News & Articles

Moulding graduate hires into your future business leaders

As an SME owner, the value that young talent brings to a company is appreciated and it seems the feeling is mutual across the industry.
4 April, 2016

As small businesses look to capitalise on increased government support, expanding operations becomes a top priority. Couple this with a flourishing graduate market, and 2015 promises a happy union between the two. This does however leave business owners with a dilemma: how can you ensure the candidates you employ will stay long enough to drive the company forward as triumphant leaders?

The key to this is to identify exactly what graduates are looking for from their position; only then can you implement an effective development plan. Easier said than done, we are sure many of you will agree – however, it’s not an impossible task and may actually prove easier for SMEs than big corporates.

As fresh graduates leave the confines of structured study looking for a chance to prove themselves, they see small businesses as an opportunity to receive greater progression and autonomy. Let this consideration form the basis of your development plan for new hires – not only because it will ensure they remain content, but you’ll find that they quickly begin to develop the essential leadership skills for driving your business forward.

While cost plays a pivotal role in almost every decision made by SME owners, creating a useful and effective plan to mould new talent doesn’t need to break the bank. Giving new hires exposure to a range of roles within a company is a great way of developing their business knowledge. Look at whether a department rotation scheme could be at all possible – or at the very least ensure the focus of your graduate’s work is significantly shifted at regular intervals. 

You could consider a mentoring system

Our buddy system allows new hires to work closely alongside a more experienced Consultant for the duration of their time with the company, shadowing many of their responsibilities from day one. Utilising the expertise of senior staff members within the business can help new hires to gain relevant, in-depth knowledge in a short space of time. Examples of best practice can be easily passed on, whilst candidates can clearly see the steps needed for progression based on experience. 

Of course, this buddy scheme may not be possible for small businesses with already stretched senior employees. Consider whether it is possible to outsource your training by reaching out to existing business networks – perhaps an existing client can offer their services at a reduced rate. This can prove a useful way of new employees gaining a broader understanding of the wider business environment – essential for making crucial business decisions in a leadership position.

SMEs have been presented with an exciting opportunity. Celebrating what promises to be a ‘Golden Age’ in 2015

Business owners can choose from a graduate pool boasting the highest number of first-class degrees. The challenge is to nurture these talented and driven individuals into future managers. Through implementing a dedicated development plan centred on the expectation of new hires and a culture of collaboration and trust, your business can thrive with the right talent leading the way. 

Give A Grad A go