Starting out, many graduates have loads of ambition and enthusiasm which can foster great energy and creativity within a business. They are looking to kick start their career and if your business can offer them what they are looking for, you may well find some very valuable employees.
According to the Food and Drink Federation, the industry will need 137 000 new recruits in the next 5 years to keep up with the expanding demand. In other words, if you want to grow your business within the industry it would be worthwhile investing in graduates now that can help you achieve your longer term business goals. Here are 3 tips on how to attract top graduates – and keep them!
Have a business that is a fantastic place to work
In the drive to achieve top profits, many businesses forget the importance of creating a stimulating and motivating work environment. Today employees don’t view work as a 9-5 pay cheque, instead they want to feel as though they are making a valuable contribution, that their daily work means something. A work environment that challenges their creativity or strategic thinking will motivate staff. Offering this type of work environment is sure to attract top graduates who are looking for somewhere to channel their enthusiasm and implement new ideas.
Make it worth it
Even a great working environment is not enough to offer long term job satisfaction. Graduates may join your business because it’s a great place to work, but they won’t stay unless you make it worth their while financially. As soon as a better offer comes along they’re likely to jump ship if they are making the bare minimum. Salary still plays an important role and offering a competitive salary and bonus will not only attract top graduates, it will also increase your chances of keeping them. It takes time and resources to train up new employees. Therefore, make it worth their while and yours by offering a salary package that is competitive by industry standards.
Grow your people with your business
Few people start in a position with the idea that they will be happy to fulfil that role for the next 10 years. Graduates especially are used to learning and they will be more attracted to a working environment that offers prospects and opportunities for growth. If you have a vision for your business it is wise to hire with that vision in mind. Promoting from within the business can ultimately save costs as they will already have a good understanding of the internal workings. It also gives people a sense of achievement if they know they have an active role to play in the growth and success of the business.
People have different personal motivations for seeking out a position. Not all of the above will be important for every graduate, but you may hook them with at least one. Focussing on these aspects when hiring, you can not only attract top candidates, you can also clarify what you business needs now and what that may look like in the future as well. Hiring is after all an investment and to make that investment pay you need to create an environment where there is opportunity for growth for both your business and the people working in it.
In 2014 we sponsored the first ever Young Talent of the Year Award at the Food Manufacturing Excellence Awards. It was hugely encouraging to see what bright talent is entering the industry and this bodes well for business. Think about what it could do for your business if one of your new employees were to win this prestigious accolade. It could put your business in the spotlight as one to work for and watch in the industry. This award once again highlights the value in hiring top graduate talent and we are proud to announce that we will be sponsoring the award again in 2015.