For many organizations, creating and growing their future leaders is a top priority in their talent management strategies. The challenge is not just about attracting graduates – it’s about attracting the right ones and ensuring they are inspired by your business. This means implementing strategies to assess graduate talent and then using appropriate techniques to bring them onboard. Here Trish Healy, General Manager and Vice President of RPO & Project Operations North America at Futurestep, discusses how businesses can use innovative graduate recruitment plans to stand out from the crowd and attract best-fit talent straight out of college.
Get specific: While hosting university-wide events are great for building brand awareness with the audience, when hiring for different roles within the business, employers should be looking to create bespoke tactics to reach the target graduate population. For example, engineering businesses looking to attract graduates into marketing roles need to develop a tailored approach to convey that opportunities are not just limited to engineers and that it’s possible to yield a successful career in an alternative field at the company.
Get savvy: Best-in-class tools and technologies improve the effectiveness and impact of graduate recruitment strategies, ensuring each organization is hiring the best people for them. A multi-stage assessment process involving filtering resumes, carrying out video or telephone interviews and conducting psychometric testing allows top performing graduates to be selected from high volumes of applicants. Creating success profiles based on the business model and the roles that graduates are going to operate in also helps to shape what companies assess for throughout the recruitment process.
Where graduate programs are designed to deliver future leaders, the assessment process should have a specific focus on leadership competencies and potential – from testing to see how results driven individuals are and what aspirations they hold, to how well they work in a team and whether they are happy to take the lead. For values-driven companies, making sure a candidate is the right fit for the organization from a cultural point of view should also be high on the agenda.
Get flexible: In terms of desired attributes of future leaders, flexible and adaptable talent who can work in any part of the business comes up trumps. Graduate programs need to respond to this, allowing college recruits to rotate around the business and discover which specialism suits them best. Students with joint degrees are in a great position here, able to utilize their skills from their different degrees to thrive in different parts of the organization.
Get global: When working on a global scale, organizations cannot rely as heavily on the strength of the employer brand developed in their domestic country. While an overarching framework is vital to ensure that the company’s core beliefs remain unified, businesses need to bear in mind differences in languages and cultural awareness, and adapt their employer brand accordingly. The knowledge of local teams on the ground is invaluable to a global employer branding strategy, as they have first-hand experience understanding the values and cultural differences of the region.
Additionally, global organizations should be looking at whether they can mobilize their current graduate talent worldwide. Whether this involves adventurous graduates wanted to explore new markets or international graduates looking to return to their home country, businesses should implement processes to ensure top young talent isn’t lost, but rather relocated around the business.
With the demand for top graduates continuing to increase, it has never been more important to ensure that an organization’s strategic graduate recruitment offering is as effective and distinctive as possible. ‘Business as usual’ is no longer a viable option and it is vital that companies remain competitive in the fast moving graduate market.
Trish Healy is VP, RPO Operations, North America and responsible for providing innovative talent acquisition solutions that deliver competitive advantage to Futurestep’s clients. Globally recognized for outstanding service delivery and customer satisfaction, Trish has a pivotal role within our centre of excellence for strategic outsourced solutions and leverages best practice for clients.