How to set up your grad scheme for success

With fewer candidates applying for vacant roles, businesses need to look at new ways to attract and retain talent. When set up and maintained well, a graduate scheme can provide a consistent influx of new talent and ideas to a business. It allows a company to plan for the future with confidence that they have a talent pipeline to meet their future needs.

But to be successful, a scheme needs to work effectively from top to bottom. This means investing time and resources at every stage of the process – through recruitment, retention and continuing professional development. Unsurprisingly, successful schemes place the candidates themselves at their core.
First, recruit right
Successful graduate recruitment requires a truly graduate facing approach. By having a dedicated candidate website, strong social media presence and internal graduate ambassadors from previous cohorts, businesses can communicate effectively to students and recent leavers about how their programme can help navigate that tricky period between education and work.

Many graduates won’t necessarily have heard of your business or even your industry. While the big four accountants and top FTSE employers may be well established in the minds of graduates, most employers will have to explain their business to potential candidates.

To communicate the appeal of an industry, employers need to dig beneath the surface and explain how it works in practice. Using our sector as an example, we need to explain that property management is about more than bricks and mortar. Working in our business means developing relationships, managing budgets, delivering complex projects and working towards professional qualifications. Businesses should be prepared to do this – many will need to court graduates from all sorts of disciplines, not just those associated with their industry. Some of our best graduates come from degree disciplines as diverse as law and art history. If we restricted ourselves to property management degrees, we would miss out on other high-potential graduates.

Once an offer has been made we commit to keeping in touch with our new hires in the months prior to the programmes starting, sending them updates on the company and creating a community – so they feel at home from day one.

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