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Your experience of employing post-grads in first job

(47 Posts)
code Tue 14-Jul-15 09:33:30

I'm thinking of employing a 27 year old who has 2 post grad quals but no experience of work. It would be a full time role, quite emotionally stressful. What do you think? Appreciate it's not unheard of (I am old fogey who always worked and had to have part time jobs age 13 so this is an experience very different from my own). Candidate comes across well but I am worried they lack work experience. Any experiences of doing the same and how did it work out?

manchestermummy Tue 14-Jul-15 10:33:42

If you think they'd do a good job - please employ them. I've been that graduate without much work experience and it's not much fun getting on the ladder.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 14-Jul-15 11:59:07

I employ postgrads in professional roles all the time.
They are hugely variable some are brilliant and some are disasters.
After one disaster I now never employ anyone who has never had any kind of job, it doesn't matter what kind of job just some kind.
Current post grad is fab one of the best I have employed.

code Tue 14-Jul-15 12:14:59

What was the disaster lonecat? Unreliable?

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 14-Jul-15 12:25:06

Ah the disaster, the particular graduate questioned or challenged every decision I made for two years - very wearing. It was always challenging to their gain and they could not/ would not accept that certain decisions are made for the good of a business as a whole.
They could not /would not accept that my experience enabled me to predict /interpret how a situation would develop. They did not engage in situations where they had the opportunity to learn from more experience colleagues - they basically thought they knew it all.
They believed they were above being managed and resisted at every step. They had no appreciation that there is a hierarchy within a work situation.
I firmly believe that graduating from a certain institution combined with never having had a job lead to this situation. All of my other graduates have had some form of job even if it was only a paper round.

AgentProvocateur Tue 14-Jul-15 12:31:27

I employ graduates, and have done in various jobs for years. However, recently there has been a change in attitude. Previously, they were prepared to muck in with whatever needed done and were willing to learn on the job.

My two most recent ones - and maybe it's just an unlucky coincidence - have no work ethic, little idea of how to behave in a professional environment, poor report writing skills and an attitude that certain tasks are beneath them "I didn't spend six years at uni to do this". I don't maage them, but I will have an input in their appraisals.

I second the advice of not employing anyone who's not worked before.

code Tue 14-Jul-15 12:52:45

Thanks both, that's really helpful. I'll be wary. I find it incredible how anyone can get to age 27 without having had some form of part time employment, but thought that was just me being out of touch.

YonicScrewdriver Tue 14-Jul-15 12:56:06

Being a post grad is employment.

YonicScrewdriver Tue 14-Jul-15 12:57:42

Ah, OK, from reading your OP not the title they've done qualifications not post grad jobs - sorry!

elfofftheshelf Tue 14-Jul-15 12:58:38

Wow, 27 and no work experience. That would concern me. My experience with grads is that they will generally muck in, they understand that they need to gain practical experience. Having said this, I don't think a graduate would get into our organisation without having some kind of work experience on their CV (even if it's just part time student work). I'm kind of mind blown that someone can get to 27 without having to work!

YonicScrewdriver Tue 14-Jul-15 12:59:12

How practical were the courses? Did they involve any kind of work placement?

Have they other experience like volunteers in?

vvviola Tue 14-Jul-15 13:00:21

That's a bit general Yonic and I's disagree anyway.

My Masters, though very hard and time consuming was not "work" or "employment". PhDs that include some teaching/tutoring might be considered to contain some work.

I would be quite wary and frankly puzzled by someone who got to that age and academic level without ever having had any kind of paid (or volunteer) employment.

Can you put in a robust probation period (and be willing to activate it) in case it all goes wrong?

vvviola Tue 14-Jul-15 13:01:03

Sorry Yonic cross-posted with you!

YonicScrewdriver Tue 14-Jul-15 13:04:21

My fault for not reading properly to start with!

VeryPunny Tue 14-Jul-15 13:05:41

Someone getting to 27 with no work would ring alarm bells for me. Otherwise, isn't that what probation periods are for? All my employment contracts have 6 month probation periods; continuation only on satisfactory appraisal. Get rid of them if they don't work out.

