An employer’s view of graduate recruitment

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Prior to joining Gradsouthwest I had been recruiting staff for over 20 years. This included students and recent graduates for work placements, graduate schemes and entry level graduate jobs.

The process normally worked well, and I have in all but one case, found a great recent graduate to fill the role on offer. For the graduate schemes I have regularly continued the employment of the graduate beyond their placement into a permanent role as they have been so good.

I thought I’d share with you two experiences:

  • Try, try and try again…

We finally secured the money for a new role and felt a recent graduate would be ideal for the position. We advertised the job, and got very little response. We went out again, and again very little. We tested the ad out with some students (as my office was on a University campus) and found they were scared off by the job title and responsibilities. What we thought of as an exciting job, graduates found too challenging as we listed too many requirements and they felt they didn’t have the experience to meet the minimum specification. We toned it down, went out and got applicants’ that would have met our original spec!

The successful candidate is still in post 2 years on, but with a promotion and a permanent job :-)

Lesson learned: know your market place better!

Lesson for graduates: it’s worth applying, you might just be what the employer wants.  If you don’t apply you can’t get the job!

  • The one case…

The job ad went out, we had lots of applications. Some were very poor (I’ll write about that another day!). We short-listed and interviewed four. At interviews none of the candidates really got what we were after (our failure to explain it well enough). The best of the bunch we offered the job to. They accepted. A few weeks in it was obvious the role wasn’t what they wanted, and the fit wasn’t right.

Lesson learned: know what you want and be clear about it.  Only make a job offer if you are sure.  You can always go back out – see lesson 1!

I’m still learning and each recruitment round brings its own challenges, but getting the right employees is absolutely critical to business success.

Now working with Gradsouthwest I hope to help the service support many more employers to find the right employees.

Deborah Watson, Director, Gradsouthwest Ltd.