by Amba Wilkes
The growth we’ve seen in the digital industry is colossal. While this presents lots of opportunities, it can make getting started in a digital career feel hugely overwhelming.
To support this growth and young people finding their way in the digital world, we’ve launched a graduate development programme. Our programme has been created to build your skill set, support your progression and help you to carve your own path to enjoy a thriving digital career.
Read our blog to find out more about what it entails, the opportunities available and how it can kick start your work path.
what is the graduate track?
The graduate programme follows a structured process that allows you to gain both job role and personal skills. Welcoming digital enthusiasts twice a year in January and July, the programme was designed to last a full year giving you a real taste of the digital world.
Our digital development programme is here to help you define your path in a supported environment, opening the doors to a digital career you can be proud of. Here are just a few areas you can expect from the graduate track:
- a comprehensive induction process that allows you to get started with confidence and certainty.
- a dedicated mentor on-hand to aid your personal and professional development.
- defined sign off points giving you something to aim for alongside regular reviews and ongoing feedback.
- monthly development sessions with the wider graduate cohort.
- a flexible approach to learning that recognises and supports how individuals work differently.
- certifications and accreditations that are relevant to your track.
- an opportunity to learn from the best and work with our experts to benefit from their experience.
why did we create the graduate track?
Within the digital industry, there’s a big skills shortage. Like many agencies, we struggle to recruit people with the right experience in the areas we need. A graduate programme is an effective way to home grow talent to support impressive growth while also supporting the next generation of digital enthusiasts in their early careers.
Our Learning and Development Partner, Lindsey, explains why the introduction of a graduate track has been so important:
“There’s loads of benefits to our graduate track for the candidates. They’re coming into a really structured role in an industry that many students may not know a lot about. But more importantly, it's about supporting young people and students with getting into work. As a result of the pandemic, a lot of graduate roles were rescinded, and it hit students hard. We work closely with universities, and they've said that not only has it been tough for them to find roles, but their confidence levels are low too.”
what makes our graduate track different?
Graduate tracks aren’t new by any means. Many businesses and agencies offer their own version of a graduate scheme, but many can’t offer the level of programme we can, backed by a wider group.
Our track is an IDHL Group graduate programme. With nine connected agencies at our fingertips, you will be exposed to a much wider variety of experiences and clients to help you understand where your qualities are best suited.
Alongside this, we plan to transition all candidates into permanent roles at the end of the programme. Unlike other programmes that take on a big number of candidates but can only offer a small handful of roles at the end, we have the means to offer each and every individual a role.
what structure does the graduate track follow?
Getting your digital journey off to an all-embracing start, our programme will challenge you, expand your knowledge, provide new experiences and build your skill set to support future progression and growth.
Split down into a clear structure, you can head into each stage of the graduate track with confidence and clarity:
- apply: When the roles are released, the first stage is to apply for any, or multiple roles, and send your CV. We then take the time to shortlist potential candidates – a lengthy process considering our first intake had over 600 applicants.
- open day: Once shortlisting has been done, candidates are invited to attend an open day where they’ll be given the chance to meet people from the business including operation managers, managing directors and specific team members too.
- first stage interview: Then comes the first stage interview completed by our in-house talent team and hiring managers. This is an informal career discussion so we can really understand what you’re looking for and the skills you have.
Once this has been done, you’ll either be offered the role, or if we want to do a second interview or a practical task, we’ll book that in.
- induction: The first graduate track will begin at the end of July with a comprehensive induction that will welcome you into the agency and answer all the questions you may have to you get you started with confidence in your new position.
- the day-to-day: You’ll move into your specific roleto begin your experience. In terms of support, you’ll have a day-to-day person that will look after your learning and development.
As well as this, you’ll have a mentor from a different area of the business too as we believe it’s important to have support that isn't directly related to your day-to-day role or your performance. This person is there to help you develop personally, support you career aspirations and network across different areas of the Group for a well-rounded experience.
- monthly development: Each month, you’ll join together as a full graduate cohort to take part in a monthly development day. These days will cover soft skills development such as presentation skills or self-awareness training and there will also be sessions run by industry experts.
- looking to the future: While the programme spans 12 months, from around the nine-month point, we’ll be looking atthe permanent role you’ll be transitioning into after successfully passing the programme. At the end of the year, you’ll have your very own sign off and celebration, a bit like a mini graduation.
what tracks are up for the taking?
Setting you up for success, our tracks are designed to help you reach expert status in your chosen discipline. As an eCommerce agency specialising in Shopify Plus, we can offer roles across development, digital design, business development and client services.
- developer: Looking at a career as a developer? This track will give you the chance to understand the latest and greatest in website development technology and would be ideal for someone who’s studied Computer Science.
- digital design: Want to learn UX design principles and find out how to translate briefs into user-centred web designs? The digital design track lets you jump straight into the world of UX and digital design.
- business development: A core part of our offering, the Business Development track would suit those with a determination to succeed and an enthusiasm for all things customer and digital.
- client services: If you're a great communicator and you’re passionate in digital, our Client Services track will give you the chance to learn all aboutdelivering high levels of customer service.
Graduate tracksare also available across PPC and SEOthrough the wider IDHL Group. Read Lindsey’s interview with our connected agency, WMG to hear more about these opportunities: Get To Know Our Graduate Programme.
what do we look for in our people?
Personality and potential are key. You may not have had any previous experience and that’s ok. Provided we can see potential and that you’re a good fit for our teams and culture, that’s what matters most to us.
If you’ve had some form of work experience, can display your competency for communicating or have a hobby that shows commitment to learning a new skill, don’t be afraid to let us know. This is what will help you stand out.
what’s the opportunity?
This is just the beginning of your digital career. Your progression doesn’t simply stop when the graduate track is over. Once you’ve completed the programme and moved into a permanent role, you’re then well looked after by our ongoing training and development processes.
This includes career progression opportunities, regular 121s, personal development plans, ongoing training and so on to ensure you’re well equipped to continue striving through the digital career you desire. Backed by our support, you’re empowered to make a real business impact.
Plus, as part of the wider growing IDHL Group, we have the added benefit of being able to offer more than just a handful of permanent roles. Instead, we focus on talent development, investing in you for the long term to offer clear career paths and opportunities.
get started with your digital career.
There’s nothing more exciting to us than watching our people thrive in all that they do. As a rapidly growing business, with this comes significant opportunity. Setting you up for success, we want to give you the very best start to your career development. To find out more about the opportunities available to you or to discuss our graduate scheme in more depth, get in touch to talk.