Wow! #trulondon is now over, at least the in person part. The last curry has been eaten, pint drunk, Meet me-me card exchanged (thanks PinstripeTalent) and conversation had.I have quite a few posts lined up on my learning points, but the one I want to start with governs graduates and graduate recruiting.
Before #trulondon, I got a bit fed up of hearing and reading about graduate recruitment frompeople who had long since seen a university or college. I wanted to hear first hand about graduate recruitment and any issues with the process. to address this I invited a group of students from less fashionable Middlesex University led by their employability mentor @WendyJacob.
What struck me was the harsh realities about being a final year student outside of the elite academic establishments.
The majority of universities do not qualify as elite, hence the vast majority of students do not fit in to this category.
From those who took part I had the following thoughts and ideas I to share with you:
1:The graduate recruitment programs are currently not fit for purpose.The application process is time-consuming taking up to 5 days to complete.This is during a critical year for students when study time is understandably at a premium. Why recruit in the final year? If companies hired in the first or second year of study there would be quite a few benefits:
1: The students have more time to complete the application process and expand their number of applications.
2: By hiring earlier in the academic process, succesful students can gear their options and projects around the business they will be joining.Once appointed, vacations can be spent on internships with the hiring company. Can anyone think of a better way to align study with preparing for work? The offer can be subject to examination, giving added motivation to study in the final year.
3: The hiring company can provide a mentor to work with the successful candidate providing support, advice and motivation during their study years.
4: In terms of employer branding opportunities for companies seen to be support students during their studys, a great opportunity for less fashionable brands or S.M.E.’s.
Another point that came across loud and clear from the panel of students is that relocation is not always an option. Many students are not born with a silver-spoon in their mouths.They balance study with work, sometimes raising children or supporting parents, some live at home and can not afford the luxury of relocation. Imagine the pay-back,commitment and brand advocacy you could get by supporting and employing someone with this levelof commitment and motivation to bettering themselves. There is a wealth of untapped potential in the less fashionable universities. I’m sure the best talent at these establishments stand up well against what is available from the more recognised universities. There is less competition for the top students. In my opinion all employers should look to their local universities for a percentage of there minimum intake,and forge closer links to smooth the process, getting to know students outside of the recruitment process.
At the end of the track Peter Gold of Hire Strategies suggested that those present should mentor one student through the job seeking process, what he asked for in return is that the students share their lessons through social-media in order to help others.
I’m proud to say that this was well supported, and was a really positive outcome from the track. We are now seeking more help in spreading this through the #trulondon community:
What we are looking for:
1: A company either willing to sponsor a #truGrads website so that we can build a great resource for student jobseekers, and a central place to maintain the students learning blogs for others to use. (the alternative is a company that can build and host it for us.)
2:More mentors willing to take on one student through the scheme. We need a real-time commitment rather than words.
3: Ideas on how we can grow the program.
4: Venues for hosting workshops and training days.
If you think you can help with any of this please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave your own thoughts in comments.
What do you think?Is it all talk or can we make this happen?