Top Tips for Hiring the Class of 2015

It’s that time of year again - graduates and undergraduates alike are abandoning the pubs and clubs and holing themselves up to study for final exams and dissertations are arriving back from the printers, bound and ready for submission.

hiring_graduates.fwThe media is filled with doom and gloom about the economy and graduate unemployment. But we know that there are a wealth of companies out there who see the benefits of hiring graduates, and that there are a whole bunch of recruiters who’re willing to sell gen Y candidates to their clients…So where are things dropping off?

Let’s have a look at the best ways to connect and engage with the latest talent to hit the market:

Social Media

Today’s students are the savvy social media users you’ve been hearing about for the past few years. They were brought up on Bebo and MSN and speak fluent text and emoji. So go to where they are! You can quickly make polite introductions and build the foundations of a relationship on social media which can then be expanded upon in the real world, if the candidate impresses you.. You can share your jobs and content to a massive audience on social media and by @mentioning universities or using hash tags, your posts can be shared with even more students and reach more potential candidates. It’s also not uncommon to target students and upcoming graduates on LinkedIn. These days, lots of students create profiles before they leave university and it’s a great place to create a first impression and gather basic info on their course and internships/ placements.

Video Interviews

ID-10095824Nobody’s saying students won’t make the effort to meet you for interviews. But they may require you to display a little flexibility and understanding. Video interviewing is a massive help here and there are a lot of free tools you can use without resorting to buying software eg. Skype, Google Hangouts. This is a crucial time for students and they might not be able to take half a day off from studying to travel to your office but they can certainly comb their hair and iron a shirt to sit at their desk and virtually meet you. Video interviews are hugely effective for you, too. Tele-screens are easy to pass and can you really tell if you’re being lied to? With a face-to-face interaction, you can get a proper feel for your candidate and pick up on their body language before deciding if you’ll then devote more time to meeting this person beyond a webcam.

Streamline Your Application Process

Do you read every cover letter you’re sent? Do you really need every one of the hundred applicants for this role to send you a cover letter when all you want is to see their CV? Graduates aren’t silly. A quick google search can instantly tell you great things to say on a cover letter or CV to charm recruiters. Make both your lives a little easier by telling graduates what you want in their applications; examples of a time when they had to overcome a challenge or where they see themselves in five years’ time, perhaps. Also, outline early on when interviews will be held; this way grads can plan ahead. Last year, a role I applied for was interviewing on the same day as Glasgow Caledonian University’s graduation ceremony. The recruiters were looking for events graduates in Glasgow so were alienating an entire group of candidates and quickly re-arranged following feedback from applicants.

ID-10096893-2Keep in Touch

Let grads know when to expect feedback - just like you would with every other candidate. Manage their expectations from the outset so they can deal with the rejection and move onto applying for other roles. Getting a job is the priority right now, not hanging off for weeks for recruiters who won’t pick up the phone. Explain the process clearly; will only successful candidates be called? Will unsuccessful candidates be notified by email that their application won’t be taken further? Keep it plain, simple and transparent. 

how to use twitter for recruiting birds with speech bubbles

Images: Image 1, Image 2 and Image 3

Megan McBurnie

Megan worked as a recruitment consultant, recruiting in the Office Services, General Insurance and Legal markets.

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