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Build Your Career Get Ahead

Ready, Set, Work! Why Your First Two Weeks on the Job Really Matter

Ready, Set, Work! Why Your First Two Weeks on the Job Really Matter
Credit: Lysenko/Shutterstock

New hires need to be prepared to hit the ground running if they want make a good impression on their bosses, new research finds. Entry-level workers, in particular, have just a few weeks to prove they are up for the challenges posed by their new job.

Nearly 30 percent of executives say their companies form an initial opinion on whether an entry-level employee will be successful in less than two weeks, according to a study from the educational technology company Fullbridge, Inc.

In the study, 78 percent of respondents said they form opinions of new workers in less than three months.

Part of the reason employers may be quick to judge is because they are focusing their hiring strategies on finding entry-level workers who already have some on-the-job training. The study revealed that more than half of executives said they prefer hiring entry-level candidates with previous internship or training experience, compared to only 32 percent who place more value on where an applicant graduated college.

In addition, just 14 percent of those surveyed said they prefer hiring job candidates who had high grade point averages in college. [Welcome Aboard! How to Get New Hires Off to a Good Start ]

"Degrees from a prestigious school or high GPA no longer carry the same weight they once did," Candice Carpenter Olson, co-founder of Fullbridge, said in a statement. "College graduates are expected to come in and perform on day one."

Executives are also looking for new employees who will be engaged in their jobs, which the respondents said isn't defined by one single quality. Among the qualities that those surveyed said contribute to employee engagement are an internal motivation to succeed, the ability to solve problems, a commitment to the company's success and a "can-do" attitude.

"Engaged millennials translate into big cost savings for companies," Olson said.

The study was based on surveys of 319 corporate executives at companies with revenue of at least $1 billion.

Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.