What is RISE?

RISE is a unique business support initiative focussed on enabling small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow through the employment of graduate talent. RISE has been effective in helping SMEs overcome the barriers faced in graduate recruitment
and equipping them with the tools and know-how to become successful graduate employers. Since 2013 RISE has supported more than 400 regionally based SMEs successfully recruit over 500 graduates. Many of those businesses have gone on to report increases in turnover, productivity, innovation and growth as a result. The enhanced RISE project now provides even more comprehensive business support and business benefits.

Who are we?

RISE is delivered through a well-established collaboration of the region’s local authorities, universities and a specialist private sector delivery partner working together to provide the tailored support your business needs.

Is my business eligible?

To be eligible your business must:
• Be an SME based in the Sheffield City Region
• Currently employ fewer than 250 people
• Not already be routinely employing graduates
• Be looking to create new/additional graduate-level jobs

The offer to you

RISE makes the recruitment process easier for you, saving costs, time and increasing your access to a wider pool of suitable graduates; but more importantly it is about helping develop your know-how and capabilities, providing the practical tools that will enable you to confidently recruit graduates in the future. This service is free of charge to businesses and a limited number of one-off small grants are available towards employment costs.

How does it work?

• We will support you through the key steps of graduate recruitment, induction and key touch points at 3 months and 6 months into the graduate’s employment.
• We work with you to understand your plans for growth and help broker in additional support that could help your business.
• We give you information and advice about the graduate labour market, including things like salaries, skills shortages, advertising, job titles, diversity, and course information.
• We work with you to develop a graduate job description and person specification, and a clear targeted job advert, ensuring they are realistic and attractive to a graduate audience.
• We promote and advertise your role through a high-profile regional campaign, universities, social media and national graduate platforms.
• An employer briefing workshop is provided which includes practical best practice advice about graduate interviews and induction through to graduate employee development and retention.
• RISE recruitment specialists will match graduate candidates to your needs through a thorough graduate assessment and selection process. A tailored assessment route can be offered for more technical or specialist jobs.
• A shortlist of candidates will be provided to you for final interview, supported by a summary of each candidate’s performance through the assessment process.
• The RISE team provide a business induction event for your graduate employee to help ensure their transition into your business is a success.
• Once your new employee is in-post we will be on-hand to offer advice for the first six months and support you to ensure the graduate is successfully embedded into your business.
• A dedicated RISE SME Relationship Manager will work with you 1-1 and will be in a prime position to help you access further business growth support, or wider access into our local universities.

What’s my commitment?

You will need to:
• Offer a graduate level job with an appropriate market salary and the intention of providing a minimum of 12-month contract
• Work with us and our timelines around adverts and interviews to ensure we can deliver our service effectively to you
• Ensure a named line manager for your new starter attends the employer briefing session and your graduate attends the business induction day
• Commit to NOT advertise or seek to fill the vacancy through other means at the same time as accessing this support
• Provide your business information and sign forms confirming the support you have received from us and to enable us to pay your grant
• Commit to the 3-month and 6-month review meetings

What are the timelines?

RISE typically runs three campaigns every year. The key dates for the next campaign are:
2nd March 2022 – Deadline to access support and be part of this campaign
7th March – 27th March – National RISE advertising campaign, including your role
24th March – Employer briefing (someone from your business MUST attend)
13th April – 22nd April – Final interviews will take place
4th May – Your graduate will attend a one-day graduate induction
Aug/Sept – RISE 3-month business support and grant eligibility meeting
Nov/Dec – RISE 6-month business support meeting

How can I find out more?

Ellie Gee, SME Engagement Coordinator – ellie@risescr.co.uk or call 07787 290471
Amber Bytheway, SME Engagement Manager – amber@risescr.co.uk
Office RISE number: 0114 221 022