There are so many options open to organisations looking to differentiate themselves from other businesses offering graduate schemes, they may sound like a given but the truth remains that very few companies deliver on these things, and fail to recognise there true value.

Personalise professional development

One of the most important things an organisation can do is offer an exceptional professional development programme. All graduates that are hired will require support and businesses that work hard to deliver an engaging, innovative and impactful graduate scheme see the benefits when it comes to performance and staff retention.

The secret is to offer professional development that is unique to the individual, where they can still participate in the graduate scheme that is delivered to everyone, bespoke learning is the best way to set yourself apart.

Sit down and find out what an individual’s aspirations are and where they see themselves heading, what skills they possess and what areas they feel they might need to improve, and you can offer them a programme which is tailored to them.

Innovation is attractive

In order to have a graduate scheme that appeals, it is important not to rely too heavily on the tried and tested approaches to development and learning. Traditional methods may be easier to implement and prove lest costly but they will not stand out.

Offer experimental approaches that will push graduates out of their comfort zone and open up different learning opportunities that they can explore and keep them motivated.

An innovative method can be to place graduates in the centre of their own development, give them a learning budget for the year and allow them to spend it how they see fit by offering a wide range of options, which could possibly include language lessons, introduction to management or even help with a particular piece of technology.

Shift focus away from material reward

It is often thought that material reward is needed in order to get the best performances possible from people, however, the truth is that getting a bonus is not actually as effective as simply being recognised.

Recognition is about appreciating the hard work that goes in, reward is commonly linked to a one-off outcome. Not all companies have the finances available to offer regular bonus, but all can ensure staff, and graduates in particular, are recognised for their work.

Organisations can host regular awards evenings or even nights out, where the company recognises the effort that is put in and managers can show their appreciation.

If you’re an employer looking to kick-start your career, have a chat with Discovery graduates and see how they can help get you started