Rotational programs – as part of a formal internship, graduate or entry-level program – are cross-training and development initiatives that enable Gen Y talent to experience and learn about different divisions, departments and roles within a business.

The quality and calibre of the individuals who go through rotational programs can be fantastic resources to your organization. They are eager to learn, willing to take on challenges and are able to make positive contributions by sharing their knowledge and skills.

The benefits hosting a rotational program have on your recruitment program are twofold: not only do they help to ensure that the right candidates are placed in the right roles, they also help to demonstrate the full reach of your organization, and the professional growth opportunities held within it.

Successful, well-rounded candidates want to work for companies that offer well-rounded programs. For the 2014 TalentEgg Campus Recruitment Excellence Awards & Conference, we asked 200 top students and grads to comment on the internship and graduate programs of some of Canada’s top employers. The employers that incorporated rotational aspects into their programming resonated most with the Gen Y judges.

For campus recruiters in complex fields like banking or financial services, rotational programs can streamline your hiring process and support your search for high-quality talent. Here’s how:

They help you…
Identify top candidates  

Think of a rotational program like a new recruit test run: while participants explore different roles and responsibilities with your business, your team is able to assess skills and capabilities before extending any formal offers.

As a way to gauge performance, rotational programs allow you to evaluate quality of hire with precision. By monitoring their work in a variety of professional environments – from client services to corporate risk management–you’re able to measure overall fit and identify specific individuals who stand out in the program.

High-achieving students see rotational programs as an opportunity to prove themselves, and excel by leveraging their strengths (like networking, adaptability, willingness to learn) to get ahead and leave lasting impressions on those around them. The impact this has on your organization’s bottom line is significant: rotational programs nurture future leaders and allow you to seamlessly integrate their energy, enthusiasm and experience into your organization’s culture.

“Rotations provide goal-oriented students with an excellent opportunity to develop themselves. They help students grow and become amazing professionals.”
-Accounting student, York University

They help you…
Encourage brand association 

If there’s one thing every employer brand needs, it’s positive brand association.

Think of it this way: when your organization hosts a rotational program, it provides Gen Y with a unique opportunity to build a professional network, participate in meaningful work and experience life as an industry professional – all under the guidance and support of your employer brand.

The result? The students and grads participating in the program gain valuable credentials and have your organization to thank for the career-hatching opportunity. You benefit from their association and can leverage this sentiment to attract future talent to your brand.

“The experience you get from a rotational program is extensive and can take you places. I really think it’s something that anyone would want to have on their resume.”
-Business student, University of British Columbia

They help you…
Position your brand 

The “war for talent” wages in every industry, including the banking world. Employer brands looking to fill their workforce with the best and brightest have to ensure that their brand is seen as having a vested interest in the success of young Canadians.

Rotational programs can help to demonstrate your commitment to Gen Y success. By hosting a rotational program, your organization effectively provides Gen Y with an amazing opportunity to build career momentum. At the end of the program, they will have gained hands-on experience, developed a greater awareness of business operations, diversified their knowledge base and experience and built up their confidence.

Rotational programs are logical next-steps for students and grads as they transition from an academic to a professional environment. They help your organization illustrate how invested you are in helping Gen Y realize their potential, and effectively positions your brand as a premier choice for young people.

“I like the clear training and progression available through rotational programs. The more facets of the business a new graduate sees, the more harmoniously they can work with other departments or find the role that most suits them. Employers who offer these programs seem quite invested in our development.”
-Engineering student, University of Waterloo

Discussion: Does your organization run a successful rotational program?