The business has grown quickly over the last few years and we have put considerable thought into our hiring strategy, part of which is hiring entry level candidates, a lot of whom are recent graduates. Within this piece, I wanted to discuss this approach and the challenges and benefits we have faced over the years, along with what we are doing to make Pragmatiq an attractive place to work.
Before we start the search for the right individual, there are several questions (some examples below) we must ask ourselves:
- Why are we recruiting?
- Who do we want to recruit, in terms of culture, skills, competency, etc?
- Who don’t we want to recruit, in terms of culture, skills, competency, etc?
- When do we want to make this hire?
- How are we going to achieve this?
The list goes on. Of course, this is exciting – scalability is an ambition for many businesses – but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it comes with a level of trepidation too.
Within Pragmatiq, there are certain roles that do require experience, however, there are a number of roles within our technical team where this isn’t a pre-requisite and we have seen great success hiring entry level candidates from a STEM background. Through following this approach, there are some key benefits we have discovered:
- The long-term potential is often greater than an experienced hire
- The costs from a recruitment fees perspective are lower
- Bad habits haven’t been developed and therefore do not need to be unpicked
- With no bad habits, you can use your time to focus on training and developing the right behaviours
- We have found that many of these candidates are more open to change, which can be a real asset as your business grows and develops
Naturally, there is a flip side to this and pitfalls to be aware of:
- Time to achieve an ROI is far greater
- Much larger investment of time into training and development
- Needs and wants are different, so selecting who is leading them and whether they have the tools to motivate and inspire this generation becomes an important decision to get right
- The risk of a candidate dropping out prior to starting is higher, and the churn rate once they have been onboarded is also increased, due to uncertainty around what they want
- There is a need to weed out a lot of unsuitable candidates, so you’ve got to be prepared to put more time into the recruitment process up-front
- As there is no direct experience, there is an increased need to recruit based on potential and cultural fit; this in itself presents a lot of challenges to get this right
For our business, we quickly realised that regardless of the pitfalls, this was the approach we wanted to take and knew we had to put the infrastructure in place to support this process and make it a success.
Across Pragmatiq, training and development is a key focus, yet this is even more imperative when it comes to hiring at entry level. To provide an overview, we have put the following steps in place:
- Everyone has a clear training and development plan, and weekly dedicated training hours to support this
- We have established a Training Committee, which includes employees who are heavily involved in planning training, reviewing how this could be improved, working closely with new starters to establish a training path, etc.
- Daily on-the-job training is provided across the business and each of our mentors is fully equipped with the knowledge and technology to deliver this
- Monthly and then more detailed quarterly reviews are held where career progression amongst other topics is a point of discussion, so we can ensure all employees are supported in their
On top of this, a number of our employees relocate to the local area. We understand this move can be daunting and have a plan in place to aid their relocation, from both a work and personal
Finally, we are proud of the culture and benefits we offer at Pragmatiq, which is crucial for not only attracting top talent, but also maintaining a motivated workforce. We offer a health and lifestyle benefits package, private health insurance, mental-health support, yearly personal development allowance (can be used for activities such as gym membership, driving lessons, cooking classes, etc.), yearly volunteering days, home office equipment allowance, host regular social activities outside of work, to name but a few.
We love the fact that we are driving and promoting growth within MK and the surrounding areas, but also understand the responsibility that comes with this. This isn’t to say that we have got it perfect and we are always looking for ways we can improve our hiring strategy and better support our employees. However, so far we have seen some real success in this model and if you are in a similar position, hopefully this article has provided some useful insights.
If you would like to find out about Pragmatiq, click here or email email@example.com