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Why graduates are a valuable asset

The Fashion Network give insight into the current Graduate market.
Written on 9/26/17

Why graduates are a valuable asset to established brands.

Are you an established brand wanting to expand your team? Are you often guilty of putting graduate CVs to the bottom of the pile? Here are a few reasons you shouldn’t dismiss graduates and should consider including them as part of your team.

We all know that graduates are practically fighting; giving all they can, to get work after university. It seems most applicants are perfect on paper in terms of education and interests, but when it comes to the ‘experience’ section, employers want several years of experience beforehand. It seems like a never ending cycle. A degree alone just isn’t enough anymore in today’s graduate market, but the willingness to learn and progress definitely plays a part in making grads stand out; from the more experienced crowd, to prospective employers.

Although there are many pros and cons to consider in any aspect of the recruitment and hiring process; one major decision lies in whether you as an employer, take a risk and employ the newbie with next to no experience, or play it safe and employ the more experienced candidate. Whilst there are many positives to hiring a more experienced candidate, the positives of hiring a recent graduate can lead to a wide variety of business advantages and make them an asset to your established business and brand. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of that?

If you’re new to both a job and the working world in general, you’re bound to be very keen to do your best and impress. In the case of a graduate, it’ll more than likely be their first “proper” job; out of university and their first experience of full time working life. Graduates and younger generations tend to have a different perspective on life, they are able to contribute and bring valuable new, and fresh ideas forward; after all they have just spent numerous years learning about almost every aspect they need to know for their desired field, as well as developing core transferable skills such as written and oral communication, problem solving, presentation, organisational and data analysis, and are more than eager to get themselves into the role of their dreams and learn even more.

They’re likely to be inquisitive and question the way things are and how things work, as this is something they’ll be used to from their studies, which in turn will sometimes provoke a response to question the way brands work, and the existing approaches they practice that may be outdated or inefficient. If your brand's target market happens to include a younger generation, then employing a graduate fresh out of university gives you the first-hand experience, knowledge and insight into those you want to reach and connect with. Even if they’re not a major target market, it’ll give you fresh insight and will be valuable to your brand, both increasing diversity and reach.

Millennials seem to have so much going against them, so working hard to prove themselves and impress is more important to employees than ever before. This is great for employers as one of the most appealing aspects of hiring a graduate is that they can offer a lower salary and compensation packages due to their lack of experience, but know that they have huge potential to grow, with their skills and ideas potentially having a huge impact to the bottom line. Although more training may be required at the beginning, graduates learn quickly, and positively have the ability to absorb, understand and execute new instructions and training at a much higher rate than older generations. Millennials have been proven to provide a more immediate return on investment, their enthusiastic nature and willingness to take on challenges is great for taking risks that pay off.

Most graduates are willing to adapt, perceived as a ‘blank canvas’ graduates have a habit for learning, so will seek to continuously learn whilst being open to new ideas, ways of working and experiences. Which although this doesn’t mean you can pile an unnecessary amount of work on a new candidate, graduates are less likely to have major home commitments; in comparison to your more experienced candidates, which means they’ll be open to extra hours and new opportunities, you as an employer get the opportunity to mould them into what you need.

One of the biggest advantages of hiring millennials in general, but especially recent graduates, is that there’s no doubt they’re able to multi task and will be more comfortable with technology. Not to mention, they’re more than likely in touch with current trends, social media and the multiple communication channels that graduates and students are used to. By being raised in a generation that’s definitely more dependent on the technologies of today, means they’re well-versed in multi-tasking. Being able to effortlessly navigate through new, and innovative technology is something that most graduates have the ability to do, especially in this new age of technology and the essential work related applications. Because a portion of the current working generation started their careers before computer technology took over the business world, a lot of individuals, unfortunately, don’t have the ability to follow many computer processes and applications, especially with the ever changing updates.

A message to employers and established brands, give graduates a chance; and to graduates, don’t be afraid, go for the roles you want! Graduates futures are in your hands, think about the future and what a graduate can do for you. In the long run you could bag yourself a real asset! Provide a career path and make it possible for graduates to reach management level, or progress to where they want to be. With a competitive market of graduates, giving a student their first employment opportunity could prove to be an extremely wise long-term decision for your business.

Are you looking to hire a recent graduate? Take part in The Fashion Network Recruitment Fair this October. For more information email