Archive for May 10th, 2008

What do top performing graduates want out of companies these days? Well, its not more money.

StudentsWhat do recent graduates want out of companies these days?

Data touch points from a cross Canada survey of University students in Mining Engineering. I heard a very useful presentation from a graduating Mining Engineering student at UBC yesterday. Michael Fuller (Remember that name 6 years from now) , in response to a past question from an Industry Advisory Committee I sit in on, surveyed students across nine universities coast to coast about what companies could do to attract and retain new grads. (Now this in an industry where there are three to five jobs calling with signing bonuses for every graduate. Ave starting salary is $80k/annum. There may be 150 of these students graduate each year in Canada)

And the biggest issues were not for higher salaries. I was impressed that the issues exposed were in line with what we see in the technology industry. What did they want companies to support in order to be interesting to work for?;

  • Opportunities to pursue more education once they were out of school ( with some financial help)
  • A structured growth program for employees, where the grads help shape their program
  • Mentorship
  • International and multi department experience
  • Compensation for overtime hours (in time , not money), these folks are not overtime hounds.
  • Flexible work hours, such as nine day fortnights, 4 – 10 hour days and then 3 off. Fourteen days straight and then fourteen off when the location is not great. They want to maintain a work-life balance.
  • Evidence of concern for employees and others. e.g. A company with the highest safety rating was seen as one that would also have high environmental and social responsibility values.
  • An HR dept that can be very punctual, with quick turnarounds, yes or no. Job interviews that are casual and personal – learn about the person while they learn about who they would work for.
    • If you really want to alienate young grads use a top grader/behavioral interview method. Seen as gimmicks and not of any value. (This was a surprise to me) These are smart people who want to be treated as such. It is a candidates market where you can not afford to put people off.
  • Very last on the list was stock options and profit sharing.

This is very current stuff for a demographic of high performing 20 – 26 year olds. Did you know that the CEO of Computer Associates is an alumnus of UBC Mining Engineering? Past UBC Mining graduates are now CEOs of major international firms.

The Art of Possibility. Transforming professional and personal life. Rosamund and Ben Zander

The Art of Possibility. Transforming professional and personal life. Rosamund and Ben Zander. 2000. ISBN 9780142001103. Garr Reynolds in Presentation Zen recommended this book. It is a very useful and well written little book. Their web site , The Art of Possibility gives good background. Ben Zander is the long time conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and Rosamund is well respected change management professional. The book gives us very key insights into how to better understand our daily life and make something out of it all. Eg . Ben gives his music students an A at the beginning of each semester, but the students have to write an essay at the same time as if it was the end of term where they have to explain what they did to earn an A mark. I found each page had another insight for me and it was delight to go through the book. (Thank goodness TV is such an intellectual wasteland, else I would never get through all the great books being sent my way.) If you are into personal growth and development I would say this is a library keeper.