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What are the 5 things that make graduate performance assessment so difficult?

Assessing graduate performance is harder than people think. From our experience there are at least five factors that companies need to address.

  1. The graduates are often still developing the core technical skills to deliver the job. How do you account for this?
  2. Who do you benchmark them against? Other grads or other people doing the job?
  3. What do you measure?
  4. How to stop managers talking about potential and their view on what their future prospects are, rather than their achievements to date?
  5. The timing cycle and how it fits with rotations and start dates. If you start in October an annual review in December is not going to help?

Our answers
Firstly this is a big deal. You take on grads to be high performers it is vital that people take it seriously and how the process is managed is a signal of intent

Secondly tell the truth. If the graduates technical skills mean they are not performing yet, tell them and provide the support to fix it.

Thirdly measure the what and the how. The how should be high from day one. Expect your grads to live the values at he highest levels.

Fourthly benchmark against other people doing the same job and other grads. It takes a tiny bit more effort to do both but is worth it.

Fifthly the timings are a big deal. You need to make sure that the performance cycle is relevant for the grads and their managers. People need at least 6 months to ride the Dip and settle.

Finally publish the results to your senior team. You can take the names off but this is crucial management info on how well any scheme is performing in its role of providing high performing talent with potential.

If you want to find out more about the grad works Graduate assessment tool kit, get in touch.