How to onboard graduates

Date: Wednesday, 15th August, 2018

If you read our last blog and I hope you managed to take five and read the reasons not to overlook graduate talent, then you will know we are big supporters of hiring graduates and all of the benefits that employing them can bring to your business.

Onboarding graduates into your team should be done in the same way that you welcome any new team member – with plenty of enthusiasm, consistent processes and great communication.

However it’s worth thinking about the ways in which you might need to tailor your onboarding process for a graduate who may be going into their first job.
Below we’ve put together our advice and tips for adjusting your approach to make it graduate friendly.

Give them a warm welcome

Like with any new starter, making them feel welcome is up there at the top of the list of priorities when onboarding them into your business. When it comes to graduates, this is even more important as they may be feeling unsure about what to expect as they step into a professional environment and daunted by the prospect of starting their working life.

 

Think about how you felt when you got you first ‘proper’ job and what would have made your first day a more positive experience.
Sending out a welcome email, for example, and letting the team know who the new starter is, their job title, a bit about what they will be doing and encouraging the team to pop over to their desk tosay hello in person will help humanise the experience.

Assign them a mentor

Several of our clients use mentoring schemes to enable team members of differing levels of seniority and expertise to learn from one another. Graduate hires should be included in these schemes, as they will help satisfy their interests in learning by providing them with new skills from experienced team members. In return the mentor can learn from their graduate mentee, who will likely have skills in different areas such as social media or technology.

If you don’t have a mentoring scheme in place, then giving your new team member a buddy who can act as a point of contact outside of their team and someone to grab a coffee with during their first week is also a great way to bolster the onboarding process.

Clue them up on your business

Providing clear and useful information on your business educates new joiners about your company mission and values and gets their buy-in to your bigger picture aims from the start. When a team member is new to a business their enthusiasm is high, so take advantage of this positive attitude and get them to soak up as much of your brands information as possible.

Graduates are ready to be moulded and take on new ideas, particularly as they won’t have anything to compare them to. They will come to your business ready to learn how you do things, and adopt your methods with ease.

Group of people working on website template

Allow them to learn

Graduates have developed a habit for learning, so when you’re onboarding them ensure you outline all of the training they will be given and the self-learning they will be expected to do. This will keep them engaged and motivated, as well as helping to drive your business as you support forward-thinking employees.

Be as transparent as possible

Many graduates entering the job market this year will be millennials. This generation have grown up at a time of economic uncertainty meaning it’s hard for them to plan for the future. As their employer, aim to be honest about what they can expect from a career with your company, which should ideally offer them job security and an attractive salary and benefits package.

Millennials expect be kept informed about issues that affect them, thanks to their increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies. Therefore a millennial in the workplace expects clear communication surrounding your expectations of them – so beginning this at the onboarding stage gets you off on the right foot.

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