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It may have been the case in the past that graduates were drawn to large financial and professional services firms - joining corporate graduate schemes in search of high salaries and structured career progression.
But in the last few years, startups have seized the attention of graduates who are hungry to learn, develop, gain new experiences and take on big responsibility.
Working closely with top graduates, as well as a number of innovative and fast-growing startups, I feel strongly about the fact that graduates and startups go hand in hand. Knowing the huge array of benefits that small businesses can offer, I encourage many candidates to apply for graduate jobs at startups.
Likewise, I also know the value that graduates can add to startups. Bringing a fresh outlook, adaptability, and ambition in abundance, there are a number of reasons why if you are looking to grow your business, you should consider graduate recruitment.
In a survey of 100 graduates we conducted last year, just 11% said that inadequate pay was their biggest career concern – with 46.2% telling us that going into a job without progression was more of a worry.
What this says to me is that graduates value career development, variation and learning just as much as they do salary – making graduates a great match for startups who want to hire ambitious, valuable employees, but are less able to offer a sky-high salary than large corporations.
You’ll also have a more substantial budget to spend on other things that matter to your graduate hires, like onboarding and training. These opportunities will not only give them the scope to add further value to your business in the future, but will make them want to stay there for the long-haul.
One of the primary reasons companies choose to hire graduates is that, for the most part, they are a clean slate. With a range of transferable skills, and an eagerness to learn and develop, graduates can be moulded to fit the long-term needs of your business.
With a strategic onboarding plan, and a clear training and development programme in place, you can guide your graduate hires towards future managerial roles – meaning that as your business grows, they can grow with it.
Straight out of university, uninfluenced by previous jobs, and having just arrived at your company, graduates will be able to offer a completely new perspective – one that might force you to look at things in a different way and modify out-of-date practices.
Graduates are also likely to be in-tune with current trends, especially digital ones – something that will prove extremely valuable as technology continues to revolutionise every industry. A natural aptitude for technology that graduates tend to possess will prove to be invaluable as your startup grows and looks to advance its online presence.
One of the most obvious similarities between startups and graduates is their drive and ambition. Who better to hire for your small business than someone who has just finished their degree and is now looking to forge a successful career in your industry?
If you hire graduates, they will want to prove themselves from the start – looking to learn quickly, move up the ranks, and make their mark on your business. In a small team where each individual needs to pull their weight, this kind of innate drive will be invaluable in helping your startup grow.
In their 1st or 2nd roles, graduates are likely to be more flexible and open to opportunities in terms of working hours, out-of-office training and travel.
Having just come from attending early morning lectures and working all-nighters in the library, graduates will often be more willing to move their schedules around – plus it’s likely they won’t have as many home commitments as your more experienced employees.
One of the main reasons that graduates want to work at startups is because of the variation and opportunities that they can offer.
Graduates will be excited by the idea of travelling, spending time out of the office, starting work early and finishing late – possessing the flexibility and adaptability that a fast-growing startup requires.
For startups looking to grow quickly and efficiently, hiring graduates can offer value now, and in the long-term. With an eagerness to learn and develop, and an adaptability that is vital to helping startups succeed, there are a number of reasons why graduate recruitment is the perfect choice for startups.