Small businesses are forced to deal with the tough task of hiring new employees early on during the startup phase. Finding the right talent can be challenging, and making a mistake here could have serious consequences on a number of areas throughout the company.

Due to the tight economy and a shortage of skilled labor, many firms are turning to college graduates as a means to fill open positions. If this is the case for your small business, it can pay to be prepared for incoming novice workers, and set up a system so that they'll succeed – and your company's financial plan will stay on track. 

In order to get started, here are some tips and trends related to hiring recent college graduates:

Job prospects improve for rookies
Like with many segments of a small business, there are pros and cons to bringing in new college graduates. According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder and, more companies are looking at this demographic when trying to fill open positions.

The research found that 57 percent of businesses want to hire recent college graduates. That is an increase from the 53 percent noted in 2013's survey and higher than the 44 percent reported in 2010. Even with these trends, many employers doubt that new college graduates are ready for the working world early on. Respondents expressed concerns that entry level jobs are becoming increasingly complicated, too few workers are taking part in internships and apprenticeships and technology is advancing too rapidly, among other reasons.

"Education plays a critical role in bridging the skills gap and fostering a capable and productive workforce," said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. "The vast majority of employers feel that the skills and knowledge base students gain at academic institutions are aligned with their company needs, but nearly 1 in 4 sense a disconnect. As roles within organizations grow more complex and demand for certain degrees outpaces graduation rates, there is an opportunity for employers to work more closely with schools to help guide learning experiences for the next generation of workers."

Plan ahead to hire graduates
If you plan to bring in a number of new college graduates for your small business, you'll have to plan ahead in order to best improve your financial plan and ensure that these staff members are prepared for the challenges that lie before them.

According to Paycor, a payroll services and human resources firm, the first step is to do a little bit of research. For example, analyze the roles that are available at your company. What positions need to be filled? Who is best qualified for these openings? Answers to these questions can help you identify the best possible candidates. In fact, many managers and other high-level administrators within your firm may have different opinions about the value of graduates for the small business. So, take the time now to figure out everyone's state of mind and keep all current members of your team on the same page.

Most importantly, Paycor recommended that you have a strategy in place to train these new employees once they arrive. Missing a development plan can prevent proper growth and hamper the effectiveness of your organization. Possible solutions include job training, shadowing and flexible positions that allow candidates to try out different roles at your company. This way, you'll be able to judge whether or not they are up to the task and what changes need to be made to ensure that the small business can handle an influx of recent college graduates.