New grads hunger for training, so don’t discourage them right out of the gate
  • leadership
  • Blog post

New grads hunger for training, so don’t discourage them right out of the gate

“I didn’t think it was going to be like this.” In the mouth of a recent hire, these words usually mean that the person is disappointed and probably won’t be staying with your organization if he or she gets a chance to jump.

And although many managers and HR people are well aware of the danger of unmet expectations, a substantial number of employers are disappointing young recruits in just this way when it comes to training and development opportunities.

That’s the disturbing conclusion that emerges from a new survey by consulting company Accenture. Accenture surveyed 1,000+ students who are graduating from college this spring, and another 1,000+ graduates from 2012 and 2013, and found a big disconnect between training expectations and the actual training provided — or not provided — by graduates’ first employers.

Training expectations unmet
Some 80% of 2014 graduates said they expected their first employer out of school to place them in a formal training program of some kind. But at the same time, 52% of the previous graduates said their first jobs gave them no such training.

This trend obviously represents a lost opportunity to spur the retention of promising new hires. Training and development is an undisputed and strong factor of retention.

But there are at least three other problems for organizations that don’t train and develop new recruits:

  • They fail to get the most out of their talented young people
  • They compromise their ability to build their next generation of leaders, and
  • They miss a chance to stand out from the crowd when it comes to attracting smart young folks in the first place.

A painful awareness
Make no mistake about it, young people entering today’s job market are painfully aware of the necessity to learn and develop themselves all through their career. After all, many of them have watched parents or older friends struggle to reinvent themselves after long-term jobs evaporated, and they understand that the capital you carry between your ears may be all you have to fall back on.

It follows that organizations which fail to invest in new hires through well-thought-out training and development programs will never be the employers of choice for this generation of graduates. And you want to be an employer of choice for the brightest young things, don’t you?

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