In 2019, we placed talented graduates at 242 different businesses; ranging from startups in their earliest stages, to larger multi
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It's often assumed that graduates don’t tend to stay in their first jobs for long.
We are all conscious of how costly replacing an employee can be, in terms of money, time, and morale – and yet many businesses will fail to address the reasons why a hire leaves so soon, or take the necessary measures to ensure that they stay.
A high retention rate is a major selling point for candidates, because it indicates that current employees are engaged, happy and passionate about what the business is doing.
Luckily, making graduates fall in love with your business isn’t as difficult as you might think. By following a few simple steps, you can build strong and lasting relationships with your junior employees at the beginning of their careers – ensuring that they'll want to stick around for the long haul.
Contrary to popular belief, salary is not (and has not been for a while) the most important thing for graduates in the early stages of their careers.
It is actually career progression that has been consistently ranked as the priority for graduates – according to a recent PWC study more than half of those surveyed said that this was the main attraction in an employer.
Ambitious graduates will be coming to work at your company looking for professional development and a visible career path, so it's important to let them know you’re committed from the start by discussing and setting out a clear path to success from the get-go.
During this conversation, outline the ways you see their role developing, put clear strategies in place to facilitate their progression, and discuss the responsibilities they will be able to take on in due course.
Having an open discussion about how their career is going to develop will not only demonstrate to graduates that you value their work, but will also provide clear goals to work towards that can only be beneficial to your business in the long-term.
As your graduate hire settles into their new role, make sure to evaluate their progression and re-establish their goals, to ensure that their commitment to the role stays that way.
Who doesn’t love a treat? Offering small but frequent perks in the workplace will send a powerful message to your graduate hires about how much they are valued at your company.
These perks don’t have to be costly to be hugely significant, and can include anything from team socials, subsidised gym membership or breakfast once a week, to things like dress-down Friday or a late start / early finish one day.
Treating your employees right will remind them just how great your company is - and a small surprise can go a long way to boosting team morale. In fact, perks that might seem insignificant now may well have a marked impact on your long-term retention rates.
An easy (and yet often overlooked) way to sustain a great relationship is to always show support for your employees – and this is something that can be demonstrated in a few different ways.
You might already have set up an official mentoring scheme at your company, in which case you’ll have helped your graduate hires to feel at ease in their new role by giving them someone to confide in.
If not, even checking that they have a great relationship with their line manager will demonstrate your concern for their wellbeing – something that will go a long way towards ensuring that they are happy in their role.
You might also like to show your support by giving regular and constructive feedback to your employees, clarifying what is going well and what could be improved. Structured quarterly reviews are a great way to measure achievement and address any concerns, and will confirm that you are absolutely committed to their professional development.
It's also important to remember that giving your employees the recognition they deserve can be a great way to make them feel appreciated. Though you should never give praise for the sake of doing so, if an employee has done something particularly well make sure to recognise their great work – it will keep them feeling inspired and motivated to perform well.
Whether this be a passing comment in a meeting or an Employee of the Month award, praising your employees and making them feel proud of their work is a great way to ensure that they fall (and stay) in love with your business.
As well as following their pre-planned path to success, it’s vital for graduates to be taken outside of their comfort zone and frequently challenged in their role. Keep them on their toes with chances to learn brand new skills, travel and network.
This might mean sending them on a training course, encouraging your new hire to travel to attend a conference or visit the team in another office, work on a new project, or speak to key stakeholders and prestigious clients.
Varied and exciting opportunities such as these will ensure that your employees remain engaged and feel empowered in their role – and will go a long way towards making sure that they stay committed to the job and your company.
Building strong and long-lasting relationships with your new graduate hires is essential to retaining top talent – so follow these crucial steps to make sure that graduates fall in love with your business.