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April 2014
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What Graduates Want – What is their 5 per Day?

Posted by: Vernon Bryce, Chief Commercial Officer, Capp.

 

Graduates are different, graduates are hungry, graduates know what they want. These are the many opinions floating around graduate recruitment and development.

 

In the AGR Student Development Conference (13 March 2014), research was presented to test out what exactly is the real data on what graduates want and need to engage their hearts, not just their brilliant minds. Also what is the smallest thing we can all do today to increase graduate engagement at work tomorrow?

 

Research shows 90% of grads feel they deserve their dream job, 80% want regular feedback from their managers, 70% want more ‘me time’ at work. There appears to be a lot of ‘me’ in the data, give me time, give me space, recognise and value me. So how does this compare with other generations of workers and indeed other Gen Y’s? The data shows less concern for customers, job security and reward than older generations, yet like Gen Y’s there are five big conditions to engage and retain them.

 

  • Recognition: more than other employees grads need very open regular feedback, being valued and very regularly is critical to them – or they will seek it elsewhere.
  • Reputation: they will work and engage with employers of high repute, more than other generations who needed / wanted job security, we have to prove our value to them.
  • Empowerment: this is about trusting grads to get on with important things – they will go the extra mile or ten for employers who give them large scope and long reach.
  • Communications: more than other employees they need more communications, they have a deep hunger to know what’s going on – so we need to feed this in specific ways.
  • Careers: it not the job they want it’s the ladder, and they want to see how older grads have really made good– like leaders who once were grads – learning from/working with them.

 

The opportunity is there for the taking, and as if to remind us what happens if we do not provide – there is a major drop, like a stone in grad engagement within a year or so of joining. Graduate engagement drops from typical highs of 70% or even 80% to lows of 50%-60% at best with all their other expectations performance and loyalty.

 

So what can be done? These opportunities are already nailed by many top grad recruiters. Whether by design, data or desirability, there are many great examples.

 

First, engage them early, pre-hire not post hire. Second, message your schemes high on regular recognition – show case studies of grads receiving internal awards from senior leaders, working with leaders, position the recognition your company is getting too, external awards for initiatives, innovation, growth, focussing on Talent for example. Third, give early responsibility, working on key senior high value projects imperative to the business yet match their strengths. Communicate within a social grad network so they learn and grow from others’ successes, so building a future social leaders network. Finally showcase extreme performance, positioning success and reputation of ex grad scheme employees.

 

These and the already many innovations in place we could all share are not just ‘good ideas’, they are practices that feed the few deep essentials that engage grad hearts and minds.

 

I you would like to discuss graduate recruitment and development further, please contact me directly on: Capp +44 (0) 2476 232 363 or Link In with me, send me an in-mail, and I’ll contact you: uk.linkedin.com/in/vernonbryce

 

Nicky Garcea, Chief Customer Officer, Capp and Vernon Bryce, Chief Commercial Officer, Capp presented ‘Engaging the Hearts and Minds of Graduates’ at the AGR Student Development Conference, 13 March 4014.

www.agr.org.uk

 

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