EngineeringUK reports suggest that 61 per cent of engineering businesses in 2018 were not confident they would find people suitable to fill their highly skilled vacancies. Due to a persistent skills gap in manufacturing, graduates are likely to only become more valuable with time. Here Becca Hiorns, Graduate Lead at global engineering technologies company Renishaw, explains how businesses can integrate graduates into their teams.
According to the 2019 EngineeringUK Excel Resource, up to 59,000 yearly vacancies for core engineering roles will remain unfilled by 2024, while 1.8 million new openings will be created from expanding demand. To avoid understaffing or hiring unqualified candidates, it will be necessary to foster a new generation of managers internally.
Graduate schemes enable businesses to hire talented employees and provide the training and networking needed to help them grow. This relationship can be mutually beneficial, shaping graduates into experienced staff members with a deeply rooted understanding of your company’s values.
However, successfully integrating graduates can be harder than it seems. Introducing inexperienced but skilled workers into a business with no support or strategy is not likely to provide the benefits you are looking for. Graduate onboarding must be properly planned and implemented to secure talented staff for the long term.
Build solid foundations
The first requirement to integrate any graduate in your company is providing a good structure for them to follow. Programmes should be built with the individual in mind, giving them a range of experiences with people across the business. This social incentive grants stability and demonstrates a real effort from an employer. Young graduates often relocate for job opportunities, meaning a network of support can help them settle faster and thus grow faster.
Flexibility and a clear pathway are also a necessary part of this process. Graduates must have the time and space to learn skills and acquire knowledge to make the most of their training. A clear understanding of what their objectives are will further enable them to take control of their time at your company, creating realistic goals for them to strive towards.
Even the perfect graduate scheme will not be enough without appropriate applicants. Getting the attention of talented graduates is not an easy task when competing with big brands. Taking part in as many careers fairs as possible is necessary to make students aware of your company and what you can offer them. Directly engaging with young engineers is the most effective way to create brand awareness in your target audience.
Understanding what your graduate scheme offers and how to apply should also be made simple. Minimising unnecessary information on your website and including interesting formats such as videos can make the important sections, such as application deadlines, stand out more.
Foster a sense of belonging
Creating opportunities for new entries to meet their seniors as well as their peers is important. While most graduate schemes will be effective in creating immediate teams, having all recruits feel part of a company-wide community can make a difference. An employee that feels comfortable working with multiple groups will find more reasons to remain part of the company and improve communication between departments.
For example, so that all Renishaw graduates feel part of the team, our CEO, William Lee, takes part in the induction process. Upon meeting the graduates, Lee explains how he worked his way up from a physics graduate in 1996, by taking part in a scheme not unlike those we offer today.
Young workers bring fresh ideas to established businesses. They are not only an investment in a company’s future, but an immediately valuable asset waiting to be nurtured and grow.
To find out more about what makes Renishaw’s graduate schemes special or to apply for the 2020 scheme, visit https://www.renishaw.com/en/graduates–6875.