Is there such a thing as the “perfect” Graduate Recruitment process?
No two graduate recruitment campaigns are the same. As recruiters, we can attest to the fact that graduate recruitment can be a lengthy process. Moreover, from a student’s perspective – the idea of attempting the often dozens of stages can be frightening.
For example, a typical graduate selection process can consist of the following many stages:
1) Updating your CV
2) An in-depth online application form
3) Situational Judgement Questions
4) Online Testing
5) Telephone Interviews
6) Online Video Interviews
7) Filming videos on why candidates are right for the company
8) Assessment Centre
9) Final Stage one to one Interviews
So, in today’s day and age, can we create the “perfect” graduate recruitment process? Is there an ideal length or a best combination of assessment measures?
Most importantly, how do we determine the most engaging candidate experience – one that still entices candidates to apply, whilst capturing the best talent?
Having worked on a number of graduate campaigns across varying industries and different job roles, I have often found there is a preference of including as many stages as possible, almost as a default reaction. But how many of these stages are actually crucial to identifying the best candidates? And how many, in essence, are assessing the same skills?
So, here are my top 4 tips to remember when devising your next graduate recruitment selection process:
Find out everything
A recent study suggests 42% of graduates are put off by a lengthy application process, and there’s much they would like changed about the process. To develop a graduate selection process that doesn’t have candidates running for the hills and assesses their skills and abilities appropriately, gain thorough knowledge of the job role. Find out what is needed to excel within the specific job role and adapt assessments accordingly. From daily tasks to the various groups they will be working with and communicating with – everything.
Understand the culture graduates will be working in
It is no longer enough to recruit graduates who have the necessary experience and academic background. More and more, companies are looking to hire graduates who “fit” the personality, culture and values of their organisation. Figure out the sort of culture you’re recruiting for. Find out the type of environment graduates will be working in – the office atmosphere, the expected work/life balance, the combination of client-facing/team-work/individual work the role entails.
Use this information to identify the sort of individuals who would “fit” the company and then, identify which specific stages of assessment are needed. For example, a Marketing/Communications role, which requires some time spent working at one of the company’s retail stores, indicates the need for strong communication skills and confidence. As such, a telephone or video interview would ideal for this role.
Identify what adds value and what doesn’t
It is important each step of your selection process actually adds value to the overall goal of the campaign – which is to find the best candidate for the job. For example, it’s a good idea for a finance-degree related role, to have graduates conduct online numerical testing. However, from my experience, the majority of finance graduates tend to excel within their tests, which reduces the value of the stage in separating the good from the great. Instead, other methods need to be employed which offer a more rigorous way of testing such skills. Why not play the Generation Y game and find out what your candidates really thought of the assessments used in your recent graduate campaign.
If you feel the majority of assessments are crucial, why not merge stages together and conduct them all over a short period of time? On a recent graduate campaign, we created a 2-day assessment centre filled with a series of exercises that assessed all the skills and abilities required, whilst keeping candidates engaged and promoting a much shorter recruitment process.
Overall, there is no question about it – each assessment is as important as the last, and there is no clear-cut “ideal” recruitment process. However, as recruiters, we need to find out what’s essential and valuable to the selection process – and what’s not, and be flexible in making changes.
Doing so, we can deliver campaigns that encourage, not overwhelm graduates, whilst still providing the rigor and depth needed to find the cream of the crop.
What does your “perfect” Graduate Recruitment Process look like?