In 2017, the number of graduate positions was increased by employers by almost 5%, opening up even more entrances into leading global companies than ever before.

This will benefit millennial and Gen Z jobseekers, fresh out of university, and will also open up opportunities for businesses to expand their internal knowledge and build a more expansive digital service offering through taking advantage of the digital native backgrounds which the majority of employees from these generations have.

There a number of methods to ensure that graduate training programmes and recruitment are optimised to ensure they benefit both the employees and the company culture in a positive manner.

Ensure access to progression and opportunities

Companies who offer graduate training programmes with an ongoing career trajectory will find themselves considerably more favourable than those who fail to nurture their new employees. Through implementing options to move their career onwards, with multiple options to progress within the company can result in improved staff retention and boosted morale. Ensuring that learning is occurring in order to move both vertically and horizontally will support engaging with graduates of all skill levels.

Whilst earning a steady income is important to graduates, they also have a desire to continue to learn and develop their skills and knowledge, supported by a company who can provide them with advice, both personally and professionally.

Millennials and Gen Z are particularly passionate about taking accountability for projects and gaining significant leadership experience, which can be integrated into the graduate training programmes through working alongside experienced management, particularly those who are not their day-to-day line manages which will allow them to talk about concerns and identify alternative ways to manage within their role.

Tailor your graduate training to the audience

In order for a graduate training programme to be effective, it must be tailored to meet the needs of your employees. It must also ensure that it uses the terminology and platforms that will be most welcomed by the target audience.

Identifying the most important elements of the job to your new employees will also help build a culture which ensures they are motivated effectively by offering them the opportunities and benefits they want.

In order to do this, businesses must exact research by speaking to students and graduates, both through surveys and face to face, to ensure that they build a good understanding of the elements which will attract these future employees to chose your company for their career. This should include attitudes, lifestyle changes and reflection of their personal values.

Overhaul traditional or outdated practises within recruitment

Traditional methods of graduate recruitment will soon be completely obsolete, with outdated methods more likely to push away prospective graduate employees, than engage them.

Through partnering with a college or university, businesses can establish the most effective ways to engage with their future employees and merge with these institutions to optimise their recruitment outreach programmes.

Linking up with an academic body can also bring value to the recruitment practices of a business, with the support of a recognised university or college offering them the ability to access a wealth of students, provide them with unique opportunities and speak to them directly.

Ensure ROI

Finally, your graduate training must be cost-effective, with a business investing large sums of capital into these schemes, success cannot be guaranteed but talent management must be able to optimise to ensure the most effective results.

Programmes should look to promote the learning of tangible and beneficial skills to the company and the individuals, supported by offering employees access to benefits which will improve their work-life balance.

A healthy balance of progression opportunities, ongoing learning and ensuring the attributes of the job that are highly valued by the individual continue to deliver, are all key elements to retaining staff and therefore improve ROI through reduced recruitment fees.