Why I don’t want to hear about no one hiring fresh graduates.

I’ve been hiring fresh graduates for a couple of years now and it’s been a wonderful and at the same time terrible experience. We always heard everyone saying that no one in the industry gives fresh people a chance and even after 16 years of education kids find themselves working as interns for a year. Which is unfair and I really felt for it and wanted to have some of that energetic young blood in the company.

Now, the issue with hiring new people isn’t their skills or their competence but their attitude towards the interview process. For instance, if you get a 100 resumes and you tell those 100 people to write a single paragraph as a test. A maximum of 40 will ever reply you back, 10 of which after a week will apologize for not reading the email and 5 of those will have a sick mother. Now the 30 that did write something 10 of them never read what you wanted them to write And we’re down to 20.

One more thing 80% of these 30 that did write are going to be girls because us boys can’t be bothered with a company who want us to work even before hiring. How dare they! I would rather work somewhere where I’m accepting just because of my sheer manliness and my stand against non paid questions at interviews.

So our interview batch of these 30 brilliant, young, talented, enthusiastic folks is ready and we send out interview requests to all of them (if the given phone numbers are not off for the three days we call them) . After accepting the interview on the set date me and my team are all excited to meet this fresh blood and learn something from them. Guess what 50% aren’t going to show up, heck they aren’t even going to pick up your call when you ask if they are actually showing up.

Why would someone send their resume. Reply. Write a paragraph. Set up a interview time. Not come for it is just beyond me. And that is the thing reason why I hate absolutely hate the process of hiring fresh graduates.

After all of these shenanigans when someone complains to me that people don’t hire young fresh grads I want to slap them with a ‘ultay haath ki’ .

Okay, finally I have that out of my system. Having said all of that in our team the best people we have were fresh graduates and they are pure and absolute joy to work with. They pick things more quickly, they are always coming up with these amazing knew things which I have NO clue about at all. And honestly they’re running our company, we’re just at times nudging them in a particular direction rest its all them. I could not be more happier with the kids I work with.

But the process of getting them here is agonizing.

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Published by

Fahim Akhter

Fahim is a product manager with over 10 years of experience currently working as product head at MONT5. He focuses on user centric centric design, especially on brand, user experience and revenue product challenges. Prior to joining MONT5, Fahim's has worn multiple hats during his career from game production to product development but the emphasis has always been on creating unparalleled user experience and to help startups to make complex products more engaging. He has worked on diversified portfolio of startups including games, apps, education and e-commerce with product reach of 10M users across the globe. Fahim is a computer science graduate from FAST Islamabad. He volunteers for education and mentors students and startups, to help them grow and drive innovation.

3 thoughts on “Why I don’t want to hear about no one hiring fresh graduates.”

  1. I feel you. From 2013-2015, as head of engineering I lead the recruitment team at Coeus solutions. I have detailed data for few hundred candidates from Punjab University for hiring in 2014. I kept track of exactly how many CVs we got, how many written tests were conducted, how many interview rounds of how many test short lists we did and how many offers we made to eventually how many we actually hired.

    Long story short, its roughly 5:100 ratio.

    This was after trial and error of fixing and improving my interview pipeline, training my HR staff, training interviewers, setting up interview feedback loops, etc.

    The interview process was stripped of all biases and focused only on a person’s ability to write code and prove their degree’s worthiness – regardless of race, religion, cast, sex, age. I’ve had people complain about hiring girls as engineers, ahmadis, people too young or too old, hiring a sindhi, etc. I braved thru those concerns.

    I think your post title says it all. I’d say the problem lies years before they graduate – when it is time to intern. I think work experience should be a MUST to down a full time job. period. If you have no idea how the industry works after 4 years of university, you learned nothing. And what better way to learn than internships.

    So what we strongly lack is strong internship programs.

    Secondly, just lugging yourself to an internship is not enough – you need to learn from them. Interns must be put to almost the same projects and standards as full time employees for them to learn anything out of it.

    Then, unless you have brilliant colleagues that show maturity and professionalism on the workplace, these interns are not going to get inspired by them.

    once this machinery is set up, you will have good graduates – and no one will complain about ‘work experience’ before getting the job.

    1. You couldn’t be more on point, I’ve seen you go through the whole cycle and I remember you creating a very diligent process to deal with it.

      I think the internship bit is the only right solution, like the doctors house job. Something everyone has to do to understand what it takes to be there.

      And then we also have our cultural issue of telling kids how gifted they are how amazing they are, and how being at X and Y university will open recruiting doors and all. For me and you or a lot of employers that does not matter anymore. All that matters is your professional ethic, you problem solving skills and the value that you add to the company. My ego or your ego does not add anything our work and work ethic is all we have.

      In the end like most discussions it comes down to there are so many things that are essential for living an adult life, things we never have kids learn. From personal finance to growth. The issue though is academia cannot do this as a credit hour course, I remember we had professional ethics as a course and it was a major drag.

      1. Yes I totally agree. We also had a course on Entrepreneurship as if a course can teach you what entrepreneurship is. Instead, they should add elements of entrepreneurship in every course. Add elements of ethics in every course. Add elements of marketing in every course and make every course not just academic but part of work-experience and skill building. I don’t care too much about other disciplines nor do I know much about them, but for CS undergrads, automated grading should be the default for courses like ITC, DS, OOP, ALGO, OS. These days, too many students are ‘cracking the university system’ by graduating suma-cum-laude without even having the skill to write normal code.

        Finally, let’s not forget the absolutely bullshitness of courses such as Pakistan Studies and Islamic studies at the undergrad level. The fact that these courses are there shows just how invested the policy makers are in creating thorough engineers and scientists. Someone somewhere did some opportunity cost analysis and decided that another core computing course has LOWER opportunity cost so let’s put in Pakistan studies.

        Although I am a big proponent of talent export, such measures would definitely improve local tech industry – if only the policy makers can focus on high-leverage changes to ‘fix the system’.

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