This week, we see why graduates are the gifts that keep on giving, and how they could bring value to your business.

Grad expectations

Graduates are the firecrackers, team players, big thinkers, and go-getters of CX Lavender. Here’s why you should hire graduates too.


CX Lavender

Acquisition & Onboarding

4 minute read

With shiny new mindsets and colourful ideas, graduates are the gifts that keep on giving. In 2016, CX Lavender unveiled Genus, a dedicated graduate program which has been highly successful for the business.

Five years on, we talk to the Leadership Team to see why Genus is still going strong.
In short
  • Graduate growth is stimulated and fast tracked through responsibility.
  • Fresh perspectives help create stronger, more competitive creative ideas and solutions.
  • Graduates elevate the work environment, building a culture of mentorship, sharing, and fun.
Why hire grads? We hear from the Leadership Team

Damian, Strategy Partner, on the fresh perspectives grads can bring.

With the pace of change as it is, businesses need a constant injection of new thinking and skills. After all, we’re in the business of creating clever solutions; to not only tackle the tricky customer and communication challenges of the day, but also to keep our clients ahead of the competition. Genus is one of the most important ways we keep up the momentum. A lot of effort goes in to training, but it’s so worth it when you consider the fresh perspectives our grads bring. It just goes to show that a great agency runs on great people.

Will, Founder, on providing grads with flexibility and responsibility.
Graduate programs are all about finding the right ‘home’ for each individual. That’s why we give them a few weeks’ experience in each department, or ‘Guild’, to help them understand how the business works. From there, our grads are thrown right in to a real position with true responsibilities. This process has proven itself; it fast tracks grads’ growth and ensure they are stimulated and challenged by their roles from day one.

Tess, Genus Founder, on what the hiring process is like.
Reviewing applications, agreeing on the shortlist, and meeting the potential Grads can be both exciting and difficult. We see a huge range of responses and the talent and creativity in them is stunning. Naturally, there are fewer places than there are strong applicants and we have to make some tough decisions. In the end, picking up the phone to make the offers is a great privilege and is one of the best calls I make each year. I am so delighted by the various reactions of the Grads – their relief and excitement is palpable.

“Graduates inject fresh, relevant thinking, new ideas, and an important layer of support.”

Ryan, ECD, on helping to shape grads’ careers.

As a Creative Leader, Genus has been an opportunity to connect with some of the brightest minds Sydney has. We not only have the ability to help someone learn their craft, but also shape their career – something that we take seriously. I think it’s a key reason for Creative Grads often being long-term employees. Being the first full time job for a Genus Grad, it’s good to be able share our values and introduce young people to our way of working from day one. Genus Grads are proven to be very successful, and being able to facilitate that is probably the most rewarding thing about the experience.

Krystel, Business Head, on what grads bring to agency life.
Each year, Genus brings exceptionally bright, young talent into the agency. Grads that come into Business Management are exposed to agency process, Clients, Strategy, Creative, and administration – setting them up with a well-rounded understanding of our total offering. Grads bring fresh ideas, relevant thinking, and an important layer of support to each Guild. They are thrown into a variety of tasks and quickly learn on the job. Pretty soon, they become a valuable backbone of the team. And agency culture wouldn’t be the same without them. They might be all business, but they also know how to party – championing the themed Friday Drinks Trolley and many other agency rituals that we all enjoy today.

on Genus
Don’t worry, this isn’t a biology test! Genus is our grad program, so named as in nature: it describes a particular order of species that, though different, share some characteristics. Symbolically, it’s the same here – our grads are celebrated for their individuality, but are united by their commitment to CX Lavender values.
Are your grads ‘curious respectful collaborators’?
Or perhaps ‘driven bold boundary pushers’? We looked at the graduate programs of some of Australia’s top agencies to determine what traits successful applicants are displaying. These can say a lot about the values of the company and how it defines success.

Sources: Mumbrella, Ogilvy, CX Lavender, Clemenger Group, Jack Morton, TBWA
Our top takeaways
  • Curiosity drives a lot of the fresh thinking that makes a grad such a wonderful asset to the team. No wonder it’s such an important keyword.
  • All these personality traits point to higher-order thinking and self-awareness. Standout grads have these two qualities.
  • Look out for applicants who shoehorn words like these into their responses without tailoring them to your company values. Chances are, they haven’t read your website or role description and have copy-pasted the same application to a bunch of different roles. How an application is approached is an indication of how they’ll approach the job.
  • Use emotive words to express your agency’s culture. It gives applicants a feel for who you are, and increases the chances of a graduate landing a role in the right environment for them to thrive.

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