Intelligence found 74% of Gen Z-ers and Millennials are contemplating a career change in the next 12 months due to a lack of career mobility and skills development options. This is where perks, like great benefits, company culture and development can give construction companies an edge. 

Create a Development Plan 

A robust development plan will help turn under-skilled graduates into highly trained workers. When companies provide formal training, employees increase their volume of work and capitalize on new opportunities that benefit the organization. Use a multi-tiered approach that offers many different types of training methods.

On-the-Job Training 

On-the-job or hands-on training lets new employees begin working immediately by jumping in or shadowing another employee, while still being monitored by a supervisor or team member. This type of training wastes no time in getting employees up-to-speed, without completely being on their own. Keep in mind, graduates have been in school for the last two to four years so it’s likely they don’t have much real-world experience. On-the-job training provides that experience, while guiding them on how to fulfill their new roles.

Assign a Buddy 

Leveraging a training buddy during onboarding can aid in training but also helps to engage new hires. A training buddy is an existing employee who’s assigned to a new employee with the purpose of guiding them through the first few weeks or months of a position. According to Indeed, having a training buddy allows for the sharing of knowledge that goes both ways. The new employee can share tips, knowledge and techniques learned in school or on past jobs and the existing employee helps the new employee learn and understand the current job expectations and company.   

Classroom Style Training 

Classroom style training allows companies to train many employees at once. According to Indeed, classroom style training gives new employees the benefit of asking questions and building relationships with other trainees and the trainers. Plus, it pairs perfectly with online training.

Online Training Content 

Online training content, available on a learning management system, allows new employees to access and complete training on their own time, from anywhere. It’s a training option that will appeal to entry-level workers because new graduates are already tech-savvy. As recent graduates are 21 and under, they’re digital natives and are comfortable using tech and can even teach coworkers. This type of training is ideal for completing compliance training, diversity and inclusion, sexual harassment, safety, cybersecurity, leadership, ethics and more—including mandatory OSHA training. But any type of custom content can be uploaded, so additional training, specific to the position, can be accessed as well. 

Pay Attention to Your Recruiting Methods 

Just because new grads aren’t skilled doesn’t mean they’re not discerning. Providing a great candidate experience will draw a better pool of recent graduates to your company so you might end up only supplementing skills, instead of training from the ground up. 

  • Advertise your development opportunities. Once you develop a solid development plan, let recent graduates know about it. According to an Upskilling study, young people are motivated by development opportunities because 48% feel it will lead to a better work/life balance and 41% say they’ll have a sense of purpose. Advertising this benefit on your company page and in your job postings will help draw graduates to your company. 
  • Showcase your benefits. Development isn’t the only benefit that will draw graduates. Illustrate how the value of benefits like 401(k) investments and health insurance can improve a candidate’s current and future financial situation. A vested retirement savings program, especially one that only requires minimal employment (like a year), can literally pay dividends for young workers by helping them save more, earlier in their careers. (In fact, early on, retirement could be more enticing than health benefits as young employees may be covered under a parent’s plan until age 26.)  
  • Put your culture front and center. Your company culture reflects your values and goals. Examples include crews that always work clean and professionally, managers that are communicative with clients, office staff that’s friendly and helpful, employees that support each other and so on. This culture should be front and center in your recruitment materials as well as your company’s website and social posts so candidates get a view of how your company operates and what it would be like to work there. 

You need to adopt a plan to hire, train and develop talent that can grow with your company. Great employees aren’t always born, many times they’re made.  

An applicant tracking system (ATS) allows recruiters to publish job postings and sort candidate resumes so they only need to review top choices. But an ATS also provides a better candidate experience. A good ATS streamlines the application experience through mobile capabilities, interview scheduling and automatic status updates. 

Arcoro’s software solutions make hiring, managing and growing employees simple. Learning Management and ATS offers tools and processes that will help you attract, train and develop recent graduates.  

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