• Rupert Angel

5 warning signs a graduate scheme is set up to fail


There are many different grad schemes and many different ways to make them work.

Our experience is that there are underpinning building blocks for all schemes that are running well that you can easily check for:

Is it simple to run?

Is the payback understood and in line with organisational expectations?

Is the scheme clearly aligned to a strategic business priority?

Is the scheme well understood and owned by the line?

Is the scheme part of a holistic talent strategy that is bought into by the business and the wider HR community?

The warning signs that it is not working when the answers start to look like these.

Is it simple to run?

Running the graduate scheme is hard work and you are always being sucked into administrative issues and dealing with graduate complaints. None of the core HR systems quite work for graduates.

Is the payback understood and in line with organisational expectations?

No one can tell you if the investment in graduates makes sense ,why it makes sense or if it is working. The result is decisions by whim.

Is the scheme clearly aligned to a strategic business priority?

It is not clear at the end of the programme what to do with the graduates. It is hard to find jobs for them.

Is the scheme well understood and owned by the line?

The line managers stop coming to assessment centres, it becomes harder to find placements, there is a lack of engagement with the performance process.

Is the scheme part of a holistic talent strategy that is bought into by the business and the wider HR community?

The HRBP community is too busy to be involved. Graduates are not part of the overall talent review. The CEO is making the decisions about small details based on their personal view of what is right.

What to do if you think there is a problem with your graduate programme?

There are always plenty of actions that you can implement to make specific things better. But there is always one thing that has to be done to move it all forwards.

Sort out the strategy.

Why are you investing in graduates and what value do you want to get from the investment?

If you do not have a powerful answer for this question, everything else will be a sticking plaster which either creates a short term fix or displaces the problems elsewhere. And you will continue to miss out on the value that comes from getting your graduates and the rest of early talent investment right.

Find out more about how create a powerful Talent strategy.

#Growingleaders #Graduate #graduatedevelopment

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