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Why New Graduates Are Just Like Young Puppies


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Brains like mush, eager to please and boy they sure want to have fun!

Last year the Government commissioned research on how employable Graduates were. The answer was: not very.

But why? The reason was simple - most had no exposure to professional work settings. The ‘solution’ suggested was to build links between business and the universities - a pipe dream proposed 20 times before and never going to happen without someone spending big dollars.

Just another “deliberate use of language not to approach reality but to hide it . . . Small talk in the airless front room of our lives" (Farrelly, SMH).

So your new ‘puppies’ don't know much. At your great expense they'll now learn how to send faxes and make copies; learn business phone etiquette and message taking; and all the stuff around meetings - how to take notes, how to participate effectively and how to follow up productively.

Plus fifty other things - having hired hundreds of ‘puppies', it's amazing what someone who has never worked in an office doesn't know.

Not a problem if they stay with you as they are your future and worth the investment. But most don't. It reminds me of when I became a boat owner, an experience which is like creating a giant plug hole to pour your money into - it's a similar money hole with Graduates.

How much money? The firms like Mercer who work out the costs of losing professionals say it is well over 100% of their annual salary. More like 200%.

Is it the same cost to lose Graduates? Absolutely, and it could be higher given the mega cost of Graduate recruitment programmes (screening hundreds to find them) and all the training and mentoring you pour into these kids. Then factor in all the months before they become productive: the cost is up to $100,000 EACH.

They leave and you have to hire more grads next year to replace them. It's a money hole worse than any yacht. And no, it's not because ‘young people just don't stay in jobs’ - see why this is just an excuse to ignore the real issues, why it's just “spin", why it's Einstein's definition of insanity.

The solution to hiring the best Graduates, most of whom will stay? Know/Act/Profit First and learn what a few innovators have started doing.

Next week we'll hear “Sue's story: The ‘Perfect 10’ who got 5 great offers when she graduated. So why did she resign after just 20 months and leave a great employer who had a good Graduate program? More importantly, why is her story so common?"

Toby Marshall has worked for nearly 20 years in recruitment. His focus is on creative recruitment to solve his client's employment problems, and on reducing their risk of recruiting the wrong employee.

Toby is an active speaker on the international conference circuit. His mission: To give all companies, no matter how few employees they have, the information and expert help they need to do their own recruitment and selection and find great new staff. If you like what you have read so far, you can get more information and resources at .

To comment on this article or to find other interesting articles on recruitment and retention, go to .


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