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Ensure your graduate intake runs smoothly with our 5 top tips

Finishing university and crashing into the real world can be a daunting experience for many. But while it’s a time of change, it’s also a platform for new opportunities and talent development.

You’ll be recruiting graduates who are full of enthusiasm and ready to learn, so make sure you capitalise on their potential from the first day they join.

Once you’ve selected your candidates and contracts have been signed, it’s time to give your new recruits a real flavour of the business. They’ll need a clear idea of what to expect from the company, what the business expects from them and the ways in which they can manage their own growth and development. Through a strong orientation and induction process you can instill a ‘can do’ attitude in your new employees, something which will stay with them throughout their journey at the company.

But how can you ensure the process runs smoothly and delivers what you need?

Be ready

It sounds obvious, but ensuring everything is ready from the day your cohort starts is a really important step. Having access to a fully working laptop and all the office systems will help new employees to settle into their roles more quickly. Working key cards, name badges and other essential items should also be ready on the first day (if not before). Research shows that up to 40% of people say their view of a company can be negatively impacted by something as simple as a poor lobby or reception area. It’s clear that first impressions count, and knowing that the organisation is organised will give new graduates peace of mind.

Organise the induction processes

Being hit by everything all at once can be overfacing and stressful. It’s worth dividing up the activities and tasks that new employees will need to complete and ensuring they are spaced out. Whether it’s a fire drill or training on one of the office systems, a slow drip feed is often more effective than bombarding employees with everything they need to know from the second they walk through the door. Ensure your communications are clear, concise and easy to read well in advance, so that any materials that employees do have to read can be easily absorbed.

Introduction interviews

Employees will have already had their formal interview, but now it’s time to build relationships. If senior staff can take time out of their day to get to know the new graduates, they’ll feel more valued. If managers aren’t available due to time constraints, consider assigning your graduates a mentor so that they’ll have someone to discuss any niggles and concerns with. Around 33% of employees know if they’ll stay at an organisation within the first few weeks, so it’s important to make sure their voices are heard and recognised straight away.

Embrace new learning

Long gone are the days of stuffy boardrooms and death by Powerpoint. If you want new employees to retain valuable information, active learning is the best way forward. Research shows that after two weeks we are able to remember around 10% of what we’ve read, 20% of what we’ve heard and around 50-60% of what we see and hear. When active learning is involved, we’re able to recall around 70% of what we’ve heard and 90% of what we do and say. Technology can help to deliver new forms of interactive learning, such as games that allow new employees to discover certain aspects of the business. You can support your new graduates’ learning and development by adopting some of these techniques, and listening to their needs throughout the process.

Prioritise happiness and engagement

Metro Bank’s chief people officer Danielle Harmer recently said there was a direct link between happy, engaged employees and customer satisfaction. Treating people well from the outset and ensuring they feel valued is a key part of developing a happy and positive environment. Studies also show that employees who fit in well, share the organisation’s values and enjoy spending time with other team members stay longer with their chosen company and have increased productivity. Part of the induction process is to ensure this positive culture is instilled in new recruits, and that they have every opportunity to build new relationships and develop a strong knowledge of the company’s culture.

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