Graduates throwing hats in the air
Hannah Lennox

The benefits of a graduate development programme and how to attract the best talent

It is a paradox that in the UK, even though we are suffering from a skills shortage, a high number of graduates will struggle to find employment. Today we’d like to explore the benefits of a graduate development programme and how to attract the best talent.

The annual acquisition of recent graduates is a vital part of any long-term talent management strategy - it brings new ideas and a new generation of potential leaders into the workforce and with graduate schemes becoming increasingly popular across a variety of industries, everyone is vying to find and attract a high calibre of ambitious, young professionals into their organisation.

Here we share our top five tips on how to attract the best of the best.

  • Support transition from university into the workplace

Many graduates find it daunting to go from being a full time student to a full time employee. Good training programmes are specifically designed for university leaders and are structured to help provide valuable support and skills needed to build confidence in the workplace.

  • Help decide their chosen career path

It’s not unusual for graduates to be unsure about what career path they’d like to take. Many graduate development programmes don’t specify the nature of the degree required because so many of the skills learned at university are transferable. Many schemes also provide the opportunity for graduates to work across several different areas of the business, to discover where their skills really fit.

  • Continuous professional development

Graduate development programmes often provide the opportunity to study for further professional qualifications through on the job training. This means graduates not only get the chance to put the skills they’ve learned into practice, but to also develop and channel them with further qualifications to suit the particular career path they’ve chosen.

  • Responsibility

Graduates want to be given the opportunity to excel, and a graduate development programme is a great way for graduates to gain real responsibility and to make an impact from day one.

  • Variety

Sometimes graduates don’t know specifically which role they want to work in, so having the opportunity to undertake a graduate development programme exposes them to many different areas within an organisation, so they can make a fair judgement of which direction they want their career to go in.

Research shows that many graduates are drawn to a company because of its culture just as much as the career opportunity. People want to work where they will be happy, supported, rewarded and motivated.

As you can see from the above, it is worth investing the time and effort into tailoring your graduate development programme, because who knows, your future manager might be within your next graduate cohort.

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