In a recent article, we detailed the many benefits that a graduate programme can bring to new graduates. In the modern business ecosystem this is just one side of coin; the benefits which graduates bring to organisations cannot be overstated. In this article we shed light on a few of these benefits.

New Perspectives
No matter how proactive a company aims to be, inevitably some degree of tactic acceptance that “we do this because that’s how it’s always been done” will creep into the collective mindset of the workforce. No malice, laziness or ineptitude can be attributed to this; every employee is a person and people are creatures of habit. We develop rules, procedures and frameworks that let us interface more comfortably with the world around us. Operational policies and practices in the workforce are not immune from this blind spot. For an organization staffed with experienced veterans there may be the lack of the innate curiosity and inquisitiveness needed to ask the simple question, “why?”. Three simple letters, however to a workforce so inculcated into a certain way of doing things it may be difficult to see the forest for the trees. For the graduate, everything about an organisation’s work practices are brand new. Asking “why?” is a routine and essential part of the learning process. In the answering, their mentors may stumble across a valid reason to once again question the validity of the current process themselves. In this fashion, graduates can aid in the evolution of organizational efficiency and efficacy.


New Knowledge
Graduates are, by their nature, fresh from their academic career and brimming with the latest information on cutting edge technology and trends. What they lack in specific industry experience they make up with their well-earned educational background. Most good employers will consider continual education and training to be a cornerstone of a happy and productive workforce. Not only do graduates bring net new knowledge to the company, they are primed, willing and motivated to continue learning and expanding their educational horizons. In this way, graduates can be a key factor helping to ensure that the business is ever future focused on new trends and developments.


Integration into the Culture
An organisation’s corporate culture refers to varied and often ineffable beliefs, behaviours and values which act as a guiding hand over every business interaction, both internal and external to an organisation. Success within a company doesn’t demand complete uniformity from its workforce, however the development of an innate understanding of the subtle elements of the culture is key to aid strong interpersonal and business relationships. For some graduates, their first job after graduating will be their first exposure to a professional career environment. Graduates are therefore less likely to bring preconceived notions and bad habits from their previous employment and are primed to learn good practices and customs through the example set by their mentors.


High Productivity
Some graduates, upon completing their college career, are eager to prove themselves and their education in the arena of real-world experience. To this end, they are typically hard working, motivated and eager to learn. This is hugely beneficial to employers. Graduates will not merely passively approach work as a box-ticking exercise, they will strive for improvement and continuous professional development.


A “Blue Ocean” approach to Talent Acquisition 

Many industries are highly competitive landscapes. Companies battle not only for control of market share but also for the key talent needed to fuel their success. This can lead to a zero-sum game of talent acquisition with employees recycled again and again between companies. In the very short term, this practice can offer a tactical advantage to an organisation. It provides an immediate injection of talent and experience into their roster while simultaneously detracting from their competitors. From a strategic macro-perspective, this cannibalistic practice will ultimately be to the detriment of all players in the industry. Proactive forward-thinking companies will take a different approach. Through cultivating a home-grown team of professionals bolstered with recent graduates, innovative organisations can broaden their talent pools into the previously unexplored blue ocean of possible talent. Casting a wide recruitment net can help strengthen an organisation and the industry as a whole by introducing new employees with diverse skillsets and backgrounds.


 Reduced recruitment costs
The cost of recruitment to replace staff to cover the turnover rate represents a severe financial burden to all organisations, regardless of size. Recruitment agency commission fees, operational time and administrative effort; these represent just a few of the contributing cost vectors to the process. Compounding this, many HR professionals must contend with the fact that many prospective employees on sites such as LinkedIn are only passively engaged in job-searching. They may make themselves visible to recruiters merely to “test the water” and unless the perfect Goldilocks position crosses their path they will likely be content to remain in their current position. Engaging with these prospects can be a  highly demanding yet ultimately fruitless strain on a company’s HR capacities. Inversely, graduates are often highly motivated to commence their professional career and often actively engage in the job seeking process.


Perhaps the most subtle benefits to an employer which transcends a simple cost-benefit equation arises from the very nature of the synergistic relationship between graduate and mentor. The company is willing to invest their operational time and effort to train and mentor graduates to enable the chrysalis from graduate to full-fledged industry professional. The graduate invests the culmination of their academic achievements and the first years of their professional career into the company. This mutual investment concludes in a result that is greater than the sum of their parts.

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Siobháin O’Connor, Talent Manager, Datapac

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