We did some digging to find out why employers hate taking on graduates for junior roles
As a graduate recruitment platform, it’s our job to get you your first junior role.
But our work doesn’t stop there – we care about our graduates, so we check in as much as we can. And we’ve discovered that companies tend to have the same old complaints about their junior-level staff.
So, we just went and asked them: What are your main complaints about your graduate employees? Why do employers hate working with graduates?
1 – Hiding behind email
“Many young people in my experience hide behind email. They are just not used to answering the phone, but they have to – it’s an important part of everyday working life.”
Employers hate it when their graduates don’t answer the phone.
Imagine how much faster it would be to ask a person a question by talking to them, rather than sending an email and waiting for a reply. That’s what phones are for!
Answering the phone can be a tricky thing for some people, and that’s okay. Our business etiquette blog post is the place to go for advice on how to tackle this fear.
Make sure that you always answer your phone, even if the number ringing is unfamiliar. Us young people are more used to text and email than the older generations, but we’ve got to adapt.
Your colleagues and employer will be able to access your number, so make sure you answer their calls – it could be important.
2 – Sense of responsibility
“It’s very simple: there is no-one else to blame. If you do well, you reap the rewards. If you perform poorly, it’s on you. This is a lesson that many young people need to learn, and one that will serve them well professionally.”
To take responsibility for your actions you need to be humble and willing to learn. This is a skill that you will develop with time, but you have to realise that everyone makes mistakes – it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
Owning up to your mistakes will earn you respect in the long-run.
In start-ups, things go wrong all the time. The company’s owner has gotten to where they are by making mistakes and learning from them.
So, if you do mess up, confess. It’s the adult thing to do.
3 – Workplace experience
“There is a steep learning curve for any graduate who has to learn what it means to be in a professional environment. Our workspace, like many tech companies, is very casual, but we still need to work hard. It’s easy for a new grad to get caught out. They need to be able to adapt to the vibe.”
Lots of modern offices, especially in tech, look like adult playgrounds. They invite you to take it easy with their coffee shops, bean bags and ping pong tables, and some of us forget that we’re there to get stuff done.
The office benefits are there to make you feel happy at work, but remember that you are there to do a job.
Companies tend to be very performance-driven, especially in tech, so you have to remember to smash your targets before you smash some balls around with your colleagues.
4 – Professionalism
“Sometimes, juniors aren’t aware of professional decorum. I’ve hired people who don’t know what to ask, and so they don’t ask. Or they want to appear professional, so they don’t ask. And in doing that, they end up making mistakes and being less professional.”
If you don’t know what you don’t know, it can be hard to ask questions.
As a rule, remember that you are the most junior person in your workplace – act like it! Ask lots of questions and soak up knowledge like a sponge at the start of your employment.
It will be like being a baby again – which isn’t a bad thing – you will sponge up lots of information, maybe even learn a new language, and grow.
Remember that there is no such thing as a stupid question. But, if you don’t feel comfortable asking your boss, ask us.
The DigitalGrads Hotline and messaging services are open for any questions – we want to help you. Log on to our site or ring 020 3907 0790 for our expert help.
5 – Time management
“I’m forever having to check that our new recruits are going to finish their work on time or remind them that they have missed something. I’m amazed at how many of them come to a meeting without a notepad and pen and expect to remember everything without notes!”
Time management is an essential skill – there is just no excuse to be bad at it.
Simple fixes like always carrying a notepad, making to-do lists and setting reminders on your phone can do wonders for your efficiency and productivity at work.
6 – Training time = money
“When hiring grads, time is the biggest challenge. We have to do more interview prep, more coaching, and more hand holding. It’s fine when grads are appreciative, but not if they up and leave the company when we’ve invested heavily in them.”
When you join a company fresh from university or college, they have to do a lot for you.
When you haven’t worked in an office environment or done your role before, there is so much for you to learn at your first job. This means that someone will be investing a lot of their time into your training. So, make sure to say thank you!
You would never be able to get up to speed if your manager and colleagues didn’t put in the time.
To do really well, you should ask them if there’s anything extra that you can read or watch, in your own time, to get even better – you get out what you put in, so commit.
When you show appreciation and commitment, people will want to help you grow even more.
7 – Quick leavers
“Juniors tend to use their first job as a stepping-stone to get a better next role. I won’t hire juniors anymore – we invest too much time and money training them up at the start for them to leave within the first year. It just costs too much money to keep hiring new people.”
This is the biggest problem that employers have with their graduates – they hate it when you leave early!
By leaving your job within a year of starting, you show everyone that you have no respect.
It not only looks bad on your CV, it also upsets your employer – they put all that effort into training you, just for you to take your new skills elsewhere.
This move will sometimes even get you blacklisted by managers and recruiters – that’s how much financial and emotional damage it causes.
If you are feeling unhappy in your role, the last resort should be handing in your notice. Your first step is to talk to your manager.
The whole reason that you work within a team is for the support it provides. Make sure you take advantage of that and be upfront about how you feel and the problems you’re facing.
Problems can only be fixed when people know about them, so make sure to always communicate. Your manager is there to help you through the good and bad times. If you don’t feel like you can talk to them, talk to their boss.
If you really can’t find anyone in the company to talk to, talk to us, even if you got your role without our help. We are here to support you through your digital career and give you advice. We can even talk to your employer on your behalf if you need us to.