When the students transist from university to their workplace at EY, we don’t expect
that they are superstars, and be like so professional because
we want to train them. That’s the point. We hire them for a good reason.
They ticked all the boxes. They had a good personality, a good
cultural fit. Now, it’s our part to train the people, to
train them with our systems, how to behave on the client side and whatever.
The expectations are there, but we want to give something back to the
students, to the candidates. BRANT
Generally our new graduates are expected to come in and be ready to learn and willing
to just be available. We find that people sometimes come in with expectations that are
not realistic. So I think new graduates have to understand they’re not there to be the
CEO of the company, they’re starting from the bottom and they need to learn how we work
as an organisation.They need to learn about our culture and how to fit in to the way that
we do things. It’s important for them just to really be willing to learn and just to
have the attitude I think, just to be a good team member and just fit in with our culture.
Be good at communicating, be willing to ask those questions and raise their hand when
they don’t understand something. I think that some people are hesitant when they start a
job to ask questions that might be stupid. But it’s better to have them be sure they
understand what their job is going in, than to make mistakes. So we feel comfortable answering
questions even if they might not appear to be well thought out, but it’s better to ask
those initially. Really just basically a commitment to wanting to be there. We’ve seen people who
aren’t really having a strong desire to be present and be there. At the moment we really
just want people who are willing to learn and can be taught, and we can do the rest.
We can develop them later on. CLAIRE
If somebody is just finishing off their studies and then coming straight to us in the
workplace, it can either be a very smooth or a very bumpy ride.
There are particular hurdles where people fall down. We’re used to seeing that.
We’re used to actually prompting people before they trip
over the hurdle, that this point is coming. A classic is tomorrow evening we have our
company summer party. I’m quite sure people will be partying hard, and that kind of goes with the territory. But the people who know will be
here at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning. The young people who have
come into the workforce are probably going to be reminded, “You can party hard,
but you are at your desk first thing in the morning because
we can’t run a business where people aren’t at their
desks.” That is one very big step from being a student
then suddenly being in the workplace. You have to be absolutely 100 percent reliable.
You have to be there for your colleagues and for your
clients. I guess the other point is if you’re at university,
perhaps to a degree, you’re doing the work that is asked of you; whereas,
in the workplace, actually you’ve got to use your initiative. You got
to work out what needs to be done. You’ve got to go
and find it. You can’t just sit there waiting for this workload to land in your lap,
and while you’re waiting for it, give yourself half an hour
on Facebook. Actually, I expect people here to think a
little bit creatively, and to use some common sense to go
and find things that need to be done. If it’s not obvious, perhaps what needs to be done
right here, right now, ask for work to be done and really
help to contribute to just to keep the wheels in motion. CRAIG
When we take on new graduates within our company, for us it’s really about the way in which
they apply themselves through the work and, indeed,
to their own learning process and self-development along the way. I don’t think there’s many
organisations that expect a fresh graduate to be the world
leading expert in their subject matter. What they want to see and, most certainly, what
we want to see is that someone is willing to continually
enhance the skills and continue to enhance the knowledge that they bring to the work. For us it’s about the attitude in which
they apply to it. I guess to clarify that even further to sort
of say it’s not about the person who’s willing to sit there all night, pulling in the long
nights, doing a long weekends. There is a big difference between attitude and effort.
There are lots of people who put in lots of effort, but it’s in the wrong areas. What
we really look for is we want that—particularly in our company, the culture of work-life balance
is really important to us. Someone who comes in and promises that they
are going to work really hard and they’ll work weekends and work nights actually is
a turn off for an organisation like us, because we’re going to see that as a cultural clash
with what it is we’re trying to create. A lot of the stereotypical, what people
think they need to say in an interview, or do when they get in the workplace
won’t necessarily always hold true. And it does come back to what that
organisation is looking for. TAHLYA
Graduates coming into the workplace do have quite a big transition, so we do have quite
a lot to help them with that move. We do have a lot of learning and development courses.
We do have careers counselors to help them along the way as well. We also would expect
that your manager has a meeting with you every three months to see where you’re doing really
well, maybe where you need a little bit more support. Whether that’s from our learning
and development team, in HR team, or whether that’s from someone else within your department
that can train you up in a few areas and really make your stay here with us and your time
with Harrods a little bit more enjoyable as well.