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Retaining your graduate hire

How to retain your graduate hire

So, you’ve recently hired a graduate. They are proving to be valuable asset to your company; learning quickly, bringing in fresh ideas and they fit right in with the rest of the team. Next up is the ‘loyalty challenge’ – how can you encourage your new hire to stay?

Recent graduates or 'millenials' are often characterised as ‘job-hoppers’, moving from job to job, without the same loyalty to one employer that their parents probably felt. They aren’t always searching for a fancier office or a larger paycheck though. The reality is that 55% of millennial employees don’t feel engaged at work, and job-hop in search of a job which does engage them. So millennial employees have different wants and needs to the employees of previous cohorts, and are motivated by different things.

Here at TalentPool, we believe that the following 4 points are the most important to bear in mind to successfully retain a happy graduate employee.

1. Providing a sense of purpose

Millennials are motivated by a sense of purpose more than the generations before them - they want to feel that they are making a real contribution to their organisation, and their organisation is directly or indirectly making a positive difference to society.

We suggest putting your employee’s role into context - explain how their role or assignment fits into the bigger picture, or company-wide objectives. This will help them understand their purpose within the organisation. Also, be sure to invite them to take part in any community or charity work happening, or give them the reigns to organise something themselves. This will demonstrate your company’s values, and the direct positive impact you choose to have on society. It’s also a great opportunity for your employee to take full ownership of a project, and bond with the rest of the team.

2. Providing development opportunities

The opportunity to learn and grow is valued extremely highly by the newest generation to enter the workplace, with the development of their leadership skills being the most valued. In fact, dissatisfaction with the available opportunities to develop their leadership skills was reported by 71% of millennials who are likely to change jobs in the next two years.

In larger companies, graduates will often be able to attend development and training courses as part of their scheme, but development doesn’t need to come from specific training courses - it can be done through everyday conversations and from within the team. As their manager, you should adopt a coaching management style; focus on helping them develop the technical skills to do the job, and the behavioural skills to help excel in their new role. tre

3. Having ongoing conversations

With our smartphones, we are always connected and communication in our personal lives has become continuous. This is how millennials have become accustomed to communicate. However, communication often comes in short and sharp bursts in organisations, particularly when it comes to performance reviews.

Schedule in regular catch-ups with your new hire, such as once a week, or definitely once a month, to check-in on how they are feeling and what they are working on, but also ensure they feel comfortable to communicate openly with you outside of this set time. You might be sitting right beside your new employee every day, but it is important to schedule in separate time, in a different setting, and just to focus on them. When it comes to reviewing their performance, we suggest that you turn this into an everyday conversation rather than an annual task, so they are continuously aware of how they are doing.

4. Show that you value them, and the contribution they make

Work lives and social lives are becoming increasingly intertwined, meaning employees’ feelings towards their jobs become part of their home lives too. It’s becoming increasingly important that they establish an emotional connection to their jobs.

Be sure to let your employee know when they have done something great, and show your appreciation for the value they add. Outside of the ‘day job’, it’s important to get to know your employee on a personal level, and actively take an interest in their personal lives. Team socials outside the office are a great opportunity for the team to bond, and feel connected to each other and the company.

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