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Firms attempt to stem the graduate exodus
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Firms attempt to stem the graduate exodus

Many firms are finding that it is becoming increasingly difficult to retain graduate employees, and according to a new survey, more than half of new graduates plan to leave within two years.…

Many firms are finding that it is becoming increasingly difficult to retain graduate employees, and according to a new survey, more than half of new graduates plan to leave within two years. Briana Everett reports

Research released in the UK this month from the Institute of Leadership and Management and Ashridge Business School has revealed that 57 per cent of new graduates plan to leave their current role within two years, while 40 per cent hope to find a new job within the year.

Despite the substantial competition for graduate jobs - as is the case in Australia, where job prospects for graduates have declined in the last two years - almost one in five (16%) graduates want to move into a new role as soon as possible.

The study, Managing New Graduates, which surveyed over 1,900 graduates and managers, uncovered a divergence between the expectations of new graduates and their employers. The research revealed that money, status and career advancement are the key career drivers for the current generation of graduates, with their top three priorities being challenging/interesting work (33%), a high salary (32%) and advancing their career (24%).

The research also revealed that 38 per cent of graduates are dissatisfied with career advancement in their current organisation, while one third of managers (31%) claimed their greatest challenge when working with graduates is managing their expectations.

"University students are increasingly looking at options beyond the law when they graduate," explains Allens Arthur Robinson's people and development director, Jane Lewis.

"We need to constantly look at ways to build relationships with students on campus to find varied ways of giving them a sense of the advantages of starting their career at Allens."

To ensure graduate lawyers are given the meaningful work they desire, Lewis says the firm has recently focused on giving its graduate lawyers more exposure to high-value work early on in their employment.

"Over the last number of years we have been focused on giving lawyers exposure to our clients, and their commercial issues, as soon as they start with the firm," she says, "Delivering to these expectations is critical for any firm."

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