How to nab the best grads: Competing in the war for talent

by 19 Jan 2012

How to nab the best grads: Competing in the war for talentNew research has revealed that while Australia and New Zealand are the among the highest users of unstructured interviews – and perceive them to be quite effective – this process is next to useless in selecting best-fit graduates.

Research has indicated that when it comes to recruiting the best new talent, the biggest challenges for HR stem from the fierce competition in the graduate recruitment market and the sheer volume of candidates.

According to Peter Berry Consultancy (PBC), a new approach to graduate recruitment is needed in order to better address the peculiarities of the market.

Julie Caplinger, senior consulting psychologist at PBC, identified guidelines for a more efficient approach to graduate recruitment, as well as the key elements of retention in this market.

Tips for successful graduate recruitment:

  1. Before you hire:
  • Do your research
  • Assess the whole person
  • Determine your selection strategy
  1. During the process:
  • Provide job descriptions and branding information
  • Communicate expectations
  • Use standardised processes
  • Know what and when your competitors are doing
  1. After you hire:
  • Track your investments
  • Collect performance information
  • Have the difficult conversations
  • Continuously improve your processes

Key ways to increase graduate retention:

  • Provide opportunities to learn and grow
  • Communicated career path options clearly
  • Ensure a good cultural fit
  • Provide good managers
  • Give competitive salary and benefits

Biggest challenges in graduate recruitment:

1. Volume of candidates

  • Recruiters want to find the most efficient way to invite only the best potential candidates to an assessment centre
  • Lack of work experience makes graduates look similar on paper
  • Relocation - graduates say they will relocate but won’t when the time comes
  • Verifying authenticity of documents
  • Eliminating unsuitable candidates early in the process

2. Competing in the war for talent

  • Competition is fierce for the best graduates and thus you need to get your program up and running with offers out before the competition
  • Identify the superstars early in the process and fast track them
  • Must outcompete on salary and location

3. Lack of candidate self-awareness

  • Candidates are young and don’t exactly know what they want to do
  • Unsure of career path
  • Many graduates “spam” the job market
  • Unrealistic expectations regarding job responsibilities and salary
  • Unrealistic expectations of hiring managers


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