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5 reasons why every small business should hire a graduate

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Recruitment can be an expensive, labour intensive business. From CV screening to meet and greet evenings, hiring staff is often the most important thing a business needs to do and the activity that senior staff spend the most time on.

I’ve always hired graduates as opposed to experienced staff for the businesses I’ve been involved in and I would urge anyone thinking about making a hire in the near future to do the same for the following reasons:

1. Return on investment

Put very simply, hiring a graduate is less expensive than hiring someone with one or two years’ experience and comes with less risk. I’ve always hired my staff by offering a paid internship for one to three months while the candidate and company work out whether there is a fit. If there is, you have highly motivated member of staff who feels like they’ve proved themselves and are proud of their achievement. If there isn’t, you’ve employed a very cost effective member of staff without committing to a long term contract and you’ve given someone valuable work experience.

2. Enthusiasm and drive

The desire to work and make themselves indispensable makes hiring graduates a great option. Giving someone their first job means you need to spend longer training that individual but the enthusiasm they bring to your clients, office environment and their other colleagues gives the whole company a fresh boost.

3. Loyalty

Graduates I’ve hired have often been the longest serving members of staff. That’s because combined with the pride they taken in building a young company, a graduate you train and nurture will see you as more than just a pay cheque at the end month and will feel like they are part of your business. Take the time develop a young member of staff and you will lose staff, less often.

4. A different view

I graduated eight years ago but in that relatively short amount of time a whole generation of young people have used the internet and social media far more effectively and more widely than I have. If your business relies on interaction from consumers/clients in their 20s, it’s madness not to have staff who know what marketing channels their peers use.

5. Help solve a crisis

There isn’t a day that goes by when youth unemployment isn’t in the news and this summer will be the toughest time for university students everywhere, graduating into a shrinking employment market. My experience is that when you give a student a chance, they make themselves indispensable. I have spent much of my time working with students who want to work, all they want is a chance to prove themselves.

Alain Desmier is Commercial Director of Enternships, a portal that connects students and graduates to startups and small businesses.

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