Heels99 Tue 14-Jul-15 13:08:12

I would be worried about someone who had never had a job at age 27 and it would put me off employing them. I have recruited hundreds of people over the years.

SeaMedows Tue 14-Jul-15 16:35:46

So have they done a Masters and a PhD? Depending on the field of the PhD, it may have been much more like a conventional job than you expect - they're paid, they have a boss, they have deadlines, they have people they manage, they have responsibilities, meetings, office politics, all the normal stuff that people experience.

I would expect the majority of our PhD students to go on to a job outside academia, and they should cope absolutely fine / very well there.

You might want to step up the number of meetings you have with them, particularly in their first month, to make sure that expectations are set correctly, but I wouldn't be concerned about hiring someone who otherwise met the job requirements.

code Tue 14-Jul-15 16:39:35

Not a PhD no, a post grad professional qualification (which they then never worked in) and an unrelated MSc. Am nervous I must admit. The job is busy and needs commitment. It's NHS so has probation period but it's still difficult to get rid of people in this sector.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 14-Jul-15 16:44:03

Code I in a different clinical field, but unless they are outstanding I would run for the hills. Clinically there are good reasons for hierarchy, everyone needs to fit into and understand their role.
Yes, there are times when clinical decisions should be questions, but constantly undermining clinical lead when you are in a development phase is not good.

larrygrylls Tue 14-Jul-15 16:47:23

Once employed MBA (different field). After first couple of months they started refusing mundane jobs and demanding 'management'level work. Not a good experience.

kickassangel Tue 14-Jul-15 16:50:32

I would be nervous about that. I'm a teacher and have been involved in recruiting. People who never even try doing their job, then change course are not always sure of what they want in life. Also, doing a 3 year degree, one year post grad course, then MSc would take them to 23, so 27 is quite a bit older than that, were they really doing courses that took an extra 4 years, or have they been slow to complete them ? There could be some very good reasons, e.g. Had a kid, decided that teaching/nursing wasn't for them so decided to retrain rather than waste time.but their CV should show that and give a good explanation.

code Tue 14-Jul-15 17:02:26

There was a bit of volunteering overseas plus a gap year in there. The professional post grad course was a couple of years plus the MSc.

drinkscabinet Tue 14-Jul-15 17:09:40

so has probation period but it's still difficult to get rid of people in this sector

You've got to make good use of a probationary period. Have regular minuted meetings on their performance, if there is any concern then put together a plan to improve performance, get documented feedback from as many colleagues as possible during their probationary period. You need a good papertrail to make it obvious why you are getting rid.

It wouldn't surprise me that you could get to 27 without a 'proper' job, especially if you are from a certain kind of academic middle class background. DH did his 4 year degree, a 1 year masters, then a 4 year PhD and had never done any part time work at all so was not very attractive if you looked at work experience. However all those degrees were at ancient universities and he walked into his first job no problem. He was pretty flaky there initially but grew up pretty quick. Neither of his siblings did any work until they'd finished multiple degrees but both seem to have held down jobs since, his brother is particularly successful.

I did a 5 year sandwich degree (so a year of professional work experience which stood me in good stead) then a 4 year PhD so was 28 when started my first proper job but have had a job ever since.

code Tue 14-Jul-15 17:16:31

Thanks all. I'll have a think, might go back out to advert, something is niggling at me.

MrsSchadenfreude Tue 14-Jul-15 17:29:22

I employ Bright Young Things and also would not touch anyone with a bargepole of that age who hadn't ever had a job of some kind. I would pick the person who has worked at MaccyDs, in a care home, on a farm for a stint at any time, over the person who has just done internship after internship.

The ones who have had a job of some description are more than happy to pitch in and get on with stuff, whereas those who haven't will huff and sigh, do it eventually, but after "I didn't get my first class degree from a RG university and a Masters from the Sorbonne to ring the plumber to come and fix the leak in the toilets."

If something is niggling at you now, trust your gut feelings and don't go for it. I had someone pretty much foist upon me as my assistant, and she was a bloody nightmare. When she found out I hadn't been to uni, she pranced into the head honcho's office and said she really didn't think she could work for me, as I hadn't been to university, she didn't think she could learn much from me. He growled at her "How about some manners?" grin

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