Hiring graduates – affordable talent for your business

Summer is here, that means another new wave of graduates are leaving university and looking for work. Enthusiastic, flexible, and affordable, hiring graduates is a fantastic opportunity to get new talent that could make all the difference to your small business.

Why you should be hiring graduates


Graduates are far more affordable than candidates with lots of industry experience. Although not as cheap as non-graduates, their skills, ideas and ability to learn quickly has proven to make them a fantastic return on investment. Research shows you’ll get a return of between 500% and 800% by hiring new graduates.


New to the working world, graduates have fewer expectations of the working environment. Experienced hires can be set in their ways, or have other commitments that need to be catered for. Graduates on the other hand are open to change and different ways of working, so can adjust their role to fit your needs.

Business skills

Although light on workplace experience, studying gives graduates key skills such as written and oral communication, problem-solving, organisation and analysis. These core skills are present in almost every course, so don’t be put off if a graduate has completed a course in something not directly relevant to the role. They’ll still have the skills to add value to your business.

New ideas

Hiring graduates will bring new ideas and perspectives to your business. Whether it’s via the latest thinking in academia, or just not having a ‘we’ve always done this way’ attitude, they’ll help you evolve your business and keep you moving forward.

Enthusiastic and quick learners

Graduates are more willing to take on challenges and new responsibilities. They’re better able to learn new technologies, systems and ways of working. From the nature of studying they’re used to changing focus regularly, so can adapt to new priorities or projects quickly.

Top tips for hiring graduates

Look for a good cultural fit

One of the great benefits of hiring graduates is being able to mould their role into what you need for your business, and that process is made a lot easier if they’re a good cultural fit. Are they enthusiastic? Do they want to learn from others? If they care about your business, they’ll work hard for you.

Don’t get hung up on what they studied

You’re hiring for potential, not experience, so you need to assess what they could do for you. Regardless of what they studied, if they show a passion for the role, your industry or your company, then you can find a way to utilise them.

Talk about career development opportunities

Graduates will have aspirations to go on in their careers, and you’ll be more attractive if they see you as ‘a foot in the door’. Talk about promotions or other responsibilities they could take on in the future. You can then see their reaction and judge how suited they’d be to your company in the long term.

Nurture your new talent

Once you’ve chosen someone, give them the tools to get up to speed quickly. It may be their first taste of your working environment, meaning lots of new processes to take in. A good onboarding and training plan will help you get the maximum value from your new graduates as quickly as possible.

If you’d like additional funds to hire new staff, check your eligibility for finance in 30 seconds at fundingcircle.com/businesses.