Academic year 2013/14 saw some three hundred thousand UK graduates completing their first degree. Unfortunately, six months after graduation only 57% of that number were in full time employment, and two thirds of that number were in jobs not requiring a university level qualification. With the two challenges of 130,000 graduates looking for work and 110,000 in jobs unsuited to their education level. This gives us the opportunity of 240,000 fresh, energetic and talented young people who need employers to recognize their value. But we know – reaching entry level talent has never been an easy task, delving into three different areas we have identified –
‘Accessibility’ – How can employers reach candidates and vise versa?
‘Communication’ – Employers and graduates speak different languages and engage on different platforms
‘Good Fit’ – It can be difficult for employers to find their perfect graduate or intern through a CV alone.
As challenging areas when it comes to accessing entry level talent. Examining the last component, Good Fit, we consider how to combine the vagaries of student and graduate CV’s with the rigours of a job description, retaining perspective all whilst attempting to find a graduate represents your company culture.
Crafting the Perfect Job Description
A clear job description that meets company needs is key to finding a suitable candidate – role specifications that are vague, confused, and fail to accurately outline duties, responsibilities, and skillsets can lead to unqualified candidates applying and a failure of a recruitment process. Before you post a role be sure of what your essential and desirable needs are! Are you listing previous experience, level education, or skills as desirables when really you consider them an essential?
Remember to always keep in mind the importance of transferrable skills! Building job descriptions focused on transferrable skills can be incredibly useful when recruiting entry level talent. It allows you to both know what type of individual you need for the role and who is capable of learning the skills needed to excel in this position. For example; Are you looking for a marketing intern to join your team? What natural abilities does someone need to be good a marketer? And what transferrable skills should they already have? Drawing up a job description that focuses on skills and natural abilities will make selection and hiring process a much smoother task.
Deciphering Entry Level CVs
Any new university graduate’s CV is heavily focus on their education and qualifications – hiring entry level involves both believing in someone’s potential for growth and been able to provide opportunities for training. Looking at transferrable skills, degree titles, and grades are important aspects to consider outside of the traditional employment history road.
Here at Intern Avenue, when hiring from our entry level talent pool, we look for a new graduate’s drive – have they been involved in their university community? Did they take on voluntary roles? How did they spend their summer holidays? A fresh graduate will not have years worth of professional experience or even all of the immediate knowledge required for the role – but if they have shown initiative outside of simply turning up to class and handing in final papers – they will be a highly driven individual ready to hit the ground running.
Secondly, consider looking at a student or graduate’s work history as a compilation of experiences that can be applied to the role in question – what have they done over the years that can be applied to the role? We don’t necessarily look for a role that exactly matches what we are looking for but, the different pieces of experience that make up what we need.
Matching the CV to Company Culture
The Business Journal puts this rather bluntly – hire for your company and not for the role! Investing in entry level is similar to investing in your company’s future – entry level talent can be trained on the job easily.
This is where reading between the lines in a CV becomes more important – your company culture is where you base your values – a candidate’s interests, chosen commitments, and any voluntary work demonstrate where they focus their time and energy. Has the candidate chosen to show an interest in your sector through their studies? A placement year? Or even running a student society? All of these can show a long term commitment to an industry or a particular job function.
Getting a sense of person is harder through a CV but once again looking at interests and commitments can give a lot away about an individual. Is your company culture highly corporate – has the candidate interned as a large company previously? Are you a relaxed office – has the graduate worked in a startup in environment or seem to have a creative flair?
All of these additional details can give a lot of information about a person but you’ll never truly know until you meet them in person!
What Students and Graduates Want
Entry level talent want accessible and easy to understand job descriptions that focus on potential for training, long term career developments, and transferrable skills. Fresh graduates know that they don’t have a lot of professional or office based experience – they are trying to play to skills they already have and how they can use their university education to match the job description.
Fresh graduates also want to work in an environment that plays to their sense of curiosity and willingness to develop professionally. Been able to provide this environment will give you a happy long term employee – a true hiring for your company and not just to fill an empty seat in the office.
Making Sense of it All
Sifting through hundreds of different CV’s while trying to keep an open mind is a difficult task especially when trying to look for those transferrable skills and inklings into the right fit for your company culture. By providing easy to view student and graduate profiles and standardised CV’s focusing on education, previous work experience, and skills Intern Avenue makes sourcing candidates that fit with your company culture much simplier. Coupled with our unique match-making algorithm both designed to search the Intern Avenue database for the most relevant candidates and direct suitably qualified candidates to your role – hiring entry level talent can be made much simplier.
‘My business is dedicated to finding value for both employer and employee – and as Final year students turn their minds to last exams, we want to help them with what happens next – and you can too!’ – Dupsy, CEO & Founder
We want to help you help these graduates find an internship or graduate job that matches their talent – If Internavenue.com can provide that one place for employers and entry level talent to meet and each year we place just 2,500 graduates in either fulltime employment or indeed in the right employment we will make a 1% impact on the current graduate employment crisis.
Interested in hiring a student or graduate? See some of our top interns here
Talk to our Partnerships Manager on 020-7898-3800 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org