This Week's Herman Trend Alert

HR in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

October 6, 2004

Small Businesses Hiring College Grads

Over the years, research has proven that the greatest growth in the economy, including hiring, comes from small business rather than large organizations. As small and medium-size businesses grow in response to demand generated by an expanding economy, they will need more talented and energetic people to join their teams.

The nature of the work in a small business, different than a large corporation, is that each employee must be more versatile, collaborative, multi-talented, and skilled at multi-tasking. Creativity and entrepreneurship is valued among these workers who are expected to take initiative and actively engage their colleagues in stimulating thought and high performance.

The type of employee needed by a growing small company is a make-things-happen individual who is fresh, open, and eager-to-learn. Workers who come from other employers, particularly those where they have learned bad habits of conformity or marginal productivity, do not perform well in the environment of a smaller organization that is more dependent on the strong contribution of each member of the employee team.

To thrive in the environment of opportunity that is emerging in our society, smaller employers will be looking for recent college graduates that are flexible and adaptable, yet educated and trained to get things done. These young men and women will bring a substantial base of knowledge, experience in working with others (much of today's teaching design involves group projects), and a desire to make a mark for themselves as quickly as they can. They will be looking for opportunities to jump-start their careers, to get on a fast track to higher achievement and greater potential. And, to the benefit of entrepreneurial small business owners, these young people will not be burdened by a that-will-not-work attitude. Nothing is impossible in their minds, which is exactly what small business leaders need to grow and respond to rapidly changing customer expectations and market conditions.

As they discover this source of the people they need, more small businesses will recruit on college campuses. This experience will be new for them-and new for the career counselors accustomed to courting larger employers with college recruiting departments.

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