9 Ways of Being More Attractive to Graduates than Corporates

more attractive to graduates than corporatesNow the career fairs are over for another year, it’s perhaps a good time to reflect on why smaller dynamic businesses are more attractive to graduates than corporates when starting their careers.

The majority of graduates would be happy to work in a smaller dynamic business. Which is just as well because only 10% get jobs with the corporates who heavily market themselves each year at the University career fairs.

only 10% get jobs with the corporates

There is a clamour to get jobs with these companies. In some cases its a herd mentality because other students are doing it. In others it’s what the parents would expect. There’s also the fact that at that stage, only the corporates are present at the fairs.

Here are 9 ways as a smaller dynamic business, you are more attractive to graduates than corporates. They are all comments which have been made by graduates working in smaller businesses when questioned by AGCAS.

1. Getting Noticed

It’s far more attractive to be a big fish in a small pond, rather than a statistic in a corporate graduate programme.

2. Flexibility of Role

Working in smaller dynamic businesses is more about problems and opportunities.

With little hierachy, there’s a lot more opportunity for a role to be shaped and developed around the skills which the graduate possesses and the business lacks. Working in smaller dynamic businesses is more about problems and opportunities.

3. More Responsibility

In corporate life, you’re often a few steps removed from the “sharp end”. It’s easy to hide. When a graduate joins a smaller business they have to hit the ground running and are required to be productive from day one. It’s a shock to their system but looking back, they recognise it was an important factor in shaping their initial career.

4. Access to Decision Makers

It’s a major motivator to the graduates when they can directly talk to the boss. It’s an even bigger motivator when that boss is championing their project.

5. Opinion is Valued

 their views are listened to and acted upon

It seems to come as a surprise to many graduates that their views are listened to and acted upon. In many smaller businesses the graduate brings the spark and knowledge that may be missing. They can be the catalyst for change which the owner has been seeking to introduce.

6. Less Structured

When dealing with recruiters to find a job, the process feels like fitting round pegs into round holes. There’s a lot of pigeon holing. Which works well when placing students into a narrow specific role.

There’s often a lot less structure when a smaller business recruits. Many avoid fees by seeking referrals of good graduates from people they trust.

Smaller companies have their own unique culture, heavily influenced by the directors. So they will be keen to find someone flexible who fits with their culture.

7. Learn from many Diverse People

employees are delighted to share their knowledge

A role in a small business is very broad and, coupled with having a lot of responsibility, involves talking to a wide variety of people. From customers to suppliers. From the Managing Director to production operatives.

Faced with an enthusiastic graduate, employees are delighted to share their knowledge and give advice. It’s a fantastic way for the graduate to develop different communication skills with every type of person in the business.

8. Develop Entrepreneurship Skills

The employment market has changed massively in recent years. A “job for life” is a thing of the past. Yet recruitment companies, Universities and some traditional businesses haven’t yet moved on in their thinking.

Graduates nowadays have to be prepared to work on a more “portfolio” basis – holding down more than one job at once. Smaller businesses may only be able to afford a part time person. This works well when it’s accepted the graduate will also seek a second paired job and have shared loyalties.

A graduate will have ambition to develop their own personal entrepreneurial skills.. The role in a small company may be the first step. By all means expect loyalty whilst they work for you but don’t stifle their desire to advance their longer term career.

9. See the Result of their Efforts

see a piece of work through from start to end

It’s demoralising to do your work in a big business but never see the end result. If it does make the light of day, it generally takes forever and is unrecognisable, having been modified by numerous people first.

Wouldn’t it be a hundred times better to see a piece of work through from start to end and call it your own?

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