Reed invests in graduate proposition

Reed Specialist Recruitment graduates Reed communicates the range of benefits it offers to support and attract graduates by promoting these externally and targeting them while still at university.

The recruitment firm, which has 2,000 employees, with 1,800 in the UK and the others spread across Europe and South Korea, allows all staff to work flexibly, which they have done since the pandemic. It has invested in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG), and equality, diversity and inclusion, which it acknowledges that younger workers, in particular, are looking for and connect with.

It offers a flexible three-year graduate training scheme, allowing trainees to rotate roles if they wish, which includes an uncapped bonus scheme and an annual pay review process, both based on performance. These offer surety for younger staff in the early stage of their career. It also has a professional development scheme that funds training and qualifications that younger workers can take advantage of and allows those on the graduate schemes to be mentored by an experienced employee.

Along with offering competitive pay, graduates are looking for employers that acknowledge the importance of corporate social responsibility, the environment, the surrounding communities and a strong workplace culture, explains Chris Brindley, head of reward and co-member experience at Reed.

“Reed has invested in ESG in the past few years, becoming carbon neutral and installing beehives on our London office roof,” he says. “We know that these are some of the things recent graduates are looking for, but, ultimately, they work for pay, so we continually review salaries every year to make sure they’re competitive and offer flexible-working arrangements. Younger staff, in particular, are looking for trust from their employers and connect this with being able to work in a hybrid way; it’s high on their agendas.”

In terms of how it attracts this cohort, Reed wants graduates to join in order to develop their career and then remain there after their training. It uses its talent recognition team to put effort into being a good place to work and ensuring a human touch, and its employer brand team to communicate and promote its employee value proposition to current and potential staff.

Reed won the Best motivation or recognition scheme award at the Employee Benefits Awards 2023, and Brindley is pleased that the judges noticed how its schemes are connected to its purpose and values, which is valued by recent graduates.

Reed’s recognition scheme Thrive offers holiday vouchers and a Christmas bonus, and can unlock additional benefits of an employee’s choice, such as private healthcare. It sends out tickets based on performance every four weeks through its Golden Ticket scheme which are entered into a prize draw at the end of the year. Employees have been able to win holidays, technology bundles or a Tesla car.

“These are all part of Reed’s aim to be a destination employer for graduates, combined with the work our early careers team does. They have three cohorts of graduates a year, host CV workshops at universities and launched an undergraduate placement for people, who are automatically invited on the graduate training programme at the end of the year,” Brindley concludes.