Since the recession, the graduate jobs market has really kicked on and grads now have a much bigger say about where they go post-university. Perhaps because of this, their priorities have been shifting, and more and more are seeing the appeal of working for a startup. Essentially, it's no longer the norm that grads look for the arguable security of big grad schemes in big offices with big starting salaries.
When it comes to hiring uni-leavers for your new business, there can also be doubts: Experienced hires can make for a great recruitment choice, but there are some areas where new graduates really do have the edge and can prove to be the perfect fit. We got some help from Sarah Lewis of grad-recruitment experts Instant Impact to find out why you should be hiring top talent, straight out of university.
You get the right person
Graduates will probably come with a relevant degree and possibly of some handy work experience. However the chances are candidates might not be that skilled (comparatively) nor particularly experienced.
This could actually be brilliant news for your business: It means you hire people on the basis they’re the right person for the job, rather than the right CV. All the experience in the world isn’t going to stop someone being lazy, unprofessional or just the wrong fit for your company. Hire on personality, ability and potential; you’ll go a long way.
They’re going places
If you’ve recently founded your own business, it’s fairly safe to say you’ve got ambition. Growing a small business requires similar levels of drive and ambition from staff; graduates can bring this in abundance. This is great news for startup owners looking for employees who can push the company forward.
What’s more, graduates are increasingly valuing training and development over salaries. This is something new businesses definitely should be looking to take advantage of, particularly as they can’t always match the starting salaries offered by large corporates.
The cost factor
Ultimately a graduate is probably going to cost less than a trained professional with a similar qualification. If you’re a startup this is probably going to be an essential factor. Depending on where you look, an average graduate salary is just over £20,000/year, while someone with 10 years more experience might command a wage of more than double this.
Of course, as with anything, you want to strike a balance between youth and experience, but there is certainly a case for the relatively lower costs a graduate might command for a position. Then, of course, you’ve got all the above advantages of having staff developing alongside your growing company.
The good news is...
Graduates are more interested in these jobs than ever! While the current jobs market is still dominated by larger companies, this could arguably be down to university career services failing to promote roles in smaller businesses. However things are looking up: On the Instant Impact database alone, the level of graduates interested in startups has risen from 11% in 2011 to 25% in 2015.
Investment analyst Meriwether Beckwith recently commented on this trend, saying: “The path into startup work is becoming increasingly common among grads, and I’d suggest it’s clear that a career in the city is no longer the Holy Grail for many of the brightest and most ambitious.” So, there is still a way to go, but the future is bright for smaller businesses trying to attract the best talent.