How to embed a graduate scheme

Written by
Changeboard Team

07 Apr 2011

07 Apr 2011 • by Changeboard Team

Why are you launching a sales recruitment scheme?

In the current economic climate, graduates are facing many challenges to employment with fewer job vacancies appearing in this time of stress for the UK. With many jobs not offering extensive career prospects, graduate schemes are the golden ticket, and it is important for businesses to tap into this talented resource as a way of growing future employees from the inside of a company.

Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions is part of Hitachi Ltd, one of the world’s largest and most respected groups. Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions is a leasing firm with 46,000 vehicles ranging from cars, small, medium and large vans to HGVs with specialist ancillary equipment such as cranes and tail lifts. As such a large player in the industry, it is important for us to have employees who are both knowledgeable and experienced.

Having employed graduates in a managed scheme in the past, we know that these recruits have been of a high calibre. Thanks to the investment we made early in their careers, we have benefitted from the in-depth knowledge and experience they have gained through staying with the company for many years. The new scheme was designed to optimise the opportunity these employees present to create knowledgeable, skilled individuals who are looking to acquire industry skills on-the-job.

What are the practicalities of the scheme?

Hitachi Capital takes a long term view on its business and the graduate scheme is a core part of preparing the company for the future. We will recruit six graduates per year onto the two year programme, each receiving a full salary and company car as a joining incentive. We hope that the company car benefit will not only encourage graduates to apply for the scheme, but will serve to educate the successful applicants in the way in which company car schemes are managed.

In the first year of the scheme, graduates will have the opportunity to work in many of the company’s departments such as customer services, giving them time to absorb and understand the culture of the business. The notion of building an employee from scratch through the scheme will be put into practice in the first year, as graduates will benefit from an overview of the company’s departments, having worked across many of these at some point. At the end of the first year, candidates will then be assessed on a series of competencies and if successful, will make the transition into the sales team.

The second year of the scheme develops graduates further into the sales role, ensuring they have the right skill set and attitude to become a fully fledged member of the team. In addition to basic salary, they will also benefit from the sales commission structure and will be eligible for a performance based bonus, which is also available in the first year. The aim of the scheme is to create six new employees each year who understand the complexities of the business, making them more aware and connected in a sales role, and we are confident that this will be a result of our scheme.

When will the scheme be launched?

Hitachi Capital is currently advertising the scheme to local universities and surrounding areas, with the aim to recruit the first round of graduates by May 2011. It is a challenge for us to raise awareness of the scheme in the local area, but we hope that the elevated profile of the international company will attract high quality applicants.

We are always looking for exceptional people who are keen to help us achieve our company goals and exceed customer expectations. Our organisation, reputation and ability to serve our customers are only as good as the people we employ. So we want to attract, develop, reward and retain the best people, from the graduate pool of talent that is readily available.

The benefits of recruiting graduates are endless as they are open-minded, and eager to learn and impress. The fact that they have little or no previous experience in the industry means that they can be shaped and moulded, without having to weed out bad habits. As one of the key drivers of the scheme, I am keen to see the new sales team emerge and strengthen in the future. It will rejuvenate the way we recruit, and will hopefully result in a fortified sales force that is ready to go.