The Graduate. What makes a good graduate? I was talking with the a graduate manager today and she was mentioning that she has been recruiting, mentoring, and managing graduates for a long time. I got to ask why she does this and what she has learned from it.

It was a great opportunity to pick her brain. I got to learn what makes a top graduate candidate, what motivates graduates to stay, specific indicators that typically predict performance in the workplace, and how to improve graduate programs. Here’s a summary of some key takeaways from the conversation.

Generations do not erase problems.

I asked her if she noticed a difference in the attitudes and behaviours among different generations when she recruited. She mentioned that at the end of the day, people come from several different backgrounds, have different goals, and different personalities. Therefore generation stereotype isn’t always true. There is still a wide spectrum of people applying for a wide spectrum of jobs and to categorise an entire generation is blasphemy. The same problems still exist in people.

Grads are new, but valuable.

A lot of teams in various companies don’t accept grads. They think they don’t have the time to train, coach, and mentor new hires. And they miss out. Teams with a new point of view will be forced to constantly adapt and become more agile. They will also become more knowledgable because nothing makes you know your stuff more than having to teach it. Plus grads are most up to date on the new technologies, methods of working, and life updates. They’re also much more morphable. They can be taught and are much more willing to learn than a more senior member of the team. Bottom line though: hire a grad.

Grads can be anything.

Grads are so young. It’s amazing how they can be anything they want to be. Literally. A technology grad can move to finance. Z a psychologist can become a data scientist. A teacher can become an engineer. The point is they are so young and enthusiastic. They’re just starting off and they are bright enough to change the future. They have the guts, they have the power, and they are the future of the company. It’s time to start investing in them, challenging them, and inspiring them.