It doesn’t matter if you are a large multi-national corporation spanning multiple nations, or a small independent business of only a few people, choosing the right person to hire is an important decision.
Ensuring that a candidate is a good fit for the business and adds value to your company is essential to the graduate recruitment process. Graduates can be a great fit for businesses across the board, offering opportunities for all organisations. However, knowing how to recruit the best graduates for you can be tricky. In 2016 – 17 there were 2,316,475 students at UK higher education institutions just to add context around the graduate market
How do you choose the perfect employee who may have excellent qualifications but is still at the start of their careers with perhaps little practical examples to illustrate their potential? If you’re planning on hiring new talent, it’s important to consider a few crucial tips to make the right graduate hire.
Planning your strategy
An effective graduate recruitment scheme must cover all of your bases. First, you must set out a clear idea of the kind of hire you would like to make; this is entirely dependent on your own business’ needs. Consider how many hires you wish to take on:
If your business is expanding, you may be looking to make multiple hires at once to support your changing dynamic.
- Or, perhaps you may simply want a single graduate to add to your existing team, someone you can train to your business needs.
- Additionally, you could even weigh up the benefits of offering graduate placements; short-term contracts for university leavers to help you through busier periods. This may even lead to permanent contracts later down the line.
Think about what is best for you at this instance. Once you have your target in mind, decide on your time-frame. Do you need someone to start quickly? Are you expecting a quick growth in the coming months, and so need graduate recruits to support this development?
If you’re unsure about the specific aspects of hiring graduates, it may be useful to research industry standards on how long the process should take. An organised and clear graduate recruitment strategy in place will ensure that you are drawing in the best candidates from the beginning.
Set your salary bracket
To hire the best graduate candidates, offering a competitive package is key. Research what the industry average is for the position you are hiring for – the salary should be one of the most crucial aspects of your recruitment strategy and will help you find the best hire for your business.
Graduate-jobs.com claim the average starting salary for UK graduates is between £19,000 and £22,000, while totaljobs.com estimates a higher average at £25,000.
A low salary will limit the quantity, and most importantly, the quality of applicants you receive. Furthermore, a salary above the industry norm for the role runs the risk of attracting the wrong recruits in terms of their culture fit in the company and could even cause resentment in other employees.
Looking at your competitors will also help you discover what other perks may be on offer. Proposing similar advantages will aid you in standing out from the crowd; whether that’s opportunities to progress, holiday allowance, restaurant vouchers or cycle to work schemes. So, to attract the top graduate candidates, work out exactly what you are willing to offer them.
Consider your company culture
One of the most important aspects of your recruitment strategy should be how a recruit would fit your established company culture. You should have already set out the key qualities that your perfect hire will possess, and it is important to evaluate these at every stage of the application process. This can be done in a myriad of ways:
Ask interview questions that pertain to their life outside of work to develop a structured understanding of what they are like as a person. This could be anything from enquiring about their interests, or perhaps about the other skills they can bring to the table.
- Have multiple members of your team interview a candidate – this will help you gauge a well-rounded view of how they would interact as a whole.
- Taking a candidate out of the more formal and structured interview process may also be a good way to help them open up. Invite them out for a coffee or drink with other team members after the interview to see their culture fit outside of the stressful interview scenario.
Look beyond their CV
Working with a recruitment agency will mean that most of the hard work is done on your behalf. With GetMyFirst Job recruitment services they can proactively source candidate that are pre-screened meeting your requirements. That means no sifting through what feels like thousands of CVs and vetting the top candidates – all of the best potential recruits will already match your desired skill set and meet your expectations in terms of experience and qualifications.
Other measures such as psychometric tests can also be utilised to find candidates that possess certain competencies and allow their natural intelligence to shine through, even if they do not have the best grades. After all, it is a recruit’s practical ability that will be of most use once they get the job. It is these aspects that are an essential part of graduate recruitment, especially when a hire may have limited experience.
Every employer has expectations for some core capabilities. Aptitude assessment has been designed by businesses for employers who hire young people using occupational psychologists (who are specialists in working out how people are likely to behave in certain situations).
With added aptitude assessments such as Pinnacle Valley and also PeopleFit integrated within the TalentPortal you have the ability to pre-assess or access information not always apparent on a CV.
PeopleFit has been designed to help not only candidates understand how likely they are to behave but also determine this for a potential employer shortlisting. It identifies what the main strengths and training requirements are. It identifies the main strengths, improvements and training requirements.
The TalentPortal is positioned to help the hiring organisation and ensuring we bring you the right candidates, and now with the addition of extensive analysis within game-based assessments, success in doing so is inevitable.
Streamline the process
Remember, for many candidates, this may be their first ‘real’ or full-time job, and hence, applications can be daunting. This could be a new experience for them, so ensuring that the recruitment process is as simple as possible will give potential candidates a great first impression of your company, and so will aid in the attraction and retention of only the best graduate recruits.
Structured processes and time frames with prepared communications across the recruitment lifestyle journey will impress potential talent, many of whom may be used to never hearing from a company after they have applied. Simple things, such as responding to all applicants and keeping them informed across the process, are essential to a successful graduate recruitment campaign. Looking at an all in one solution to manage the process or out sourcing the recruitment can streamline this also.
Engage social media
Today’s graduates are some of the most tech-savvy of all time. Thus, companies desiring to engage with these digital natives need to take advantage of the opportunities presented online. An active social media presence, effective web advertisements and a slick website will do much to get your opportunity in front of the right applicants.
The use of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn are useful in facilitating communication between graduates and employers, these platforms offering a direct route to channel queries to an organisation – crucial in a period in which a fast response is becoming more important than ever.
Accessing networks that speak to these audiences is key to engaging with the candidates looking for graduate opportunities. At GetMyFirstJob our social networks provide a reach of over 550,000 potential candidates for your opportunities and is key to the visibility of our clients and their vacancies. We communicate with candidates in the channels that matter most to them. This means more opportunities for them and higher engagement for your vacancies.