Tim Gladston, Head of HR at Forward3D

Businesses often display trepidation towards recruiting graduates due to their lack of experience and the perceived time required to get them up to speed. If the recruitment, training and framework are handled correctly however, they can provide a valuable influx of talent, motivation and new perspective to your workforce.

Recruit Based on Raw Materials

It can be difficult to accurately gauge the calibre of a graduate candidate. With little professional or interview experience, they’re unlikely to impress in the same ways as more senior appointments.

If they can demonstrate that they have the aptitudes to eventually excel in the required tasks, a passion to learn and work hard, as well as a genuine eagerness for the industry then they are worth considering. Natural talent and potential is more important than experience for junior hires.

Provide a Structure for Professional Development

Fresh graduate hires will be coming from a system of education in which self-learning is important, but will have always taken place within a progressive framework. They will inevitably expect the same to be true of their professional development.

Training needs to reflect their stage of learning with a logical pattern from one session to the next. Regular reviews should also be in place for a dialogue to emerge regarding expectations and to set realistic deadlines for taking on new responsibilities.

Harness their Enthusiasm

Strong graduate candidates will be hungry to improve their skills and to learn about the business and industry. This can be enhanced by providing realistic career opportunities as they develop.

One of the major fears with graduates is investing the time into developing them, only for them to eventually leave. The major reason for this is usually ambition. If you have structured, realistic opportunities for them to strive for, you can secure a powerful feeling of belonging and inclusivity as they progress in their career.

Respect their Opinions

Junior hires offer you a unique perspective in your business and innovation can be driven by the questions and views that might otherwise be confused with naivety. Without the established work patterns of a more senior hire, they are well placed to ask the questions that can lead to creative solutions and more efficient work flows.

Embrace their Existing Skills

Technology is continually revolutionising many different industries, and your graduate hires have grown up as digital natives. There are always emerging roles and job titles that require combining multiple skillsets, and which a senior hire would be at far less of an advantage in. Evaluate where your graduates’ skills lie, and make use of the knowledge and abilities that can benefit your business.