Finding Talent: Hiring Recent College Graduates

Several graduates in gowns throwing up their cap in the air.

In 2023, college graduates will be entering one of the most unstable job markets in years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in March of 2023 job openings fell by 384,000 and layoffs increased by 248,000. Not the most optimistic of landscapes for those grads that walked the stage over the past few weeks.

Some of the most well-known employers have announced layoffs this year including Alphabet Inc, Amazon, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, Meta, Microsoft, Salesforce, and Spotify. While this is a huge challenge for those entering the workforce, it also does give an opportunity for companies that are maybe smaller, or less well-known, to have a shot at landing some of the top grad talent that would not have been possible over the last few years.

Benefits to Hiring Recent Graduates

While many companies target employees with at least a few years of relevant experience, there may be some benefits to taking a look at these entry-level grads.

Cost Savings

First, they are cheaper. Don’t get me wrong, this is not to say that you should not pay your employees well. Not keeping up with market value compensation is a sure-fire way to lose employees too! However, a recent graduate will come at a lower price tag than someone with more experience. Saving dollars where you can is especially important in these turbulent economic times.

Willingness to Learn

New graduates also tend to have a greater willingness to learn. You can train them from day one on your own policies, procedures, brand guidelines, etc. Look for attributes in recent grads such as ambition, problem-solving skills, work ethic, communication, and teamwork skills. Also, make sure they align with your company’s core values and culture, and you have the opportunity to grow your own rockstar talent from within.

As a bonus, have this new grad report to a team member that is looking to develop management experience. This will help to grow your existing employee’s skillset and demonstrate you are willing to pass along opportunities from within as well.

Future Customer Base

Did you know that Gen Z makes up 25 % of the U.S. Population? As these 2023 grads are part of Gen Z, having a thumb on the market of this generation can be a big benefit to your company’s bottom line too!

What are Recent Grads Looking For?

Now let’s discuss what these new graduates are looking for when entering the workforce. Though salary is an important factor, as it is with most job seekers, there are many other factors that they will weigh heavily when making career decisions.


Stability is key! 52% of 2023 graduates said that if they heard about layoffs in a company of interest, they would be less likely to apply. Many are also looking for long-term company fit, so make sure you have great retention strategies in place as well.

Development & Benefits

They are also looking for professional development in the form of mentors, learning opportunities, and future growth opportunities. Company culture including wellness and inclusion also make it to the top of the list.

Beyond salary, these recent graduates are also targeting bonuses, 401K, future planning, and student loan repayment benefits.


With 1.9 million 2023 graduates, there is an excellent opportunity to nurture talent from within and have a strong understanding of a growing population base to help set your company up for long-term success. If you are looking to add to your team and need assistance finding top talent, we’d love to connect and show you how we can help!