Talking with graduates and corporate management teams – coupled with our existing experience with traditional global mobility services – gave us a fantastic insight into how the industry needs to rethink the services on offer, and to approach graduate mobility from a fresh angle.
Reading posts on graduate forums played a large part in the design of our graduate solution. Despite the graduates’ enthusiasm and excitement about their approaching adventures, there was an undertone of nerves in many of their posts. They’d successfully made it through the rounds of assessment centres, interviews, psychometric testing and video calls, but the reality of living and working in a new place still held lots of unanswered questions.
Our job is to support people’s relocation to a new city or country and as much as we love it, we try to think about how they’re feeling and what kind of support they really need. Starting life working for a new company, in a new city and even a new country, can be both thrilling and daunting. Finding new friends and building new relationships with colleagues, as well as learning a new job and performing well is a lot to ask of anyone – even the most talented graduates.
With this in mind, when we launched our graduate mobility solution we knew we had to make the whole experience smooth and supportive but with an understanding that graduates have different needs and interests to the generations that have used global mobility services in the past.
So how do we do this and what’s the difference?
- We set the scene. Graduates often have a much smaller budget for us to work with, compared to their more senior colleagues, so we start by carefully explaining our support services. These are pretty much everything a graduate needs to get them set up in their new host country but often slimmed down to meet the client’s budget.
- An immediate buddy. We connect the graduate with a young professional from their shared, co-living apartment before they arrive; the graduate can share any concerns and the buddy can give them an idea of what to expect. Once the graduate arrives, they have an immediate, familiar friend.
- Co-living with other young professionals. We’ve found that graduates are really enthusiastic and open to discovering their new surroundings: they want to connect with everyone, see the city, take in everything and make the most of their international assignment. We get the ball rolling on that right away by organizing their entire stay in trendy, co-living apartments*, where they get a private bedroom, kitchenette and bathroom, with shared living spaces with professionals of their own age. There’s often a gym onsite, group kitchen areas, a library and even cinema rooms. Group events such as bike rides, yoga and fitness classes are held most evenings and weekends, as well as reading groups, cooking classes and gaming tournaments.
- Supermarket runs. After graduates are collected from the airport by a member of our team, our first pit-stop is a visit to the supermarket to help them gather the essentials. There’s nothing like a well-stocked fridge to make them feel at home.
- 24/7 contact. We don’t just drop graduates off and then disappear. We check them in, introduce them to the staff and their buddy, and then take them to their rooms to do an inventory check and show them how everything works. Before we head off, we make sure they have our Personal Coordinator’s telephone number stored in their phones, which they can call at any time if they have any queries or concerns. This gives them (and the Graduate Program Manager and HR) the reassurance that we’ll continue to support them throughout their stay in their new city.