A recent report by graduate career advisors Prospects, has revealed that students and recent graduates would prefer to work for a small to medium sized business, rather than for a larger company.
The survey interviewed 9,000 students and graduates and discovered that of the 63% who were looking for a graduate job, 37% wanted to work for a start-up, while only 29% hoped to be employed by a larger firm.
When asked why they were interested in working for smaller companies, of the respondents who expressed a desire to work in a small business (up to 50 employees) 63% cited ‘improved professional and social opportunities granted by working in a smaller team’. This was a quality important to only 21% of those seeking to work in a larger business (50-250 employees).
On the other hand, for those who wish to work for a medium sized business, 25% described their main motivation for doing so to gain access to ‘opportunities for progression and development’. In comparison, only 15% of those hoping to work for small companies cited this as their main reason.
How to make your start-up appeal to graduates
If the thought of employing graduates in your start-up appeals to you, you should aim to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.
Many graduates will have gone straight from school to college or 6th form to university, which means they’ll be used to establishments determining how, where and when they work. To make the most of your graduate’s potential, you should aim to give regular feedback, and set specific tasks during the first few months of their employment.
This will help graduates get in the swing of a new routine. Given too much flexibility, they may struggle to use their time creatively and will miss the regimented time structures that education offers.
As well as this, you should offer training or extra learning at every possible opportunity. This will validate their importance as part of the company and demonstrate the importance of continuing to learn throughout a career – a value many fail to carry on after finishing university.
Jayne Rowley, deputy chief executive at Prospects, said: “Many graduates welcome jobs in smaller companies, preferring the opportunities and working environment that they offer. In turn they offer small and medium-sized businesses a fantastic opportunity to bring new skills and ideas into their business, but competition can be fierce to attract the top talent that they need.
“While they may not always be able to compete on pay, businesses can look to attract talent in other ways such as through sustainable business practices and flexible working.”
Are you looking to recruit graduates? Or have you recently employed a graduate and want to encourage other start-ups to do the same? Leave a comment in the section below!