Recruiting university graduates

The graduate skill set

Employing graduates into your business or organisation can be extremely rewarding. Graduates represent some of the brightest and well educated sectors of the employment market. Graduates are offered little opportunities at the moment, so are desperate to prove their worth as soon as they get their foot in the door.This hard work will allow graduates to achieve any targets or goals set in front of them.

When tapping into the potential, you have to weigh up the lack of experience that graduates might have. Although most graduates will have undertaken some sort of work experience while at university. Balancing this against their intelligence is not always a bad thing. Often the skills that graduates perfected at university are applicable in the workplace.

What can graduates offer employers

Graduates can be an excellent asset for companies for many reasons. While you risk taking them on with little "real life" experience, graduates tend to be very adaptable in the workplace. Employing graduates straight from university allows you to take a fresh candidate, free of old habits and routines, moulding them into an excellent employee for the organisation. As soon as they have been shown the basics of how to operate, they will usually repay you the opportunity with high quality, diligent work.

Another dynamic brought by graduates to companies can be a fresh perspective. Sometimes graduates can prevent a company stagnating or falling behind, an injection of a graduate ideas is certainly the remedy. Many of the larger corporations rely on a fresh influx of graduates to do this each year.

Graduates might not come necessarily cheap, they expect a decent starting salary. On the opening offer, graduates expect around £16k-20k to begin with. However this can often prove cheaper than already hiring someone that is already experienced in the role and would ask for a competitive salary.

Investing in & retaining graduates

Once you've employed a graduate, a key thing to do is mould them into the company way of working. This might include offering extended training in certain skills and fields or a level of responsibility in a project. By giving graduates a level of responsibility in a role, this will encourage loyalty to an organisation and they will usually stick by you. Opportunities are hard to come by especially when just out of university so holding onto talent might not be an issue for the first year or so. However after than, holding on to graduates might be done through an increase in pay, benefits or work satisfaction.

Other ways you can keep graduates and develop them into key members of the team is direct their learning to integrate with the established team. For example, have them buddy up when they start, give them ways they can directly influence the way the business is run or give them regular feedback. For graduates being first employed, then valued as an employee is a fundamental way to holding on to them.