It costs, according to research in 2019, around £12,000 for a typical business to replace an experienced employee.
Whatever the precise cost, it is certainly burdensome. All that experience walks out the door, to be followed by the process of writing the job spec, advertising, shortlisting, interviewing and then finally recruiting.
Then you have the training, the time it takes for them to get up to speed, however talented they may, the impact developing them has on the productivity of others.
What about recent graduates though?
They may be highly skilled and benefit from having the latest theories and plenty of enthusiasm, but are they employees who are likely to stay for the long haul?
What, an employer might wonder, is the benefit of taking on a recent graduate, training them up, and then seeing them move on just as they begin to realise their undoubted potential.
However, is there a better option? The graduate who will come in with all that enthusiasm, all those viewpoints that are slightly different, new insight and yet they will stay and grow into an experienced member of the team.
This thought struck us as we read a post on the benefits of recruiting graduates. What if you could have those benefits, but mitigate the downside of them potentially getting itchy feet inside a couple of years?
Experience tells us that carefully pitched workplace benefits could be a crucial weapon in the business’ armoury.
In this post, we will outline some reasons why graduates can be a superb addition to any workplace, but then also look at how you can use workplace benefits to increase the chances that they will stay for the medium to long term.
While it is wrong to generalise about any group, there are certain traits that will be true of many graduates a company might look to employ.
Graduates are often enthusiastic employees. We wouldn’t want to claim that more experienced, older employees are not enthusiastic, but it is certainly true to say that it can be very hard to regain that initial burst of energy we all have on joining the workforce.
There is never another moment quite like getting your first proper job. The world seems to be full of possibility.
They bring new ideas
Often graduates will come with fresh ideas. Some might be superb, others might not be things to implement, but the key thing is that a steady stream of new ideas and a different insight helps to ensure creativity.
Without new ideas, no company can thrive in the long term.
This different perspective might be through having completed education more recently, it might be because they see only possibility and are not weighed down by the experience of ‘how things have to be done.’
Regardless, they will often have a different opinion.
They Learn Fast
A graduate has only just finished years of education, learning is what they have been doing their whole life.
Taking on a new job is a continuation of that learning.
The impact can snowball.
Companies sometimes find that it can be hard to recruit a first graduate as they are not really set up for someone at this stage of their life.
Maybe they don’t offer benefits that would appeal to them, or maybe the training programme isn’t really set up for someone who has just stepped out of another learning environment.
However, get a first graduate or two in and then the organisation starts to naturally become more appealing to other graduates. Those already in situ help to subtly make tweaks that work both in their – and other graduates’ favour. These tweaks might not be intentional, they might simply happen because of their presence – the company adapting to them.
Recruiting a first graduate is far harder than recruiting the tenth. All of a sudden, you have a blossoming graduate employee scheme.
The benefits many graduates would bring might be obvious, but how can workplace benefits help?
We believe the benefits can help both in recruitment, and then retention. Contrary to popular belief, most people don’t like changing jobs repeatedly, but they may do so simply because the employer doesn’t quite do enough to keep them happy.
If people find a job rewarding and feel they are valued, there is a good chance they will stay, regardless of their age or what part of life they are in.
Many businesses and organisations have workplace benefits, but they are not set up with younger employees or graduates in mind.
Some of the benefits might appeal to some graduates, but this is more by luck than design.
By all means keep all the benefits you currently provide, but also give thought to what it is that would make the business more appealing to a graduate? If gym membership is offered, is it at a gym that would appeal to this age group?
Are there benefits that help to foster a sense of team and belonging? Most graduates want to feel they are doing work that is of value, rather than simply working for a salary, they also want to feel part of a team. Do the benefits help to foster this sense of community?
Most businesses have a standard amount of holiday per year for employees, and yet this singular allowance has to work for a graduate every bit as well as it does a married parent of two kids.
Holiday is an example of how an organisation can demonstrate that it allows flexibility and so values individuality. It shows that they make it that bit easier for someone to manage their personal life.
A Holiday Exchange Scheme allows employees to buy or sell up to a week’s holiday. If someone doesn’t need so much holiday, they can work an extra week and earn; if they want longer so they can factor in that once-in-lifetime trip, then they can easily buy an extra week.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, working from home has become so much more common and many have suggested this trend is here to stay.
While this may suit some, it will not suit all and graduates are one group who in many cases would still value the social aspect of working together in an office or similar.
Graduates have just come off years of shared living and being sociable, even working on shared projects. Going from this straight into a job whereby much of your time is spent on Zoom in meetings might be unappealing.
How can a job remain safe, allow those who want to work from home to do so, yet also offer the social aspects and in-person collaborative working that many crave.
Incredibly, many businesses that do offer workplace benefits do not give them a single mention at any stage of the recruitment process. They only get mentioned – and perhaps then only in passing – once somebody has joined.
If you have benefits that might appeal to a graduate – or indeed to anyone – then these should be shouted about.
It also pays to have advocates for benefits, making it clear that they are to be used, they are not just a box-ticking exercise. Senior management can help by speaking of how they have benefited from benefits, whether it is the Dining Club Card or Cycle to Work scheme.
It can be difficult to know which benefits might appeal to recent graduates, or any group of people when we are not part of that group ourselves.
All too often, workplace benefits seem to only appeal to a certain group of employees, those broadly similar to the person in charge of choosing benefits to offer.
To find out which benefits would be of value to graduates, ask them.
At Enjoy Benefits, we are specialists in setting up workplace, employee benefits that are suitable for any organisation.
We hold conversations with you and find out which benefits would be of use both to existing employees but also those you might seek to recruit in future.
Benefits can become a selling point, something to be mentioned in recruitment literature, and tailored to different groups you are seeking to recruit from.
At Enjoy Benefits, we have great experience in helping companies of all sizes introduce benefits that are suitable for their workplace.
Benefits are easy to set up and ongoing administration is then run through a hub, this allowing employees to manage their own benefits while the employer can see which benefits are proving popular and what level of take-up each has had.
If you would like an obligation free chat to discuss which benefits might work for your business and your employees, please contact us by calling 0800 088 7315 or using our Contact Form.