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Graduate schemes – why you should have one, and what the perks are

In an increasingly competitive climate, the early bird gets the worm.

For Employers with vacancies to fill, that means capitalising on the value that freshly qualified graduates can bring to a business. If you’re impatient to hit targets, you may be reluctant to take on ‘first-jobbers’ due to the perceived time and investment to get new recruits up to speed. Unfortunately, this is usually to the detriment of company growth.

While you spend days or even weeks scouring a shallow talent pool for gold, a competitor is nurturing raw graduate talent into a hard-working Employee.

The graduate scheme: what is it and why do I need one?

A graduate scheme is a training programme dedicated to equipping graduates with the knowledge and experience necessary to kick-start their professional careers in their chosen industry. They may differ in structure and opportunities, but if successful, a graduate scheme will allow a business to grow their workforce and develop a positive company culture.

Having spent considerable time and money earning their degree, most graduates hope to trade student debt for a higher rung on the career ladder. However, thrust into the jobs market with little to no experience in the field, ambitious graduates are often met with ads that ask for a minimum of four years in the industry; they eagerly approach job boards but are soon disheartened by the lack of opportunities for those fresh from their studies.

That isn’t to say you have a duty to help them out – however, by ignoring this part of the talent pool, you are missing out on strong potential. Having spent years working towards the same goal, a graduate brings to a job a sense of commitment; their self-discipline is naturally high due to the requirements of the course they have worked to complete.

Beyond this, they often prove a valuable addition to the business for a number of reasons:

Raw talent ready to mould

The very nature of a graduate means they have developed a habit of learning; they are eager to soak in experience in order to prove themselves as capable in a role. They may be new to the business landscape, but for an Employer, that means a Candidate with a clean slate; it means a Candidate with no established work patterns, expectations or bad habits.

In this sense, hiring a graduate is like dating someone who hasn’t been in a relationship: sure, some things might be new to them, but at least they don’t carry baggage from past experiences. Consequently, they can often adapt to the workplace a lot easier than older Employees.

Succession planning

Anyone running a business should have their gaze fixed firmly on the future; they should always be thinking ten steps ahead about how to drive their company forward. While many business leaders claim to invest in future-proofing their firm, many still adopt a short-sighted approach when it comes to their recruitment strategies.

After all, it’s the graduates of today who will shape the face of the modern workplace. Investing in them now will encourage them to grow and develop with the company, rising up the ranks to potentially play a role in leading it in the future.

If well-nurtured, a graduate is much less likely to up and leave at a moment’s notice: they understand that no long-term objective comes without a unique set of challenges and obstacles, so are naturally more inclined to see something through.

Gaining fresh insight

They may be fresh from college or university, but young graduates often boast a knowledge of digital technology that other Candidates may not. Is it possible that your Employees will end up learning a thing or two from a graduate? Absolutely, because it’s a two-way street.

In today’s fast-paced business world, the only constant is technological change. More often than not, graduates are at the forefront of this evolution. Furthermore, if their course was up-to-date, they may even have a few aces up their sleeve from the countless essays they’ve written on a particular topic.

Considering the threat to productivity caused by a growing skills shortage, Employers without a graduate scheme in place are at risk of losing out on top talent to key industry rivals.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 have opened our first London office, to service Clients in the capital.    

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Kate Allen

Kate Allen

Kate founded Allen Associates in 1998 out of a determination to build a recruitment business which delivered a bespoke service centred on the needs of clients and candidates.

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We have been successfully connecting the right people with the right businesses for over 20 years and are excited to open a brand-new office in the heart of Chiswick, London.

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