Lately I’ve been talking to some exceptional Computer Science graduates who have just finished University and are eager to find their first developer role, who are finding it difficult to get a foot in the door. Whilst there are a lot of companies who have a fantastic recruitment process for graduates/juniors and really recognise the value they can bring, there are also a lot of companies that aren’t willing to consider those with little formal work experience. And it’s something I’d like to see more!
“We aren’t able to offer the time to train and support them” or “They don’t have enough experience” or “We’d rather wait for someone more experienced” tend to be the responses I often hear.
I totally get that hiring a graduate is by no means a solution for every recruitment scenario and it’s about having the right blend of experience to meet an organisation’s needs, however, I think there are a lot of companies missing out on top talent by only looking at the short term.
Yes, graduates might need a little bit more support in the early days, but they’re generally hungry to learn and quick at picking up new skills and technologies. However, the time and costs associated with onboarding and training a graduate is usually regained pretty quickly, and in that time, you’d have spent probably just as long (if not longer!) waiting for someone that ticked every box experience-wise to come along. On top of that, even an experienced developer is going to need time to get into the swing of things and adapt to different projects/ways of working/new technologies.
Here are some of the benefits I see of hiring a graduate:
Graduates value opportunities as much as salary
Whilst a competitive salary is obviously important, graduates value career development, variation and learning just as much as they do money – making graduates a great match for companies who want to hire ambitious, valuable employees, but are less able to offer a sky-high salary than large corporations.
Graduates adapt quickly to your way of doing things
A big plus when hiring graduates is that, for the most part, they don’t come with any preconceived ideas of how things ‘should be done’ and therefore adapt easily to the way organisation’s do things.
Graduates can offer a fresh outlook
That said, graduates will be able to offer a completely fresh perspective that might help you to see things in a different way.
They also bring a natural aptitude for technology and a knowledge of current trends which could prove to be invaluable.
Investing in your future workforce
Looking to forge a successful career, grads will be on a mission to prove themselves from the start and to learn quickly to allow them to make their mark and move up through the ranks. Ultimately becoming the experienced developer, you may have been looking for, in the first place.
Graduates have drive and ambition in abundance
Graduates tend to come armed with bags of enthusiasm and drive and can therefore inject some renewed energy in to a team.
Developing your existing workforce
By recruiting a less experienced member of the team, you may wish to give those who’ve been in team for some time, the opportunity to take on the training or mentoring that’ll be needed and as such allow them to develop new skills and experience too.
If you’d like to hear about some of the candidates I’ve been speaking to, or are thinking about hiring a graduate and would like to explore this in more detail – please do get in touch.