Most companies and candidates can attest that scooping ice cream for the summer is no longer enough on a recent grad or junior-level hire's resume. The market for candidates with 1-3 years of experience is more competitive than ever. Employer expectations are high and requirements like industry-specific internships, portfolios, knowledge of current software, and writing samples are now cost of entry.
So, as organizations' junior-level requirements evolve so should the overall perception of junior-level employees-- their talent, value and tenure. If you are an employer, ask yourself a few key questions before making your next entry-level hire.
1) Is our company still looking at junior-level positions as churn and burn? Do we assume that the tenure of coordinators, specialists and assistants is, at best, 1-3 years?
2) Are we only focusing on hard skills in our interview processes? Or, are we taking the time to assess soft skills, determining if a candidate is a good fit culturally for our team and the company as a whole?
3) And once we hire, are we investing in the training and development of our junior-level people to ensure that the candidates who brought so much to the table when they walked in the door are encouraged to learn and grow here rather than moving on?
If you require more skills and experience from the outset, it stands to reason that you are hiring better quality, more qualified talent. Don't miss the opportunity to retain these great hires simply because it's their first or second job out of school. If your assessment, process and training is commensurate with the skills you required, top junior-level candidates are more likely to stay and grow into key leaders for your company.