Your graduates and future leaders

graduates and future leaders


You did it. You attracted and recruited the best of the best in early careers talent to your organisation. It’s no secret that this can be tough so well done!

Now eyeball that same talent. Statistics say one in four will leave you within three years*. But they're part of your future success story and you want to hang on to them. How will you do this?


OK, Outward Bound might not have a magic wand, but we do know that investing in your talent's development won’t just teach them new skills that will make them more effective, but will strengthen their commitment to your business, increase your retention and ultimately help you attract more of the best applicants.

What's needed here?

Your task is to effectively develop your early careers talent, keeping them and your business happy, getting results and all within budget.

Q. So how do you make this happen?
You give them space to fail

Your grads and future leaders are smart. With their academic background, it's almost a given they'll understand a theory. But they might not know how to put it into practice or want to try in a high profile business situation.

Key moments to maximise success

Your entry level talent are fresh faced and full of beans. As new recruits they're going to be busy. They'll not only have to learn their job but also what it means to work for your organisation. The quicker they get up to speed, the more valued they will feel and the happier your stakeholders will be to see a return on your investment. You'll likely want their development to focus on:

  • Building core capabilities
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Integrating your values
  • Purpose and direction

The 2019 ISE Student Development Survey found that employers are focused on improving a number of key skills and attributes that their graduates are lacking. We're currently working with employers make sustainable improvements in the development of their early careers talent in these areas:

  • Resilience
  • Leadership
  • Commercial awareness
  • Self-awareness
  • Interpersonal skills

Educate, enthuse and empower. Get the balance right with these three Es - and you might find you're holding the key to happiness for your early careers talent. As they move through your organisation you will be helping them with:

  • Decision-making
  • Situational leadership
  • Managing the experience of failure

The most common reason for early careers talent leaving their organisation is worries about career development. So that they stick with you, it's critical that they feel you are investing in their long term careers. As they prepare for the next step you can help them to:

  • Enhance their networking and influencing skills
  • Develop leadership agility
  • Reinforce a sense of personal responsibility for progression

Get in touch

Loyalty, retention and development. If any (or all) of these are on your mind for your grads and future leaders let's talk.

* Data taken from the Institute of Student Employers (2019). ISE annual student recruitment survey 2019. London.

The retention levels of different types of entry hire shows that on average graduates are less likely to be retained over both three and five years than apprentices. At three years 74% of graduates are retained, compared to 83% of apprentices. At five years 60% of graduates are retained, compared to 74% of apprentices. In general the longer the graduate programme, the better the retention levels. Most firms (79%) provide post-development support for their hires, which is in part designed to support retention.