Why more companies should be using graduate schemes to strengthen their business

Amy O'Neill
Amy O'Neill
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With graduate recruitment back on the rise after the pandemic, now’s as good a time as any to rework, refresh, or even start Graduate Schemes within your company.

So far in 2021, the country’s top employers have reported 41% more graduate job applications compared with the equivalent period in the 2019-2020 recruitment round – the highest-ever annual increase recorded by this research.

With more graduates entering the industry than ever before, a graduate scheme is the perfect way to harness the expanding pool of talent and find your future business leaders. If you’re not currently offering graduate schemes at your company, here’s five quick reasons why you should start:

 

  1. Graduate programs are an affordable hiring option

Graduate starting salaries at the UK’s leading graduate employers typically sit around £30,000. While this is still a respectable salary, it’s also much more cost-efficient than building a workforce comprised entirely of experienced hires. While many graduate will start out on the “lower” end of the salary scale, their potential value to the company is unlimited.

With the average graduate scheme lasting around 2-3 years, new graduate hires will have the opportunity to grow into the role, experience life in a range of different departments, and build up an innate understanding of your business. As their salary and experience increases, you’ll also reap the rewards of having a cohort of employees that have been specifically trained under your business’ needs.

 

  1. Bridging the gap between university and employment

Often, “graduate jobs” and “graduate schemes” are viewed as interchangeable positions, but the two are actually very different. While a graduate job is just that – a graduate job, where the new hire is brought into the position and expected to adapt like any other new employee – a graduate scheme is a much slower transition from university to employment.

Running a graduate scheme will allow you to ease new hires into the company, getting a feel from their talents and strengths and matching them up to the department or role that suits them best. Overall, it can be a much more rewarding experience for both the employer and the graduate.

 

  1. Fresh perspective and innovation

Let’s be honest, we all want to remain fresh and relevant.

Using a graduate scheme to create an annual influx of graduates will make sure you’re constantly bringing in new and innovative perspectives. Often, recent graduates will have a better idea of your market audience, as well as current social trends and influences. Graduate employees are also more likely to question the way things work, offer solutions, and be proactive with their feedback.

Because they haven’t already been acclimatised to the company culture, they might even be able to spot flaws and improve any existing processes within your company.

 

  1. A great way to diversify your workforce

Another benefit of bringing in new perspectives and ideas, is that it goes towards making your workplace more diverse and collaborative. Having a strong graduate programme is a great way to entice new employees from a range of different backgrounds, educations levels, and skill sets.

This will improve your company’s overall creativity and help give your business an edge over your competitors.

 

  1. Boost your company values

Finally, having a successful graduate scheme is a great way to brand your company.

Think of the top graduate employers like PwC, J.P. Morgan, and Goldman Sachs – they’re all known for having excellent, well-structured graduate programmes, that yield thousands of highly-skilled graduates each year.

If you know how to build a successful graduate scheme it’ll not only entice huge numbers of graduates each year, but also incentivise your experienced employees through knowing they have new, motivated talent to work with, and allowing your senior staff to explore the graduate scheme for excellence and career development.

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