12 Reasons you should be Hiring Graduates - Criterion
It’s that time of year again – a hoard of 20 somethings are moving on from posting Instagrams of their hats flying through the air and heading over to LinkedIn to set up their new profile. The job search has likely been in progress for the last 6 months but now the pressure is on.
So without further ado, here are the definitive 12 reasons you should be hiring graduates to benefit your business:
Graduates will not expect an extortionately high salary, but once employed they can be trained into effective members of your team. They have been living on minimal loans and weekend job wages so any annual income will be a step up.
Of course this doesn’t mean you can just pay your graduates a wage significantly lower than the market price but you will be getting high quality work from talented individuals at an entry-level salary – generally graduates earn between £19,000 and £22,000 a year.
Graduates have been studying for years to put themselves in a more favourable position in the job market, and are highly motivated to prove their place in your company.
It takes hard work and a great deal of commitment to choose a degree before even turning 18 and carry it through for 3 or 4 years. This level of commitment would undoubtedly benefit a business. A bit of healthy competitiveness may occur here – the fresh work ethic and motivation may inspire your existing employees to up their game and it may bring new energy to the workplace.
Perfect for small business looking to grow:
Following from this, the drive and motivation of a graduate will be especially useful for companies looking to expand and develop.
The ambition of graduates will drive a business forward at a much faster rate, especially if it means their career options will also be advanced. But at the same time initially they will not know enough about specific projects or office politics to disrupt the work flow.
Hiring a graduate will not only bring a set fresh of eyes and a new opinion to old projects, they have spent the last 3 or 4 years learning critical thinking skills and have been trained to be inquisitive.
They will be able to notice thing existing employees seem to miss or question methods that have been in place for years, making your company more efficient.
What graduates may not have in long term work experience they make up for in specific areas of knowledge. The internet has been common place in the average household since the late 1990's, exactly when current graduates were born. So, while they may not be aware how well versed they are in internet use, tech and social media compared to your current employees they are without doubt experts – and most likely don’t remember a time before the internet.
Young graduates will also have knowledge about current trends whether this be internet based or not. Furthermore, while a degree will mean in depth expert knowledge in the graduate’s subject, degrees are more commonplace than ever before. Often a degree alone isn’t enough to stand out, meaning graduates will have a range of short stay work experience in different areas and unusual individual interests making your workforce and pool of knowledge more diverse.
Unlike other new recruits, graduates don’t have any bad habits they might have picked up from previous jobs.
They can be taught from the off in your preferred method of working that will best benefit the company, and will likely learn it much faster than non-graduates.
The flexible student lifestyle means many graduates may be apprehensive about starting the dreaded 9-5 slog.
With more adaptable working hours, work-from-home options and rewards later down the line graduates may be a little less apprehensive to get going in the working world. Small things like work lunch or a stock of biscuits will be a luxury after having to budget and scrimp for 3+ years.
Transferable study skills:
Many of the study skills graduates learn at university are transferable to business. Throughout their degree students must create and give presentations, write coherent and compelling arguments, collaborate on group projects, prioritise their workload to meet deadlines and many have to work with data or unusual computer programs.
Furthermore, they are used to change; see how this year’s graduates dealt with nationwide university strikes in their final year of study, excellent independent learners and comfortable with less than ideal work environments such as busy university halls, meaning they are adept at blocking out office chatter and knuckling down.
Lastly with all their social media and online know-how graduates are adept at juggling a conversation, their work and an online interaction all at the same time.
As well as being able to work hard, graduates can work on anything. The education system requires you to jump through hoops in order to get ahead, so when it comes to work life, graduates are prepared to do things they perhaps wouldn’t choose to do in order to create a good impression.
While your current employees may deem some tasks unglamorous or beneath them, a graduate will jump on anything you offer them as they are open to new opportunities and will do much more to gain new experiences.
Additionally, graduates are less likely to have a family, or long term home life responsibilities. For some, this is their first taste of life outside of the education system and they are ready to pack up their bags and head off anywhere you might need them to be.
Can trial their work:
There’s nothing worse than making a recruitment decision and regretting it a few months down the line. Graduates are keen to gain work experience in any way they can and are often open to internships.
Whether these are paid or not, they are a non-committal way to see how someone works. If you think they’ll fit well in your team you could offer them a position, and if not then there is no large financial or temporal loss of resources. Think of it as a worker-preview.
Come with their contacts:
Students have a completely different contact pool to those already working at your company. You can use this novelty to your advantage; graduates can easily get in touch with lecturers, fellow graduates in a wide array of careers, companies where they have done past work experience with and professional family connections. You never know when they could come in handy.
Furthermore, hiring graduates could mean further connections with the university, which is mutually beneficial to businesses and university alike. It would allow you more access to new recruits, groundbreaking new research and collaboration opportunities. For example, if you notice your area of work is lacking in a particular talent pool, you could raise this with the university and they may agree to run additional programs for their students to make them more employable.
Return on investment:
Although initially it may take some time to train up your graduate recruits, they will fast become a valuable asset to your team. In the long run they will make excellent managers as the position is extremely hard to fill externally, even the most promising candidates simply don’t know your team. You have the potential to keep a graduate hire for the duration of their career, allowing them to flourish within your company.
Compared to taking on those with 10 years experience in the sector, hiring a graduate will have more long term yield. At the end of the day, in the ever more competitive job market they will be forever grateful you gave them their first real job and what could be more rewarding than that?
If you're interested in refining your graduate recruitment process then give us a call, or drop us an email, and one of the team would be happy to talk you through some of our graduate recruitment assessments, which have been specifically designed with graduates in mind.