Recruiting a recent graduate can bring talent, fresh ideas and a burst of energy to your business. By offering them the right opportunities you can turn them into loyal and dedicated employees who will return the investment you make in their development many times over. Here are some things to consider when looking for a graduate to join your team:
Decide What You Want
Degrees teach students how to think. They also instill dedication and establish useful skills such as meeting deadlines and time management. A proven commitment to an area of study may be enough for your needs so you can recruit from a wide range of subject areas – or you may want the extra knowledge and specific skills that come from a specialism that’s relevant to your business. Decide what’s most important to you and tailor your recruitment strategy around this.
It’s useful to identify potential candidates while they are still at university. By offering them an internship or summer job, you can introduce them to your working culture so that they’re ready to hit the ground running by the time they become an employee. If you’re looking to recruit from the latest crop of graduates, make sure you plan your campaign early in the academic year as many of the highest quality students may have already accepted job offers by the time their results are announced.
Advertise In The Right Places
Be selective in the universities you choose to recruit from. If you’re looking for specialist degrees, the UCAS website (www.ucas.ac.uk) will provide a useful guide – but don’t neglect universities that are nearby as their students will already be settled into the local environment. Advertise your role through a university website and contact the institution’s career service so that your position reaches the right audience.
Define The Role Clearly
Make sure you spell out exactly what you’re offering and what you expect from the role. Include the responsibilities and duties you require as well as providing information about future career development opportunities and any additional training that you’ll provide.
Don’t Forget The Basics
Graduates are unlikely to have any pre-conceived ideas about what is expected of them. This can be a real asset as you can mould them to fit the shape of your business but it also means that they might not know what is or isn’t appropriate. Make sure you give them lots of orientation and ease them into the role gradually. This could be their first job so include things like work rules, office hours, dress codes and all the day to day details that would usually be second nature to a more experienced employee.
Coming directly from an intense learning environment means that graduates are used to a rigid set of guidelines. Give them lots of feedback about their progress, have frequent evaluations and performance appraisals and offer praise for good work. It might also be useful to designate an experienced colleague to act as a mentor who can offer additional guidance and instruction where necessary.
Give them deliberately delegated responsibility as soon as possible. This will help them to feel involved and work as part of the team. Set high goals and hold them accountable for achieving them, providing regular training to make them more attainable. You could also encourage them to set up new projects but keep in mind that they’ll probably need plenty of support and monitoring to make sure they keep on the right lines.
Get Their Input
A fresh perspective and a new approach can be incredibly beneficial to your business so listen to your graduate and be receptive to their viewpoint. As well as learning from you, there could be a great deal that you can learn from them too.
If you’ve hired graduates for your business, please let us know – we’d love to hear about your experiences.