Research Study: Understanding the Key Behavioural Trends of Graduates

Profiling can be understood as combining best practice methodology, assessment tools and measurable data to tie the entire graduate experience together and increase the Graduate Program ROI.

“Profiling is the methodology used to define, assess and develop the critical factors required for success in a graduate role”

Over the last 6 years, we are proud to have built a Profiling methodology, which enables us to help employers to not only recruit the graduates with the most likelihood of success but to also customise their development programs. We want to share this profiling information with you now so that you can maximise the use of behavioural assessments in the recruitment process, and create a development program that addresses the specific needs of your graduates.

Through our process, we have access to the behavioural assessment data from thousands of graduates, across a range of industries. Analysis of this data allows us to gain an insight into the behavioural trends of graduates and we have conducted a specific case study on those trends of graduates over the last two years.  This has enabled us to identify key gaps and strengths of graduates’ current behavioural preferences and can inform the customisation of YOUR development program to meet these needs.

Research: Trends in the Behavioural Preferences of Graduates

We are fortunate to have access to 950 individual graduate results gathered over the past 2 years. This sample group of graduates were successful in securing an Interview with their chosen employer and therefore, we can assume, were high-potential applicants.

The graph below depicts the behavioural work preferences of the sample group.

All graduates were assessed using the Talent Q Dimensions Assessment over the past 2 years (950 in total); these are the mean (or average) results of graduates who either reached the final stage of a recruitment process or received offer.

To more easily understand the data reflected in the graph above it has been broken down into three sections, called Domains. These three domains are:

People & Relationships: This domain encapsulates how the individual will work with others and handle relationships at work.

Tasks & Projects: This domain determines the preferences for how an individual will manage tasks and projects.

Drives & Emotions: This domain determines how the individual will deal with emotions, cope with change and manage their energies.

The findings: What does it all mean?

High Preferences of Graduates

We can observe that Consultative is one of the highest preferences for recent graduates which suggests they thrive most when working with others and are open to the different views and perspectives of others. This is not altogether surprising since these graduates have just come out of an environment where learning is conducted in a consultative and collaborative manner.

Another high preference for graduates is the Analytical dimension; again, this high preference is not unusual to see in graduates. Throughout their university life they are encouraged and coached to think analytically, and be able to readily synthesise large amounts of information.

Additionally, the Creative dimension is also a high preference for graduates. This preference is somewhat surprising compared to results from previous years. The high preference for this dimension indicates that graduates are curious, inquisitive and ready to embrace new radical ideas and approaches. And that they will be most motivated in an environment that allows them to do so. Moreover, it indicates that these graduates are more comfortable with new experiences, and excited for opportunities entering the workforce.

Lower Preferences of Graduates

The results found that graduates have a lower preference for the Decisive & Action Orientated dimension. This result is not unexpected, as many graduates may not have had the opportunity to work in a fast-paced environment with set deadlines. In addition, being new to the workforce, graduates can be hesitant in readily making decisions. To address this lower preference, we include, amongst other things, ‘Dealing with Ambiguity’ as a key module in graduate development programs.

The low preference for the Influencing dimension is also not an uncommon observation to see in graduates. Having just left a university environment, many have not had the opportunity to work in an overly influential way, and many have not had to consider how to influence or negotiate with stakeholders and other members of an organisation. In order to address this lower preference we build ‘Managing Up’ as another key module in graduate development programs. This module addresses how to manage key stakeholders at different levels of a corporate structure, specific to your organisation and helps graduates to develop self-awareness and skills for combating their lower preferences.

Gathering this data means that we have unique insight into the behavioural preferences of graduates. Based on these results, a customised development program can be built while leveraging the strengths and addressing the lower preferences of your graduates.