Looking for the best graduate talent? Get them on board before they leave university

Standard practice for the recruitment of graduates sees thousands of applications arrive for large companies with household names, and often next to none for small, bespoke businesses. While these larger companies may well see the lion’s share of applications, approaching graduates and forging relationships before they enter the employment pool is a key way of securing the best talent first.

Huge companies like HSBC, Barclays and Hilton all target graduate recruitment fairs at universities and immediately brand themselves as employers of choice – but you can go one step further. Your business has unique capabilities; whether they are in marketing, finance, or web design.

Many companies find guest lecturing in local universities beneficial for finding the best graduates. Students who think ahead and plan for their future career are always keen to gather as much knowledge on post-university challenges, and a reputable employer is one of the best places to find this information. It is also true that universities often struggle to find qualified and relevant guest speakers, so a proactive university lecturer will naturally be a valuable contact to have.

By a business positioning itself as a leader within its sector, they receive high levels of interest from potential recruits. Many internship opportunities have come as a direct result of a student finding a subject interesting, and sending a speculative email to these companies.

Interns taken on during summer or Easter holidays not only immensely benefit companies by providing a fresh and objective opinion on current business practices, but they also allow companies to identify the best candidates prior to them being poached by larger, more well established companies at job fairs.

What this boils down to is brand identity. For your company to be perceived as the employer of choice, it has to actively provide value to those you are targeting. In the recruitment sphere we refer to this as ‘thought leadership’ – being seen as a leading voice within the industry.

When you are looking for graduates and Millennials at large to work for you, you need to target the right areas. By getting workers on board before they graduate, either through demonstrating thought leadership or from bringing them on as interns, you drastically reduce the competition you will face to bring the best talent in to your organisation.

It’s clear that internships are one of the fastest, most efficient ways of ensuring your company has access to the best talent possible, whilst being positioned as forward thinking leaders within your sphere of influence. Intern Avenue is one of the leading providers of paid internships in the UK – why not get in touch?

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