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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 is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad 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. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.