Businesses across the UK say they are feeling the burden of training and supporting new junior and graduate hires in their workforce.

More than two thirds of the 500 firms surveyed by the talent and reskilling firm, mthree, say they have seen productivity fall because recruitment is expensive and training is also time-consuming.

“Some up-front recruitment costs are of course unavoidable,” said Senior Director at mthree, David Hanks, “however, it is easy for these to spiral, particularly if a business is operating in a competitive environment.”

The data found that more than a quarter of businesses polled, also had to turn away work due to internal talent shortages.

More time and resources spent on training junior hires

Nearly one in four companies said they had to invest in additional training and resources for fresh graduates and junior employees.

This includes both structured and ‘on the job’ training, such as familiarising new hires on the technology used in a department, as well as softer skills needed to do their job.

 Commenting on the research, Ben Town, mthree’s  Global Head of Sales said: “It’s possible that some businesses may never have really sat back and evaluated the impact of training and onboarding graduate and entry level talent.”

Interestingly, the research also revealed that whilst businesses typically spend a month training up new junior talent, it can take up to six months before these hires start to add real value to the business. 

Loss of productivity in between hires and during training

Around a fifth of businesses said that they struggle to replace departing employees before the end of their notice period, and 22 percent struggle to find suitable replacements. 

As a result many businesses regularly have one or more roles unfilled at any given time.

Marketing Director at mthree, Piers Fox said: “Having roles regularly unfilled can cause big problems for a business. Productivity is often impacted and other employees can sometimes need to pick up the slack.”

He says this can lead to loss of morale and even resignations from other team members, creating a vicious cycle which it can be difficult to recover from. 

The data suggests there are a number of actions that businesses can take to improve the efficiency, cost effectiveness and success of their graduate recruitment including:

  1. Creating a stringent application and assessment process to reduce the number of candidates invited to interview for a role.
  2. Evaluating the need for senior level executives to be involved in interviews with prospective junior employees. 
  3. Partner with an emerging talent provider to ensure graduates have the technical and soft skills required for their role.
  4. Convey an honest portrayal of the company’s culture at all stages of recruitment to prevent midshires and improve lower employee turnover. 
  5. Establish a strong offboarding process to encourage departing employees to consider returning in the future. 

Commenting on the costs related to training fresh talent Mr. Town added, “emerging talent is the future of every workforce, and, in spite of this initial outlay, businesses would struggle to survive without the regular influx of fresh, enthusiastic faces keen to make their mark.”

He suggested that taking in promising graduates with raw potential and then turning them into productive professionals would help a business thrive. He said that the last mile of training would be able to bridge the gap between education and the workplace, thereby tackling many of the issues commonly associated with hiring graduate talent.