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Graduate Recruitment 101: How to Find Capable Candidates

Graduate Recruitment 101: How to Find Capable Candidates

In many ways, graduates are a recruiter’s dream. They’re fresh out of university, ready to prove themselves, desperately on the lookout for good job opportunities and are well educated enough to potentially scale the job ladder fairly quickly. The problem? There are lots of them. While medicine and engineering students may be less plentiful, the working world is full of graduates with similar degrees all just starting the job search. Some are great candidates who will do you proud if just given the chance, others aren’t. So the key question for those playing within the graduate recruitment area is ‘how do you find good, capable candidates?’

Here are some tips to attract the kind of graduates that you are desperate to hire.

Build, develop and maintain a relationship with the universities

Typically, universities will have career days as well as a ‘career centre’ or similar. The career centre can be used to make contact with students and for students to do the same with potential employers. Many of these career centres will offer online job portals, career counselling, career tests, recruitment drives and other services which would be very beneficial for companies and recruiters to tap into. Make sure to speak to and develop relationships with the staff at these career centres, and even when you’re not hiring, you can discuss their campus’ culture, ways of doing things and other points that can help you tailor your recruitment solutions to make sure you attract the best and brightest.

Think outside of the mainstream degrees

Sure, a BCom is always going to be useful in business. So is an accounting degree. However, in a lot of other countries they have a different approach. They look for basic skills such as writing, analysing, researching or whatever else is relevant to your business, and then they search for that skillset in their graduates. For instance, accounting companies in the UK will recruit people with a degree in any subject on to their graduate scheme, as long as they display the necessary skills.

You might think that you need someone with a degree in marketing for example, but maybe a journalism, communications, psychology or business degree possesses the level of analysis, writing and interpersonal skills that are necessary. After all, those degrees still value that set of skills, and you can always teach a good candidate the ins and outs of marketing. You cannot, however, teach a bad candidate with the “right” degree how to think in the way you need them to.

In other words, don’t think in terms of subjects – think in terms of skills.

Set up an internship programme

And then, use it to hire from. Not only do you give current students valuable experience, but you are exposed to some potential full time employees. You get a “trial run” to see how they work and where their potential lies. If your intern programme grows and students are aware that performing well can often lead to a job, then you’ll find that you naturally attract top interns too!

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