4 Ways to Improve Your Graduate Hiring Experience
Every year, college graduates world-wide enter the workforce, many having never been exposed to a professional environment. Venturing into this unknown territory requires application, patience, and a dedication to learn if they are to progress and succeed in their new roles.
For the foreseeable future, internships will not be carried out in the office – they will take place in a virtual environment. This difference poses significant challenges for organizations who have not already committed to the ‘shift to digital’. Even for those who have, the creation of a virtual environment capable of educating, training and integrating newly recruited interns to a company is a large project which likely needs the intervention of a third party.
While the learning environment for these new recruits is different, the principles of graduate hiring remain the same.
In this article, we detail some of the critical aspects of a hiring program many organizations neglect or ignore.
The Graduate Hiring Experience
A business can’t ensure buy-in, retention, or productivity from their annual intern intake, but providing an effective hiring and induction experience can increase the chances of successful integration. By providing a program optimized for the effective integration of new hires, a company minimizes the chances of organizational issues, including:
- Higher than average employee turnover
- Departmental misalignment
- Longer than average times to proficiency
Statistics indicate effective integration can improve employee retention by 82% (Glassdoor) while other statistics around this area include:
- 88% of organizations don’t integrate new hires well according to employees (Gallup)
- Most organizations only focus on week 1 of a new hire’s integration, rather than an extended period (HCI)
- A negative integration experience results in new hires being twice as likely to look for other opportunities (Digitate)
4 Ways to Improve Your Graduate Hiring Experience
Improving the graduate hiring experience requires thoughtful planning in order to stay competitive and attract desired talent.
When developing your graduate hiring program, consider introducing/improving the following elements:
Integration starts before interns begin their internship.
Preboarding is the period of waiting from an employee’s acceptance of a position to the day they start.
Many organizations will focus pre-boarding activities around legal/administrative requirements such as contracts and payment details. This can be taken a step further and used as a period of communication between the company and new hire. Familiarizing the intern with basic company knowledge, brand principles and supporting resources instils confidence in the individual when they start their role. The combination of these factors creates momentum when the intern officially starts their new position.
If you are using a knowledge library to induct new hires which has built-in diagnostic tools, you can start assessing the competence of core concepts prior to a new hire’s first day. This allows skills gaps to be addressed and knowledge to be level–set before interns begin their role.
An organized structure should be implemented for the pre-boarding and onboarding stages, such as creating an onboarding workflow and checklist to ensure new hires have the tools, documents, resources and information they need to hit the ground running.
2 Utilize Culture, Stories and People
Use the human aspect of your organization to communicate brand values, attitudes, and behaviors.
The integration of a new hire is the first chance for your organization to communicate high-level company principles such as brand values, attitudes, and behaviors.
While work-processes, skills–training and organizational knowledge play their part in the development of an employee, they are all underpinned by broader principles. When intangible aspects of a company (such as culture) are communicated through real stories, rather than sent out in integration packs, they resonate strongly with the fresh intake.
If you use a learning portal, this presents an early opportunity to embed company values into new recruits. Induction materials accessible during the pre-boarding stage equipped with learning content specific to your organization (which is configured to your company’s brand and encapsulates the softer aspects of the firm) facilitates these high-level elements.
By hosting and administering content using stories and people, a stronger message is communicated.
3 Introduce Career Journeys
Young workers want opportunity and growth.
Guiding employees toward a specific path via the development of new skills shows the company’s dedication to the career growth of its employees. Many of today’s interns fall into Generation Z who grew up during a time of economic uncertainty. As a result, their worldview is different to older generations.
Gen Z want security, stability and opportunities to progress. Employers who can show these new hires a path toward specific career goals will inspire and motivate, all within the first few weeks of an intern’s induction.
As new recruits begin transitioning from learning to doing, access to online learning is vital. This training helps interns execute tasks with confidence and autonomy, contributing toward their career journey. Intuition recommends online training resources be made available in this situation. This allows interns to enhance or refine their skills and begin contributing to projects in a more meaningful way.
4 Engage Recent New Hires
Showcase your success stories.
Integrating success-stories of current employees into your hiring program shows new hires their potential to develop. Seeing the growth of an intern from a junior role to an important player in the organization’s strategic plays is both inspiring and motivating.
Delivering an inspiring experience for interns can be done with custom-developed sessions, focusing on success stories and career journeys.