Why we need to stop undervaluing social work graduates

There’s a skills shortage in the social work sector, yet many qualified graduates struggle to find work.

Instead of dismissing these candidates for their perceived lack of experience, our industry needs to start valuing them.

Here’s why:

1. Grads present an opportunity to ‘grow your own’

By overlooking graduates in favour of candidates with more experience, organisations are missing the opportunity to train these workers to suit your specific organisational culture.

Unlike workers coming from years in previous roles, graduates are often excited and ready to learn, without preconceived ideas and experiences of how things ‘should be’ done.

This means that more often than not, graduates make exceptionally positive and adaptable additions to your existing teams.

2. Your investment in them pays off

With the right support such as a buddy mentoring system to guide them, many employers find their graduate hires stay on for longer tenures than average.

In fact, a recent survey by the Australian Association of Graduate Employers found that most graduates choose to continue working for the companies that hire them, at least in the short term.

Like any employee, it’s important to ensure your graduates have enough support and guidance, as well as variety in their workload… that means not just assigning them everyone else’s boring administrative jobs!

3. They bring fresh perspective

Being fresh out of university, graduates are up to date with the latest industry research and practices.

Besides this, mixing up the ages of your teams can lead to varied approaches to problem-solving, improving outcomes for your organisation’s clients.

Plus, AARP research found that 70% of workers say they like working with generations other than their own.

A fresh set of eyes on any problem helps – so instead of focusing solely on candidates’ professional experience when hiring, also consider their attitudes and capabilities to learn. These can be equally valuable for your organisation’s mission!

If you’ve completed or are nearing the end of your social work degree and are interested in casual, temporary, and/or volunteer work to boost your resume, get in touch with us today.

 

2 thoughts on “Why we need to stop undervaluing social work graduates”

  1. I wish I had seen this an year or two ago. I struggled for two years to find the right job. It is high time someone realised the potential of new graduates. I agree with all that’s been said.

    Reply

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