2017 Graduate Masterclass

Fusion’s 2017 Masterclass series saw some great discussions and sharing of individual experiences and challenges amongst participants. Over forty people attended the Melbourne event, from a range of private/public/large and small organisations, and there were similarly strong numbers in Sydney and Brisbane.

The Fusion team, as always, were struck by the generosity of participants in sharing their own organisation’s experiences – what has worked well for them, and what they have learned along their journey. The opportunity to gather, discuss the market and challenge the status quo are the drivers behind why we deliver this annual event.

To welcome those new to the graduate industry we spent a good chunk of time talking about the market in general and overviewing the all-important A (Attraction), S (Selection) and D (Development). Some great discussions were had regarding budgets and processes and some insightful analysis of industry data that better helps us all to understand and influence Graduate Program decisions.

In addition, a new hot topic of discussion was the ‘Changing Landscape’ of the graduate market. Every day Fusion is seeing evidence of the shift in the mindset and expectations of graduates and we’re always keen to discuss and debate how this might be managed and even capitalised on by employers moving forward. Even the larger, well established graduate programs may not be able to rely on reputation alone to attract and retain future talent.

The attraction strategies used to recruit large numbers of graduate in the bigger organisations has been consistent for several years now, but increasing competition from smaller organisations (those recruiting only 2-3 graduates) is growing fast. Graduates are becoming even more discerning as they compare what is on offer in the various graduate programs at different organisations. Employers need to have a strong message and a strong brand to attract applications from top graduates, and be creative in how they reach out to the market. The smaller, more boutique organisations are often more nimble and agile and able to offer unique benefits and opportunities that are of great appeal to the next generation of graduates.

Also discussed is the significant shift we are seeing in the marketplace now, as in the UK, of the growing number of candidates who, after accepting an offer, will later renege in favour of another employer. It’s more important than ever for all employers to work on their strategies to keep these candidates engaged and committed, especially during the often-lengthy periods of time between offer and induction.

Throughout the sessions the ideas, debates and suggestions offered up by Masterclass participants were welcomed and well received and there was a growing consensus that an online learning solution would be an ideal way to engage with graduates on an individual as well as group level. By creating an online portal “Waiting Room” style forum for graduates they have the opportunity to stay connected and engaged with each other as well as their new organisation up until the time of Induction. And then, once on the Graduate Program, the same portal can be used to support a customised development program and social network for the cohort. To show exactly how such a tool could be used in practice we were lucky to have Cheryle Walker, our Digital Learning Specialist provide a demonstration of the online learning tool called Grad Passport. Feedback from participants was positive with most agreeing that it was an innovative, practical and cost effective solution for consideration.

To conclude, the Fusion Team would like to say a big thank you to all the dedicated Graduate and HR Managers who attended one of the sessions, we look forward to continuing the discussions soon!

And finally, a special shout-out to our friends at Grad Connection, Push Apply and Grad Passport for supporting us to deliver a successful Masterclass, delivering quality presentations, insights and Industry knowledge, we wouldn’t do it without you.