Young, eager and ambitious – University graduates are always keen to make their mark in the workplace, however with that also provides businesses with managerial challenges.

As part of their latest campaign around achieving a healthier work-life balance, Totaljobs and Milkround, the UK’s leading graduate recruitment company, tasked us with finding an influential entrepreneur  to help develop a series of tips for employees who will be set to manage graduates starting out. Aiming for someone with expertise in their particular field, whilst appealing to a younger audience, we looked no further than amazing fashion entrepreneur Henry Holland.

Working closely with Henry, Totaljobs and Milkround looked into the tests young workers face when entering a new workplace, and the skills and attributes they must develop in order to progress in their chosen industry.

The following tips aim to advise managers how they can make the most of their entrepreneurial spirit and harness this new injection of enthusiasm that is coming into their organisations.

1. Harness an entrepreneurial spirit


In 2017, graduates are entering the workplace with up to £50,000 worth of debt from their university studies. Young people are investing unprecedented amounts of money into their education and future, so are in a hurry to see some tangible return.

Take advantage of this by showing how their short-term goals can align with the team and the wider organisational objectives and how you can all collectively succeed.

2. Show a clear pathway

Doing the menial tasks when you are starting out in your career is a right of passage and most graduates will be intelligent enough to appreciate that.

Enthuse your graduates to tackle these tasks with relish by showcasing the opportunities available to them once this phase has passed and encourage them to share these anecdotes with future cohorts.

3. Champion independent thinking

What graduates might lack in corporate experience, they can make up for by providing a unique perspective. Their lack of experience means they are unprejudiced to a lot of ideas and styles, so they can be the most unbiased focus group available to you. Take advantage of this and empower them to volunteer opinions on a range of organisational scenarios.

4. Instil commercial nous early

Regardless of industry all commercial businesses operate to generate profit for shareholders. Encourage your graduate intake to think commercially from Day 1 on the job.

If you can instil commercial thinking in your graduate level, this culture will flow up as they progress through the organisation and the impact on profitability is obvious.

5. Don’t underestimate them

This is the generation that is embracing technology to disrupt established industries across the global economy. They are self-aware, informed and are forthright in their opinions.

It is your responsibility to ensure that they are engaged, productive and believe they can forge a career in your team. If they don’t feel that’s possible, they won’t be slow to tell you!


30 August 2017