Recruiting fresh talent is a crucial part of a succession strategy for future-focussed businesses. If you want to make sure you can attract and  retain the top graduate talent in 2022, here are some considerations to help them to transition smoothly from full-time education to full-time work in your organisation.

In January 2022 the Kemmy Business School in University of Limerick published a report which followed research into what it’s like for graduates to transition into a modern workplace particularly in light of digital transformation.

Digital Natives

But why is digital transformation an issue for these digital natives you may wonder? Although graduates of today may be more comfortable with the use of technology in their day-to-day lives in general, the automation of many entry-level tasks and the digitization of many processes that are used everyday in business is still a new experience for graduates. Failure to provide adequate training and allow space for graduates to understand what happens behind these practices may make the transition harder and increase the risk of turnover for these valuable team members.

Many organisations recruit graduates not for their current ability and skills but for their future potential thus creating a pipeline for future managers and leaders. With 55% of graduates opting to work for multinational corporations after graduating, many of whom have dedicated graduate programs. How can smaller Irish businesses provide an environment where graduates can put their knowledge to work while picking up skills and competencies that will help them excel and add value to your organization in the long term?


Graduate Programmes

CareerSpace designs and delivers graduate programmes that help businesses attract and retain graduate talent by allowing them space to adjust to full time work while equipping them with the skills they need to succeed in business. Here are our five key considerations for businesses who want to recruit and retain graduates in 2022 backed up by the research carried out in the KBS report:

Five key considerations for recruiting and retaining graduates

1. Tailored Onboarding Programs


Onboarding and Induction

It’s typical for any new employee to receive some type of training when they start a job but a lot of onboarding relies on an understanding of many conventions that are taken for granted in the world of work. A tailored onboarding programme can address the specific needs of graduates and allow for a smoother adjustment to full-time work after college.

Skills Gaps

The three skill areas which graduates say they needed the most help in are:

Business Acumen – for many graduates, particularly those who haven’t studied a business discipline,  they may lack an understanding of a company’s strategic mission, vision and goals. They may also require further opportunity to gain an understanding of the company’s range of products and services and how a business solves problems for their customers.

ICT – Although graduates have grown up in the age of the internet, how they use technology is different to how technology is used in a business setting

Problem Solving – for many staff who would have seen a business through a digital transformation, the knowledge of how certain things happen on the back-end supports the investigation and problem solving activities when something goes wrong. But for those who join an organization after the automation and digitization of processes, the knowledge on how things work behind the scenes may be lacking which impedes on their ability to identify, investigate and solve problems.

Social Needs

The social needs of graduates range from a feeling of support from their supervisors and management to the ability to build meaningful relationships with their work colleagues. The pandemic has compounded this issue with the prevalence of remote working. Even if the graduates are on-site their fellow team members or management team may not be and as such it can be difficult for them to immerse themselves in the culture of the business and learn to navigate professional relationships which is a crucial skill for anyone in their first job.


2. Interesting Meaningful Work


Freedom to Explore Individual Strengths

Another consideration for businesses who want to best utilize graduate talent it’s to give them the opportunity 2 try out their skills and knowledge in different ways. progression through higher education can be limited by the bounds of our curriculum and adjusting to a workplace, free from learning outcomes and assessment briefs – can offer a world of potential to be explored. building that freedom into a graduate role, gives the graduate space to explore their unique competencies which can add even more value to the organization.

Sense of Contribution

Any employee wants to feel like they’re making a meaningful contribution to their job or their place of work but this is particularly important for a graduate in order for them to see themselves building a long term career within an organization. Among the graduates surveyed in the KBS report, 100% of respondents in Small and Medium enterprises said they did not see their future career within their organization.


3. Support From Management And Supervisors


Coaching and Mentoring

Having access to a mentor as part of a graduate program can help graduates gain confidence in the role learn about the organization, gain the ability to few things from another point of view and even navigate a new type of relationship that involves giving and receiving feedback outside of individual performance. Coaching allows for a more individual approach, implementing personal accountability and structured goal setting to help the graduate strive for their own personal, professional and career- oriented goals.

Peer Support

Having come from Higher Education where they were one of a cohort of students experiencing a similar journey, peer support will have been an important part of a graduate’s learning experience. The ability to build and develop a relationship with a network of peers can help a graduate feel comfortable in their role and give them an outlet to discuss and deal with challenges as they arise.

A report from LinkedIn “learning into 2021” says that learners who engage in the social aspect of learning watch 30 times more hours of content than learners who go it alone. For graduates this support can be a crucial success factor.


4. Sustainable Pace And Level Of Work


The report on graduates transition to the workplace also discussed the pace and amount of work that graduates reported having to deal with. “It is worrying to note that many graduates are working more hours than employee legislation permits with over 40% working between 40 and 50 hours per week, 6% between 50 and 60 hours per week and just under 1% describing themselves as working over 60 hours per week.” (Seeking Safe Spaces – Graduate Transitions Report. KBS. Jan 2022)


Many graduates can be eager to impress and excel and may not have the assertiveness and discipline to correctly manage their time, particularly in remote working environments. It’s important that their workload and capacity be managed in order to allow them the freedom to develop in the role but also to avoid experiencing burnout.


5. A Realistic Career Development Path Within The Organization.


Progression and Promotion

Graduates, particularly those who take part in graduate programs, tend to progress through the organization quicker. They are more likely to find themselves in leadership and management roles and so establishing a likely career trajectory for our graduate role is an important part of the graduate visualizing themselves in your organization in the future.

When seeking to attract graduates, businesses should identify realistic and attainable career progression routes to help paint a picture of the long term potential within a role for the right person.

CareerSpace works with businesses in Ireland to design and deliver relevant,  meaningful and impactful graduate programmes that not only help you attract the best talent put also retain them and continue to develop them into long term, valuable members of your team. If you would like more information on our graduate programmes or any of our tailored training programs check out our website for more


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