Why do some many organisations (and a surprisingly large number of very big players) not really know why they recruit graduates. And don’t think ‘to develop future leaders’ is a good enough reason as it is not!
Only a small percentage of the graduates you recruit will become leaders in your organisation (but those who do will be truly excellent) however this alone would make it a very expensive programme on it’s own.
So why should companies recruit graduates or perhaps a much better question is ‘what does the business need and can a graduate programme deliver on it?’ All businesses need not just future leaders, but talent at all levels and capable teams – graduates of all types and capabilities (and this cost) can be part of this and thus deliver. Graduates should no longer be seen as the just elite and ‘destined to rule’! A few may well do so but many are just keen to make an impact in their chosen field and role. Organisations can and should tap into these seem of talent and this deliver on projects, roles within the business.
So, for example, in terms of roles and positions can become in the business: A few future leaders, true but also ‘leaders’ in their field / area of the business. And as these are quite long term companies also need to look at other measures of success (and not just retention, as that does not really measure the value the graduates and the programme delivers). So what else?
Some ideas might be…Are the graduates careers progressing faster than non-graduates? How are the projects they work on being measured and can these be then used to show value? I particularly like this one as you can dramatically speed up the return on investment using this method – we have a groundbreaking programme to deliver exactly this.
There is another key element to the ensuring your graduate programme delivers. Give them the skills today’s graduates need (and yes this will include letter writing, business email etiquette; it’s not their fault they have just never been shown!). Critical to the success of your graduate programme is to give them not just the standard skills (communication, influencing, managing etc) but also how to manage & drive their own careers, how to build networks etc. These will go along way to ensuring your graduate programme delivers.