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How Pitcher Partners Sydney runs effective graduate programs through personalisation

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Growing talent internally and making careers personal are the core values of Pitcher Partners Sydney’s highly successful Graduate and Cadet programs. Every year, 15 - 25 first-year graduates are taken into the program led by Madhu Gowrishankaran, Talent Acquisition Manager and Sarah Kennedy, HR Coordinator at Pitcher Partners Sydney.

For Sarah, the graduate program is important to how Pitcher Partners grows its talent internally. Greater investment is put into nurturing future advisors through a specialised learning program while exposing them to the real experiences of working in a chartered firm.

"Everyone is different with different goals, so we make it as personal as we can."

A large part of the graduate program's success is due to its focus on personalising the journey for every graduate. By giving graduates constant opportunities to reflect on their development, the conversations between HR, mentors and graduates are much more meaningful and effective, which led to an 80% retention rate for 2020 and 100% for 2021 so far.

Making mentor conversations more meaningful with continuous feedback

Every week, graduates are given the opportunity to reflect on their progress and provide feedback on the program through Everperform. Through short pulses designed to capture the real essence of life as a graduate, HR, managers and partners can access critical and timely information when they need it to grow their graduates and keep track of their development.

Previously, check-ins were spread out throughout the year and not as personalised to each graduate as they could be. By having visibility of a graduate's experience in real-time through Everperform, catch-ups between Sarah and graduates became more meaningful, personalised and timely. They also enabled Sarah to focus on the areas each graduate said they need help with the most.

"Having visibility of feedback through Everperform provided a great starting point for conversations allowing us to discuss areas directly related to each graduate and implement solutions, making our time together much more meaningful."

Implementing a continuous feedback loop isn't just beneficial to those running the program. For graduates, it gives them an avenue to reflect on their growth and achieve the goals they are aiming for through Pitcher Partners. For Sarah, there's a hunch that graduates are more honest when answering questions through Everperform compared to only face-to-face check-ins.

Collating feedback for managers and partners 

For the program to be successful, managers and partners who are mentoring graduates need constant, timely insights into how their mentees are feeling and growing.

With graduates giving timely, relevant feedback through Everperform, Sarah can easily collate and report on the data being collected at regular intervals. This helps shape manager's and partner's ideas of what the graduate experience has been like so far, and gives them the peace of mind that they can easily get honest feedback from their graduates when they need it.

"Having all feedback accessible in the Everperform system is very useful as information can be shared quickly and easily with managers and partners. This has helped enormously in not only gaining insights into where individuals are currently at, but also in viewing cohort-wide feedback about a particular area of their work that partners or managers may be interested in."

Having development data and feedback on hand allows the graduate team to identify issues  much earlier than they previously could and implement solutions in a timely manner, minimising the impact of issues on the graduate, their wellbeing and their work.

Tracking a typical graduate journey into the future

The next evolution of the Pitcher Partners Sydney graduate program is to measure each graduate's productivity and well-being levels through Everperform.

Well-being is becoming a focus point for firms across the industry, and Pitcher Partners Sydney is taking active steps to measure the well-being of their graduates as they are going through the program using questions designed by mental health advocate Tom Boyd through Everperform.

Correlated with the feedback they are already collecting and reporting on, this will help HR and the graduate team track how long it takes for the training to kick in for each graduate, and how that relates to their engagement over time.

By continuously measuring the development of each graduate, and making their graduate journey personal, each individual is given the best chance at becoming a valuable player within the Pitcher Partners team, while allowing Madhu, Sarah and the graduate team to repeat the successes of the program year on year.

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