The term “entry-level” is seen all over the place on posted jobs. However, what entry-level means can be different for every company. Read on to understand what entry-level means and how it should be communicated to applicants.

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What is an Entry-Level Job?

An entry-level job is a position that doesn’t require previous experience. These jobs are often held by recent graduates or someone looking to make a career change.

Why are Entry-Level Jobs Important for Companies?

Entry-level jobs can be quite important for companies as this is often where employees first get exposure to a company or field to see if it is a good fit for them. These jobs are often work that more experienced workers don’t want to do. This allows employers to train employees in the necessary way to progress in the field and company, and broadens the candidate pool for companies.

  • Type of work done. Entry-level jobs often have responsibilities and duties that don’t require much skill or work experience to accomplish, but take time. Having entry-level employees handle these duties allows more seasoned employees to focus on responsibilities that require more expertise/skill.
  • Training. Entry-level jobs allow a company to train and mold an employee to be successful in their career and at the company. Even if the employee doesn’t decide to stay with the company long-term, this is beneficial for the company as it shows prospective employees that the company develops talent and brings out the best in them.
  • Broader candidate pool. Since entry-level jobs don’t require previous work experience, any candidate will meet the basic requirements and there will be more applicants for a position. While that means the recruiter must be more thorough in their search and really look for soft skills in the candidates, it also allows the recruiter to cast a wider net and find what they are really looking for.

Experience and Skills Needed for Entry-Level Jobs

For entry-level jobs, no experience is needed, which is why they are entry-level. However, there are still skills that employers look for in an applicant. This will vary with each company and position, but some important skills to have for an entry-level position are:

Manages Time Well

Any job requires a level of time management. It is important in an entry-level position to show the ability to manage time and stay organized with all the tasks the position might require.

Driven and Self-Motivated

When a new hire starts an entry-level position, it is important for them to show their employer their willingness to work hard and do whatever may be asked of them. Entry-level positions are an opportunity to make a great first impression with a company.

Teachable

Any new job is going to have a learning curve. When starting an entry-level position without any prior relevant work experience, that learning curve will likely be higher. Therefore, it is vital to be teachable.

How to Determine Which Positions at Your Company Should be Entry-Level

When determining which positions should be entry-level, it is important to consider a few factors. You should consider what skills are needed, what the pay for the position will be, and what kind of person you wish to attract for the position.

Step 1: Determine What Skills are Needed for the Job

Necessary skills for a position greatly impact if the job will be an entry-level position or not. If the skills needed can be obtained without prior work experience, the job should likely be considered an entry-level position.

Step 2: Decide on Pay for the Position

Another consideration when deciding whether a position is entry-level is the pay. Lower paying jobs should generally be considered entry-level as they can be harder to attract talent. Applicants looking to get work experience or trying to get into a new field will be more likely to consider lower-paying jobs. Lower-paying jobs vary for each applicant, so it is hard to classify what an entry-level job is, but it is one thing to consider.

Step 3: Consider What Kind of Person You Want for the Job

When considering if a position is entry-level, consider what kind of person you are wanting to attract. Are you comfortable with someone that doesn’t have any expertise or knowledge on the matter at hand? Do you need someone who has technical skills? Is this a position that manages employees? These are some questions to consider when deciding what kind of person you would like to hire for the position.

Tips for Finding and Hiring Entry-Level Employees

After deciding whether positions are entry-level positions or not, determine how you are going to find and attract applicants for entry level positions. Here are a few tips to consider to find this talent.

Tip 1: Use College Job Boards

Websites such as Handshake allow you to post jobs for current college students to apply for. These students might be mid level or near graduation. College students are the perfect candidates for entry-level positions.

Tip 2: Promote Growth or Experience Opportunities

Another way to attract candidates for entry-level positions is to promote growth or work experience opportunities. Typically people looking at entry-level positions will want where there are opportunities to grow or get work experience. Promoting that in a job posting or social media such as LinkedIn can help find and hire more entry-level employees.

Tip 3: Write Job Descriptions with Transferable Skills

When candidates apply for a job, they want to make sure they have the right skill-set, even if it is an entry-level position. Write a job description with responsibilities or skill requirements that are transferable or easily learned from other jobs or school experience. One example of this is time-management or organization.

Questions You’ve Asked Us About Entry-Level Jobs

No, not all entry-level jobs require a degree, though some will ask for one as many entry-level jobs seek recent graduates.
Yes, any position’s salary can be negotiated, though it might be harder to negotiate for an entry-level position due to the lack of work experience.

Tanner has over 4 years of HR professional experience in various fields of HR. He has experience in hiring, recruiting, employment law, unemployment, onboarding, outboarding, and training to name a few. Most of his experience comes from working in the Professional Employer and Staffing Industries. He has a passion for putting people in the best position to succeed and really tries to understand the different backgrounds people come from.

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