Can Industrial Placement Students support your Graduate Recruitment Process?

As Industrial Placement schemes continue to gain popularity – we thought it would be interesting to review their impact on graduate retention rates. Particularly, since most firms offer industrial placement students the promise of a graduate role upon completion of their degree.

With 2018 set to be another year of economic growth and increased business investment, alongside increasing employee turnover as the Baby Boomer generation seek retirement, it is expected that the student and graduate market will face a growth in demand.

At this time of year, we are right in the middle of Graduate Season! And, there are a vast number of graduate applicants, right? So, how come there will be hundreds of graduate roles left vacant at the end of the process this year?

There many different aspects that attract graduates to your organisation, but what if you could attract the best talent a year before they graduate, whilst enhancing their soft skills.

We recommend using Industrial Placement students to fill your graduate vacancies. Not only can you make them more employable and suitable for your organisation through a year of pre-training, they are more likely to come back to your organisation after they graduate! Keeping you a year ahead of your graduate recruitment campaigns.

Let’s hear it from the experts!

First off, let’s hear it from Universities who know the ins and outs of graduates.  Aston University recently informed us that 30% of companies offer their placement students a job after graduation. This supports the placement programme to be an efficient and cost-effective way for employers to recruit graduates. What more could you want?

Graduate roles are important to organisations – as they are the future of our workforce. Therefore we need to retain our best talent!

If an industrial placement student returns after graduation, they will be provided with a clearer insight into your company, its structure, mission statement and expectations of their job role. So effectively, they are only progressing from where they left off – with reached expectations reducing the chances of a costly drop out after training.

With this in mind – Aston University sets its sights on enrolling 100 percent of its student body in a placement year by 2020. Universities are continuing to promote the importance of securing an internship in order to secure a future graduate position.  Meaning that as recruiters, you will be handed returning Industrial Placement students on a plate.

So, what are the advantages to employers?

As the graduate market continues to be the major source of future talent for firms, it is important to gain a recruiting advantage by creating an industrial placement scheme which is cultivated to the developmental needs of the student:

  • A chance to take on lively, competent, energetic young people;
  • The opportunity to survey some of the best students before they graduate;
  • A cost-effective solution to short-term staffing and project work;
  • During their final year, students may carry out an employer inspired final year major project, which can be of benefit to both student and employer.

So, what is the difference between an internship and graduate recruitment process?

One large multi-national logistics organisation that recruits both graduates and interns run exactly the same process for both. They find that there is no needs to create a duplicate recruitment process other than to bear in mind that interns have slightly less experience than graduates when assessing responses.

And they explain that there is no need to repeat the process when hiring an intern back in a graduate role – they are already set up for their graduate position. The quality and tenure of the graduates that were previous interns are higher. This is supported by the extended, structured training process of the internship or industrial placement, with the returning graduate coming back to the organisation with already developed soft skills such as teamwork, and communication, and probably some basic professional skills too.

When interns are provided with a positive snapshot of your business then they will be more loyal and inclined to want to return after their work placement. This also helps to reduce graduate drop-out during your recruitment process.

Of course- there are so many more reasons why you should use internship programmes to recruit your future workforce. We have only discussed some of the benefits and how they can impact your business in the long run when recruiting graduates.

Work placements can help you set your graduates up for years of success in your company if you give them an exciting insight into your organisation. Did you know that 59% of graduate hires for the top undergraduate employers comprised of previous placement students and interns?

Providing undergraduate placement programmes allows valuable insight into your workplace and employee culture, often increasing the chances of your placement student’s return after graduation.

If you would like any further information on placements or graduates programmes – get in touch with Cohesion today.