What do graduates want from employers?

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“I bash not person a imagination job. I bash not imagination of labour.”

The root of this punctuation is disputed, and somewhat mislaid successful time, but it encapsulates a batch astir our often conflicting attitudes to work. Do we unrecorded to work, oregon enactment to live? If you won the lottery oregon inherited loads of wealth from a long-lost aunt, would you support working? Is your oculus ever connected the clock, consenting down the hours till the weekend? Or bash you truly aspire to person a occupation that you look guardant to getting retired of furniture for connected a bedewed Monday greeting successful January?

To immoderate extent, this is each theoretical: astir of america person to spell to enactment to wage the bills, whether we similar it oregon not.

But enactment tin bring restitution - if you recognize yourself and what makes you happy. And, successful a clip erstwhile Ireland is astatine astir afloat employment, graduates tin spend to beryllium pickier astir the jobs that would marque them blessed (or, astatine least, little miserable than different jobs).

So, what bash graduates want?

1. Career development

“I person worked successful higher acquisition careers for astir 30 years and I americium seeing a surge of caller graduates wanting vocation development,” says Bridie Killoran, careers and learning pathways manager astatine Atlantic Technological University (ATU).

“They privation a bully wage and bully conditions, yes, but they are prepared to determination if they consciousness the leader does not worth them and does not person a program for them.”

Ruairi Kavanagh, exertion of gradireland.com, echoes this.

“There volition beryllium a clip successful your vocation erstwhile you marque a occupation determination based solely connected salary, but ideally you bash not bash that arsenic a graduate, due to the fact that you’re initially looking astatine idiosyncratic improvement and however overmuch grooming and enactment you volition get,” Kavanagh says.

“Small to mean enterprises supply large opportunities for graduates and, though it is simply a roadworthy little signposted, those smaller companies are often doing breathtaking and dynamic things.”

Graduates privation meaningful feedback, says Mark Cumisky, a careers advisor astatine University College Dublin.

“In astir of the acquisition system, students are utilized to continuous appraisal and feedback; they don’t privation to beryllium waiting six months,” helium says.

2. Learning opportunities

As overmuch arsenic employers privation their unit to beryllium upskilling and retraining, graduates and workers person a increasing appetite to summation their skills, too.

Whereas erstwhile upskilling meant a full-year postgraduate oregon 2 years of part-time studying, the accent is present moving towards micro-credentials, which let radical to instrumentality connected shorter courses and, sometimes, implicit a fig of years, stack them unneurotic towards a larger award. These are often overmuch much appealing to graduates than a instrumentality to full-time study.

“It truly suits those who whitethorn person been marginalised from higher acquisition but person an unfastened mindset towards learning,” says Killoran.”People who had engaged families and lives tin present bash abbreviated pieces of accredited learning that are linked to the QQI framework.”

3. Hybrid moving and flexibility

Graduates privation the enactment to enactment from location a fewer days a week and walk different fewer successful the bureau with their colleagues, says Killoran.

“Most radical privation hybrid options,” says Cumisky. “If an leader is insisting connected a 9am-5pm instrumentality to the office, 5 days a week, but the idiosyncratic is sitting determination penning reports and answering emails, they volition question wherefore they person to beryllium determination each the time.”

4. Meaning

“The days of hiring hundreds of graduates and forgetting astir them are agelong gone,” says Cumisky. “Graduates privation to consciousness that their enactment has worth and is making a meaningful contribution.”

5. Social conscience

Graduates privation to enactment for companies that are meaningfully engaged with firm societal work and lend much to the satellite than they instrumentality from it. Today, successful the discourse of catastrophic flooding that has devastated Pakistan and displaced millions, Generation Z graduates importune connected much than articulator work to addressing clime breakdown.

“Greenwashing won’t chopped it,” says Cumisky. “Corporate societal work has to marque a meaningful difference, whether successful the section oregon beyond.”

6. Diversity and inclusion

Pale, stale and male: it could picture galore companies. But today’s graduates privation to beryllium portion of a genuinely divers and planetary workforce, and that diverseness includes gender, ethnicity, societal class, sexuality and, increasingly, neurodiversity (so that the skills and talents of radical with autism and ADHD, to sanction but 2 neurodiversities) are included.

“They bash not similar immoderate benignant of favoritism oregon negativity, truthful companies request to beryllium divers and inclusive,” says Cumisky.

7. Wellbeing

In an organisation that truly does worth diverseness and flexible working, there’s much apt to beryllium an accent connected wellbeing. Wellbeing, successful this context, means a workplace that prioritises its workers and helps them onboard and grow, portion besides respecting that you person a beingness extracurricular of work.

8. Pay and conditions

The rising outgo of surviving has deed everyone, but lower-paid workers - a class that includes galore graduates - are feeling it harder.

Added to the deficiency of disposable oregon affordable homes to bargain oregon rent, today’s graduates whitethorn beryllium moving hard and yet inactive conflict to marque ends meet. So, inevitably, thoughts crook to wage and conditions.

“There is simply a spread betwixt what graduates consciousness they are worthy and what the marketplace volition wage for their skills,” says Kavanagh. “Ultimately you bash request much acquisition earlier you’re earning much money.”

That’s not to accidental it shouldn’t beryllium connected the table: it’s each good and bully to preach astir wellbeing and connection talks connected intelligence health, but getting a escaped oregon heavy subsidised luncheon volition bash much to relieve accent and assistance your intelligence wellness due to the fact that it’s 1 little outgo you request to interest about.

Equally, if you’ve 2 reasonably identical occupation offers, each offering akin perks, it’s hard to justify, successful this economy, wherefore you wouldn’t instrumentality the better-paid option.

Career tools to assistance you

  • MyCareerPath.ie: Atlantic Technological University (ATU) precocious launched MyCareerPath, an artificial intelligence-driven instrumentality - developed from world probe astatine the University of Lancashire - that helps their graduates to make their employability skills.

Bridie Killoran, careers and learning pathways manager astatine ATU, explains: “When graduates look inward and recognize their strengths and their personality, it helps them to physique their career. MyCareerPath is astir helping them to recognize what is progressive successful the [recruitment and hiring] process, specified arsenic aptitude and psychometric testing, mock appraisal signifier and gathering an effectual CV. ATU graduates tin upload their CV and get feedback connected much than their spelling and grammar: the instrumentality pulls retired their cardinal skills. It’s each portion of embedding vocation acquisition and employability into our undergraduate curriculum, but it is besides truly utile for mature students coming backmost to education, arsenic it tin assistance them recognize their transferable skills.”

  • EmployableYou: An online usher enactment unneurotic by the Irish Universities Association and chiefly aimed astatine planetary students, this besides doubles arsenic a truly beardown usher to hole students for beingness aft graduation, with accusation connected what employers are looking oregon alongside coagulated proposal connected ow to place your goals and bespeak connected - and amended - your cardinal skills. There’s besides immoderate utile tips connected uncovering the close occupation and however to pat into your network. See IUA.ie/employableyou
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