Developing Graduates

Retaining your graduate is all about building the relationship. A mutually successful relationship will include a shared understanding and acceptance of what each party wants and needs from the relationship. There are three interlinked strands to this relationship:

  • Joining or induction
  • Performing
  • Developing

Joining or induction

Aim to make the graduate feel welcome and find their feet quickly. Failure to do so can mean that they may leave within the first six months which is not good for either of you.

It is important to build upon the rapport developed during the selection process and a popular way of doing this is to assign a colleague or 'buddy' to show the graduate the ropes. For legal and practical reasons, it is also important that health and safety, vital processes and rules are explained early on.

You can download our sample induction checklist template. It is good practice produce an induction checklist/schedule for the graduate as this will enable them to follow what is happening and to act as a reminder of anything that has been missed or needs particular attention.


Performance management sets the standards of performance and requires appropriate support to ensure that the graduate understands what is required and your business gets what it needs.

Graduates will be keen to perform well, but they need to know what is expected of them and to be given constructive feedback at regular intervals.

Some organisations use an annual appraisal system to benchmark employees against targets. This usually summarises what has been achieved over the last year and sets objectives or targets for the coming year.

Whilst these are useful, new staff will probably need more regular support and supervision in addition to the annual appraisal. Many companies use weekly one-to-ones to agree objectives, monitor progress, identify training needs and discuss any problems.


This is an ongoing activity and should be made part of your management processes.Your new graduate recruits may well be your senior managers of the future - so train them and develop them with that in mind.