Don’t Miss Out on Emerging Talent
Over the late summer and early autumn, a wave of fresh, emerging talent is hitting the workplace. They have attended some of the best universities and likely come out with stellar grades, but that is far from everything that they are bringing to their first employer. Yes, they have proved their intellectual capability, but many students will also have a foundation of work experience to guide them through those early days at their first “proper job”.
Grads will have experienced many of the challenges that they will face at work already, especially if they have worked in Hospitality.
Learning how to deal with a difficult customer happens all the time in the hospitality industry. Communicating with senior executives will not be foreign to anyone who has worked at a conference or in a hospitality box. Preparing and sticking to a budget is bread and butter for anyone who has run a student society. Many grads will have first-hand experience of working in an office – even if they were stuffing envelopes, they will have noticed everything going on around them.
Young minds are a sponge, and simply being in a professional environment is enough to pick up on the ways that things are done. They will have worked in these roles with one eye on their first “proper” job, and you can bet that they will have played out how they would have acted in certain situations. When they come through your doors on the first day, in many cases their heads will already be in the right place.
Therefore, it doesn’t feel great when they are treated like schoolchildren….
It is fair to say that outwardly many businesses are excellently geared up for getting their graduate intake up and running as soon as possible. This attitude should ideally be adopted by every member of the business. However, outside the comforting realms of HR, there are always a few people who think that all students have been sitting in a bar getting drunk for the last three years. For these doubters, the grads will have to work extra hard to prove their worth before they can be treated as a valuable member of the team. I suppose that this is understandable, but this initial suspicion can sometimes be detrimental to their initial progression.
It is my simple contention that they deserve a little more respect than they sometimes receive. How many throwaway comments do you think a new grad gets about their “lost” student years? Many of them will have worked in real jobs alongside their studies, so these comments are utterly unhelpful. If new colleagues take the time to understand what else these grads have done, they might discover the hidden talents that reside within.
Any grad wants to “get involved” as soon as possible in their first role, but it is maybe fair to say that too many employers take a softly-softly approach to their first few months.
Grads are more ready than you think and some are classed as emerging talent destined for greatness– by all means talk to them about their time at university, but focus on their work experience rather than the exploits in their social lives.