How to spot the best graduate talent

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First of all, why is it so hard to spot good ones?

(A) It’s tough as academic achievement no longer differentiates:

– With the average A level grades for all students going to University being 280 points or BBC

– Less than 50% of undergraduates today have A levels down from 68% ten years ago.

(B) It’s tougher still as there are so many of them:

– There are 40% more students applying to go to university than in 2000

– There are 50,000 more graduates this year than in 2006

(C) It’s made even tougher as students in the economic climate are panicing:

– There are more students chasing fewer jobs (down 7% on last year)

– There are now 69 applications per vacancy (more than double from 2008)

So what to do about it?

Here are just two ideas (we have lots more!)

1. We would suggest changing the way you recruit, the current model, of lengthy application forms, endless testing & interviews is at breaking point with the huge volumes. So go on campus and do innovative, value-adding events that will capture the imagination of the best. Then spot great talent directly and rather than waiting for them to then apply through the lengthy process (with everyone else!) approach them directly at the event and fast track them. Or take a look at Accenture’s Boot Camp and how they engage very differently with talent on campus and fast track them.

2. Recruit and convert more interns.

* 65% of AGR members do and they pay on average £300 per week. Then convert a high percentage into graduate employees. (Duncan Bannatyne in the Daily Telegraph recommended this approach too, if that helps?!)

* But only 26% of internships are open to graduates. This is a real a missed opportunity to tap into talented graduates from previous years as well as immediately available new graduates who, if you like them, can convert immediately into full time employees at the end of the internship.

P.S. One more bit of advice from Mr Bannatyne. He focuses on two things when recruiting, a desire to succeed and loyalty.

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