Landing Your IT Job
Apr 4, 2024

Three Reasons Your Entry-level Hires Aren’t Job Ready

NGT Academy
NGT Academy

The employment process for network engineers has always been a challenge, this is even more so for entry-level placements. The hard truth is that there are no surefire methods for employers to guarantee the performance quality of an entry-level hire, despite a well-written resume. There are no reliable testimonials from past employers, no professional accolades to back them up. In fact, a great deal is left to guesswork and somewhat of a gamble.

Additionally, longtime staff are dependable for their consistency and working style, which paves the way for effective teamwork within the organization. On the contrary, a fresh entry-level staff may affect existing chemistry and reduce the overall efficiency of a team. 

Ultimately, workplace skills can be nurtured over time but this requires time, patience and valuable resources (ie. mentorship/training hours). So it is essential for employers to better understand the difficulties and challenges that entry-level hires generally face before welcoming them onboard. 

Onboarding Issues

Many entry-level hires fail to adapt well to the work environment, and understandably so since workplace culture is a topic that remains untaught in most educational institutions. It almost comes as a rude awakening for a fresh graduate who barely survived classroom politics. 

Workplace culture defines how things are done in a particular organization. Unfortunately, many entry-level staff fail to detect the subtleties at the workplace, from color codes, to preferred language/jargon and interior decor. In worst case scenarios, new hires may attempt to change the way things are usually done - which ends up upsetting top level management and disrupting existing protocols.

Mitigating the issue: Entry-level hires need to be thoroughly informed on why a series of practices and protocols have been set in motion. Ultimately, an organization has to be kept functional for the benefit of all and not for the sole convenience of an individual. Proper orientation is integral in the onboarding process. 

Certifications Vs Skills 

Academic curriculum is structured to deal with industrial topics on a general level. They have been down-sized to fit the dimensions of a whiteboard in a lecture hall. This often leaves little room to exercise creativity and pragmatic thinking. On the contrary, crises that arise under daily industrial operations are unpredictable and require immediate responses. 

Thus, the certifications accrued by an entry-level technical engineer is not directly reflective of practical IT knowledge. Also, many internships fail to provide value-added experiences - with organizations subjecting interns to menial or routine tasks unrelated to their profession (i.e refilling office supplies).

Additionally, each organization follows a unique set of mission and vision that shapes the approach to every task. As such, some companies may have bent a few textbook rules, which led them to success. 

Most organizations are in search of innovative individuals who can quickly adapt to a situation and resolve practical problems. This may leave entry-level hires at a severe disadvantage. 

Mitigating the issue: mentorship/peer-guided orientation programs may allow entry-level hires to pick up practical skills that will improve their workplace productivity and find their place in the organization. Additionally, hires should be encouraged to participate in discussions during meetings to get comfortable in contributing. 

Disagreements with Colleagues

Entry-level staff may be unsure of what to expect at a workplace when it comes down to peer-to-peer relationships. The level of competition and diplomacy always seem to hang in a delicate balance, which makes it difficult for the uninitiated worker to assess. 

Seasoned workers on the other hand, are familiar with workplace archetypes. This allows them to identify the “negative Nancies”, “sensitive Susans” and “friendly Freds” at first sight to plan the most tactful means of engagement. 

Also, there is a common stigma that entry-level staff are green and difficult to teach compared to experienced workers. This makes it harder for the hires to blend with cliques at the workplace, which may lead to long-term discord. 

Mitigating the issue: Employers can alleviate culture shock by personally overseeing collaborative efforts (between entry-level hires and regular staff) and emphasizing the importance of workplace interactions. 

Whatever your organizations need is- reskilling, onboarding, or pursuing greater diversification, NexGenT’s Full Stack Network Engineering program offers a complete solution with unsurpassed ROI. 

From seeking out the best talent and divisioning through both aptitude AND personality assessments, to training in a real world environment while internalizing, teaching, and reinforcing certifications through actual practice, and finally ingraining ourselves into your company culture and standard operating procedures to more completely onboard, NexGenT is a bespoke solution for you to empower both your team and your organization to quickly bring the real world skills you need for organizational success.

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