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Regardless of whether you have a team of 5 or 5000, one of the most important parts of growing a business is hiring the right people – those who will add value, and be a good culture fit for your company.
Graduates can be a great match for startups and large corporates alike – but knowing how to recruit the right graduates is a whole different ball game.
If your company is planning to hire talent, you need to know how to hire the right candidates for your business. Here's how to make the right graduate hire:
An effective graduate recruitment strategy needs to strike a balance between being time-efficient, and covering all bases. Making the right hire starts with you deciding what kind of hire you need to make, depending on your business’ needs:
Think about which is going to work best for you at this time, and once you have your end goal in place, decide on your time frame. Do you need someone within a certain time frame? Are you expecting rapid growth in the coming months, and need to hire graduates now in order to support this?
Identify how many hires you will need to make, as well as your ideal start date and the length of time you expect the process to take. If you’re not sure how long it should realistically take to hire graduates, research the industry standard.
Having a clear graduate recruitment strategy in place will ensure that you are attracting and hiring the right candidates from the start.
In order to make the right hire, you need to define what that person will be like. Start by listing the duties and responsibilities of the job or jobs you are looking to fill, ensuring that these are as detailed as possible. Setting out a clear list of role requirements will ensure that the person you eventually hire has the experience and skill set that your business needs.
Then, make a checklist of must-haves, and good-to-haves - in terms of skills, experiences and personality. These will relate to both the job role itself, and the kind of person who will work well in your team – so could include things like ‘Must have – 1 years’ experience in a sales role’, ‘Preferred – experience working in a startup environment.’
Setting these in place will allow you to easily communicate what is necessary, and what will make a standout candidate – ensuring that you are making the right hire for your business quickly and efficiently.
Once you have thought about what will make the right hire, it’s important to mirror this in your job description. Start by ensuring that the necessary skills, experiences and personality traits are clear on the job description, as well as any added extras you would like candidates to possess.
If you are working with a graduate recruitment agency, they will handle all the job posting and advertising on your behalf, but it’s important to make sure that all the key information you want is on the description you send them. This will help to streamline the graduate recruitment process, and ensure that you are able to make the right hire for your business.
In order to hire the right candidate, it is also about making sure your package is competitive. Specifying a very low salary will limit both the quality and the quantity of applicants. Equally, by offering a salary that is far higher than the industry average and the rest of the team's wages – you risk not finding the right candidate in terms of culture fit, and sparking resentment in your team.
Research how much you should pay candidates, depending on whether they are a graduate hire, or someone much more senior - this should be a key part of your graduate recruitment strategy and will help you to hire the right people for your business.
There’s no point defining your ideal hire if you’re not planning to pay them their market value – so to ensure you attract the right candidates for the role, work out exactly you are willing to offer them.
A key part of hiring candidates is considering your company culture throughout the graduate recruitment process. You’ll have already discussed the qualities that your ideal hire will possess – but there are ways to measure these throughout the assessment and interview stages, such as:
If you’re working with a graduate recruitment agency, they will have done much of the leg work for you, in terms of sifting through the CV’s and vetting the top candidates – meaning that the CV’s you receive will match what you have said you are looking for in terms of skills, experiences and knowledge.
What is down to you, though, is understanding what else they have done beyond their CV.
In your interview with a candidate, focus on learning about intangible skills and qualities that may not be visible on their CV. For example, you may find from speaking to a candidate that they show a real sense of drive and ambition that you weren’t aware of from reading their CV.
As important as a CV is, you’ll gauge a real sense of whether they are the right hire for your business, through interviewing and assessing their key qualities. This is especially useful when it comes to graduate recruitment, when a candidate's work experience is likely to be less.
If you’re unsure about whether a candidate fits the bill, a short test or task can be a good way to decide. This could include a problem-solving simulation, a role play or a written test – whichever is best-suited to the type of role you are looking to hire.
Challenging potential employees can often reveal aspects of their personality or skill set that will sway your opinion, and reveal qualities that you weren’t previously aware of - helping you to ensure you are hiring the right candidate.
The graduate recruitment process doesn’t end once you have made a new hire. Onboarding is essential to making sure that these hires remain engaged, motivated, and prepared to thrive and succeed in their new role.
If you hire graduates who are then left feeling lost and unsupported, you’re likely to lose them just as soon as you hired them – so if you’ve spent the time planning how to make the right graduate hire, onboarding and retention should also be a key part of your graduate recruitment strategy.
Give A Grad A Go are the leading London recruitment agency. Working across a range of sectors, we specialise in graduate recruitment – helping those with up to 3 years’ work experience land jobs at some of the UK's most exciting companies.
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Looking to Hire Graduates for your business? Contact us today on 020 7100 8800.