6 Ways to Increase Retention in Graduate Talent

4 Minutes

Finding top graduate talent is no easy ask for any business. So, discover our blog and explore the 6 Ways to Increase Retention in Graduate Talent.

Finding top graduate talent is no easy ask for any business. You're likely to have gone through piles of CVs, multiple rounds of interviews and a smattering of tasks and tests. From this, you'll have whittled the numbers down at every stage, before offering your ideal candidate the role at the end of the process.

When you've gone to all this effort to ensure you've got the right candidate, you'll rest easy knowing that you have hired the best person for the job. But, it doesn't end there. Top talent will always be in high demand, so how do you ensure that your new recruit is with you for the long haul?

Whilst ensuring that your new employee is offered a salary that's in line with the industry and their value, research has shown that candidates value several other factors above their pay packet. This article looks at the six approaches to retaining talent that you can use to enhance your employee retention strategy.

Training and Development

When developing staff, it's essential not to rest on your laurels, especially with new recruits. Remember, graduates will be keen to continue their progression and move up the ladder in your company, so you need to be seen as giving them the tools to do so.

One way to do this is to provide your staff with a training budget. This offers your team the freedom to choose appropriate courses and reflect on their knowledge, skill set, and areas for development. This, in turn, can empower your people and increase employee engagement.

Encourage your graduates to come to you with courses they've found and help them pursue these courses if you feel it will support their development and help your business grow. Whether you allocate time within the working week or out of hours, dedicating resources to training and development will undoubtedly benefit the long-term progression of your graduate and your company.

Training and development programmes motivate graduates to achieve something new and add another string to their bow. With more and more companies providing the opportunity for graduates to enrol on courses and programmes, be sure to follow suit if you want to retain your graduates.  

Discuss Career Growth and Progression

Today's generation wants to know what's in it for them. Although your graduate is motivated by your latest opportunity, they want to know what a career means within your organisation. So if you have an internal career ladder or progression roadmap, here's your opportunity to explain this to your graduate. Alternatively, take the time to discuss the career options with your new recruit and get to know what they want to get out of the role.

To retain your graduates, you must take an interest in their future. Whether you do this through a weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly one-to-one or whatever works for you and your graduate, dedicate time to their growth and career progression. Here, you can set your graduate goals and objectives, ensuring they are working towards where they and you expect them to be. Ultimately, your aim is to help nurture your graduate to the stage where they can maximise their potential.  

Employee Incentive Schemes

Research shows that monetary rewards are not the main draw to graduate employees, but your staff must be remunerated fairly to boost morale and improve mental health. 

Introducing an employee incentive programme doesn't necessarily mean you need to increase salaries across the board. Instead, offer your graduate recruits an incentive. Not only will it encourage them to work harder, but it gives a much-needed morale boost when targets are hit, helping with job satisfaction and ultimately improving employee retention.

Bonus schemes can be bespoke to every member of your team as well. Discuss with someone what you want them to achieve next year and set out bands for what they can earn if they hit their goals. It doesn't need to be a one-time cash bonus, either. Offering incremental wage increases for high achievers offers a similar incentive to your top staff members.

A Collaborative Environment

A supportive and positive environment is essential for your new employee. Your team should be aware of your new recruit and ready for them to start. It can also be a great idea to assign every recruit a mentor, someone more senior who can help guide them. Regular meetings with their mentor will help them track their progress, as well as help them set goals and get top tips for success.

Your collaborative environment should be something you promote. Not only will you retain graduates this way, but you will also attract more candidates as most, if not all, graduates thrive off working alongside other skilled individuals in a collaborative setting.  

Work-Life Balance

Although work will be the priority when setting out benefits for your employees, it's essential to consider how it impacts them away from the office. If you want happy staff, look at how you can support your graduate in ways that might not necessarily be linked to work.

You could introduce bonuses such as a cycle-to-work scheme, allowing people to buy a bicycle for a subsidised price. Or childcare gift cards that bring down the cost of nursery places to help give people a better work-life balance with less of a financial hit. 

Additionally, you could introduce flexible working to allow your graduates the opportunity to work remotely on certain days. Offering incentives like this is good for reintroducing new mums into the workplace and will save on the fuel costs of your employers. In addition, this will give employees working for you a sense of freedom and trust in your organisation. 

Ensuring a work-life balance within your organisation can boost morale, giving your graduates another great reason to remain loyal to you. 


Perks for Employees

Perks are also valuable to employees feeling valued. This might be offering their birthday as paid leave (which we do here at Pareto) or an early finish on Friday. Here’s a list of other perks you can include within your business to ensure you keep hold of your top graduate talent. 

  • Discounted gym memberships
  • Private healthcare and medical cash plans
  • Mental health support
  • Quarterly away days
  • Social events
  • Flexible working hours and remote working
  • Free food and drink
  • Retirement plans
  • Referral schemes

Every employer should strive to make their business a place that every graduate wants to be a part of. Adding a little something extra to your perks is one step in the right direction of doing just that. 

Finding the very best graduate recruits can be a challenging task, so you need to make sure when you bring someone on board, you make the right moves to retain them. Discover more about graduate recruitment with Pareto here. Alternatively, contact us today if you want to know how we can support you directly.

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