An Open Letter To Hiring Managers About Our Forgotten Grads

If you know a recent college grad, here's how you can help them during this time of high unemployment rates.

Are you a recent college graduate? Do you have a recent college grad at home?

As we lament about our missed sports seasons, read about our shortened MLB and NBA seasons, watch events with no spectators in the stands; we are completely forgetting about the missed opportunities for a recent college grad and interview season!  That is right. Due to COVID-19, our recent college graduates lost the opportunity to show their potential to prospective employers. This is especially true because the number of college job fairs and on campus visits were reduced to almost zero.

Reality For A Recent College Grad

As a father of a recent college grad and a recruiter, speaking about this topic is going to be more personal. My daughter has allowed me to share this information, which is unusual to say the least, but she wanted this out there.  

She graduated from one of the finest business schools in the country: the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. She received her degree as a Supply Chain major with a minor in MIS and has applied to over forty positions.  Do you know how many responses she received? Let me tell you, it is less than one percent. 

Hiring Managers Take Heed

Hiring managers, I implore you, if a college grad is taking the time to apply for a position, please have the courtesy to respond with a yes or a no.  I have spoken to numerous college grads, and it is not the yes or no that is causing their frustration. Rather it is the lack of response.  HR personnel are typically not getting back to a recent college grad. With all they have been through, this should not be another disappointment for them.

What You Can Do To Help Recent Grads

All of us at times are hiring managers; however, we may not have the title.  But we all can help others find a job.  That is exactly my next point.  When a recent college grad reaches out to you for an informational interview, which they have been instructed to do, take the time to chat with them.  They need our assistance more than any other class of graduates as they have lost interview season.  They are scrambling to position themselves in a new role as one of the employed graduates. 

When (and if) you hear of a firm hiring, think about not only your child but maybe a friend’s child that is looking for that first job and reach out to them directly.  Do not wait for them to reach out to you. Many of them are feeling more insecure due to news coverage and statistics regarding the unemployment being at record highs.  Some graduation speakers are telling them that they should sit back and wait for this to be over before searching for a position, and yet be cognizant in order to share what they did in their down time.  Let me say this perfectly clear: a recent college grad should not have any downtime in looking for their first position.  We need to do everything within our power to help them.

A Final Word

As hiring managers, you have colleagues at other firms. Reach out to them too, especially when a good applicant applies at your firm and you are not able to move that application forward for one reason or another.  HR managers and personnel must start sharing good applicants, so that we can help as many new college grads get their start in the business world.  We owe it to all of these grads that have had everything taken away from their senior year to help them in one way, shape or form.  Please share this article with everyone you know in order to be proactive together in helping them.  Lastly, if anyone reaches out to you asking for help in any way that you can, now more than ever they need our guidance and assistance. Help the recent college grad. 


About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all level Public Finance Bankers, Health Care Bankers, Municipal Financial Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.