What do graduates look for in an employer?

What do graduates look for in an employer?

Graduates are hot property in the UK jobs market, and we have some of the best candidates out there. But with the market full of competition, what can you do to ensure you attract the best graduates and stand out as a worthwhile employer when they leave university?

Graduates are ambitious

They’ve just spent years of their lives working hard, day and night, to get their degree. As such, they want a role and career that looks like it will match their efforts in the long run. A graduate wants to look at progression opportunities and how they can form part of your organisation.

With so many people going through higher education, a large number of graduates will end up taking jobs which they might see as ‘stop gap’ jobs, which are unlikely to pave the way to advancement and more interesting work, therefore securing a job which could lead to greater things is logically attractive to graduates.

Generation Z has priorities

If you look at graduates as “Generation Z”, as they are often referred, you’ll know that they’ve never lived in a world without the internet. They were literally born in a digital age of change, and have grown up in a time of turbulence and instability, mixed with hope for a better future. They’ve seen the first smart phone, the rise of social media, terrorism, war, the election of Obama, climate change activism, gender equality and more. They’re switched-on and perhaps exactly what you and your organisation need to take it to the next level!

It’s no surprise that a recent survey by Accenture found that the majority of new graduates want to work for an organisation with a commitment to social responsibility, where they can use digital technologies to enhance their work, and a positive social atmosphere.

They want to keep learning

Our graduates are keen to learn and be the best they can be in the role they land. Another recent study showed that they expect to keep learning in their first role. New grads expect to have on-the-job training (54%), formal training (51%) or shadowing (46%) in their first job. This might sound like hard work, but the rewards are exceptional.

Graduates are there to be coached, nurtured and moulded into the employees that best fit your business and its strategy. They’re not set-in-their-ways and they’re adaptable. You can work with them to ensure they keep learning and, indeed, so you do too.

Pay and benefits

Whilst graduates are more likely to look at the bigger picture, rather than just a salary, it’s important to stay competitive. Many graduates are leaving university with around £30,000 of debt from their fees alone.

University is expensive for a reason; you’re getting a well-rounded candidate who has shown that they can commit to a degree and prepare for their future. Don’t expect to pay minimum wage, but also know that graduates are aware that they need to gain experience to earn more money. It’s a fine balance, and one we can support you with.

Other benefits that don’t cost the earth include flexible working, cycle to work schemes, early finishes and staff socials. These little extras always make an employer seem more attractive.
What’s important to remember is that your graduate wants to learn from you, and you should be prepared to learn from them. By combining different cultures, values and outlooks on life, you could create and mould an employee that becomes a vital asset to your business.

If you are on the look-out for a graduate employee to join your team, our specialist Graduate recruitment division can help. Simply drop us a line on 0114 321 1873 or hello@glurecruit.co.uk to see how we can help.

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