If you’ve never hired graduates before, it may seem like a daunting thought. However, graduate programmes aren’t just for large corporates. In these economically uncertain times, graduates present a low hiring risk and can help your business grow. Here are some top reasons to consider a graduate programme in your organisation.
Identify future leaders
Graduate recruitment brings fresh talent into your organisation. Many companies view their graduate programme as a direct pipeline into their leadership development strategy. In today’s fast-paced work environment, graduates can become “manager ready” in a much shorter time frame.
Creating career paths for your high potential graduates helps future-proof your business by closing succession planning gaps and filling your talent pipeline. Assessing the leadership potential and Learning Agility of graduates can assist you in understanding where the most talent lies and which development journeys are required to reach your goals.
Bring Agility in through the front door
Building an agile culture is a critical area of focus for many organisations. While Learning Agility can be measured and developed in existing staff, including Learning Agility in the hiring process – and bringing highly agile talent into the business – can accelerate this positive change significantly.
Graduate recruitment is a key path by which your organisation can structurally address any skills or competency gaps, including Agility.
Many learning skills from university are immediately transferable to the workplace. Interns who are fresh from studying are primed to adapt and onboard new skills quickly. This is especially applicable to using and understanding new technologies.
Fresh perspective and new knowledge
Graduates come with a new, unique perspective and introduce new ideas into your organisation. They bring with them the latest insights from the academic world that can prevent your business from falling behind.
What they lack in work experience, they make up for with in-depth knowledge in their field of study. Another, often-overlooked benefit of little-to-no work experience is that you don’t need to un-train the workplace attitudes, habits or behaviours instilled by other organisations. In essence, you can train graduates in your way of doing things – from the ground up.
Lower costs for better talent
Highly qualified graduates typically demand lower salaries than their more experienced peers, and are thus more affordable to hire. The Employer Benchmarking Survey 2020, published by the South African Graduate Employers Association (SAGEA), notes that the median starting salary for graduates is R18,000 per month.
In addition, integrating your graduate programme with SETA internships and other job creation initiatives in South Africa can create further cost savings for your organisation.
Running a 6-month, 12-month or 24-month internship allows you to hire new talent on a trial basis. This is a win–win for both the organisation and the new hires. Graduates will be exposed to practical work experience, while the organisation can mitigate the risk of hiring permanent staff.
Return on investment
Research tells us that job experience is a poor predictor of future performance. What is more important is potential, including Learning Agility, cognitive ability and role fit.
Maximising your ROI means hiring high potential graduates who are best suited for your organisation. Objective, scientific volume screening of graduates results in better decision making, shorter recruitment time (90% time saving) and lower turnover (stay 1.7 times longer).
Driven and motivated
Graduates who are new to the workplace are looking to prove themselves, and thus are highly motivated to learn quickly, work hard and make an impact. Ambitious, driven graduates have an especially large impact on smaller organisations that are looking to grow and increase their competitive edge.
Build the skill base in South Africa
Lastly, there is the question of social responsibility. With graduate unemployment the highest it has ever been, providing opportunities for work experience and training helps to uplift not only the individual, but the organisation itself and the economy overall.