At Hire Standard, we interview hundreds of recent college grads annually and love to help them find that first full-time step in the professional world. Some candidates are more successful than others and the ones who struggle often wonder why. One barrier to entry caRecent Grad Jobsn be salary expectations – sometimes unrealistic on the candidate’s part. Often we hear, ”I’ve worked hard for 4 – 6 years studying, getting good grades and have graduated, so why shouldn’t I get top dollar?”

In this unpredictable job market there are many people vying for the same position — some without a degree but with a few years of experience, some with a recent degree but very limited experience. Think about hiring from the company’s point of view – which one should they hire?

The person with experience will want a higher salary due to their experience. The company may think, “If we hire the college grad he/she will take a lower salary because we have to train them, then they can work their way up over time.” But if the entry-level candidate is seeking the same salary an experienced candidate could command, the company does not get the best return on their investment.

Working for a staffing firm might be the best way to get your foot in the door with a stable, growing company. Temping is a way to show the company what you can do and may open other opportunities. Our 24 years of experience introducing bright, accomplished candidates to companies who can appreciate their talents tells us this is a great formula. As the job seeker, it’s important to understand the hourly compensation while temping may be lower than what you may want but with careful budgeting it can be done. Drawing up a budget may sound hard but it is possible…. trimming the excess, deferring student loans – even taking a second, part-time job — may help in the short term until something permanent comes up. Remember temping in the short term can lead to a long-term position.

According to Paul Barada, Monster Salary and Negotiation Expert, salaries do not always reflect what you think the position should pay. Companies look at the whole package reflecting their cost of hiring while individuals look primarily at the salary. The “whole package” may include Salary, Paid Time Off, Paid Overtime, Bonuses and employee benefits like Medical, Dental, Vision, FSA, STD, LTD, 401K, Parking or Travel Stipend, Life Insurance, Profit Sharing, Tuition Reimbursement and other items.

Remember the economy is weak and even in DC where we are fortunate to have a stronger base than some cities, companies are tightening their budgets. Everyone is trying to do “more with less” and that may apply to the recent grad, even after their success in the academic environment. So when a job is offered to you try to look at the whole package because in the long run, a lower salary a compelling benefit package may be a better deal!

— Helen Hopkins
President, Hire Standard Staffing/Blue Zebra
PHONE: 240-235-5065