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Graduates incentivised by clear career prospects, survey says

Despite the job-hopper reputation of millennials, latest research shows that graduates are significantly more incentivised to stay at a company as long as they are offered clear career prospects, according to data from GTI.

The data comes from a survey of 949 students and recent graduates in which they were asked a range of questions about their current and possible future careers.

When surveyed on what prospects graduates actually favour when looking for an employer, over half (51%) considered the most significant as the opportunity to progress to a higher role within the company. A further 20% considered the opportunity to learn about different roles/departments within the company with the potential to transfer, as the most vital reason to stay.

With this in mind, the clear majority of students and graduates want to progress their career with the same employer; most want to go into a higher role, with others wanting to explore different positions.

However, the survey also found that 22% deemed the most important career prospect as the ability to gain useful experience and skills to utilise in a job elsewhere. This reveals that just under a quarter of graduates don’t foresee their first employment as being long-term. For many in their early career stage, graduate employers provide a means of developing their skillset in order to progress to another role in a different company, and potentially a different line of work.

Further results from the survey demonstrate the importance of career progression to graduate employee retention. 36% of graduates would be encouraged to stay with an employer if their professional development was supported.

Training is an integral factor in the professional development of employees, and it was shown that over half (56%) of graduates expected training to be conducted in-house; 29% expected a fixed training plan on a yearly basis, while 27% anticipated initial bulk training to be performed in a group.

 “It is evident that the present ideal is for a graduate job to be long-term, and employers should have practices in place to facilitate progression.” said Chloe Burgess, director at GTI. “This highlights the importance for the graduate recruiter to not just hire the best people for the current position(s), but also for future positions in the company, across departments.  The effort that takes place at the beginning of that employee-employer relationship therefore needs to be sustained and nurtured to ensure top talent stays within the business.”

In terms of other factors that graduates deem worth staying with an employer for, 26% valued a friendly environment the most, while 22% would be most likely to stay if they had a competitive salary.

At the same time, 20% considered the opportunity to learn about different roles/departments within a company with the potential to transfer across, most important.

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