When you take on a recent graduate, you must understand that they require a different level of management and support than more experienced members of the team. However, despite this, hiring graduates can often be a better option than someone with experience in a different field. So, if you are struggling with your graduate hires, take a look at the list below to see if you are making any of these common mistakes.
KPIs and Goals
Having recently exited the conveyor belt of education, graduates will be used to the feeling of always progressing and working towards something. The way to give them this feeling is to set them suitable KPI’s and goals. Those who lack these things – or are set some that are unrealistic – will lack direction and become demotivated. This will limit the speed at which they progress.
Direction, Vision and Purpose
One way to keep graduates motivated and progressing in the right direction is to clearly explain the organisation’s purpose and vision. This should be specific to your organisation and you should make it obvious how their role will aid the organisation’s progression. This way, they can feel like they’re part of and contributing to a larger whole.
Training and Support
Graduates will need more training and support than other members of the team and this should be your key priority when taking them on. It is also important that you share your three-month, six-month and yearly training and progression plans so your graduates understand how their roles will develop. Remember, they’ve only recently come out of education, which even at the higher level is incredibly structured in terms of its progression. Moving to a less rigid progression structure will be jarring if they’re not helped along.
Salaries and Benefits
Many graduates are very motivated by money. We have found that basic graduate salaries in London range from £20,000 to £25,000 with commission paid on top of that. In addition, graduates are more likely to stick with a company that offers flexible working options and a fun workforce with plenty of team socials. Leaving university has meant leaving a lot of friends, so they’ll likely be itching to make some more.
A common mistake we find managers make when it comes to graduates is to expect them to understand all elements of the role straight away. We find that it is best to drip-feed knowledge and training, helping each graduate to fully understand each stage of training before progressing to the next. Otherwise, you’ll risk something important slipping through the cracks.
The word of the day is structure. The university environment gives students a hell of a lot of structure in terms of their learning, their assessment, their progress, their timetable and even their social life. Some may feel eager to exit the rigid routine of uni life, but often will feel lost unless given a roadmap for the next year or so of their life. Giving them as much patience and structure as possible will help them to feel less confused, but be wary not to make them feel chained down by rules and regulations.
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