Innovation to find talent

Taking an innovative approach to target key talent early has earned one business acclaim in the graduate industry.

Innovation to find talent

EY’s innovative approach of becoming involved with talent in the final years of high school has seen them awarded the inaugural title of Best Innovation in the Graduate Industry.

The company was presented the award by the New Zealand Association of Graduate Employers (NZAGE) as part of its first Graduate Industry Awards.

The awards celebrate best practice in the recruitment, selection and development of graduate talent and attracted entries from across a broad range of organisations. 

EY won for its sponsorship of the Young Enterprise scheme in which Year 12 and 13 students set up and run their own business over the course of a year. Sheridan Lang, EY Recruitment and Resourcing Manager, said the early identification of talent and support of students considering a career in professional services is a key strategy for the company.

“A lot of students don’t start thinking about their career until they in their last year of university and given a lot of companies like us recruit a year out some of them have missed out on opportunities because they thought about it a bit late. So trying to identify them as early as possible is one of our key ways of securing talent,” Lang said.

Through Young Enterprise, Lang explains, the company hopes to identify students who show promise and keep in touch with them as they progress through university.

“We recruit about 100 interns and graduates each year from university and we try and often one of the challenges is to try and identify students early enough so when they are in their second or third year they don’t miss out on recruitment campaigns,” Lang said.

Graduates bring a lot to the table according to Lang, including “a lot of energy and motivation”, “passion”, “fresh ideas and eyes” and a “new way of thinking”

She adds those not engaging with the graduate community are narrowing their market and missing out on the benefits of employing a graduate.

“ [People with limited experience are] often starting with quite a blank canvas but quite a good attitude… it’s easier to train people in technical skills then attitude. If they’ve got the energy and drive to pick up things and own their career that’s going to be a lot easier than hiring an experienced person with some work experience but perhaps not the attitude,” Lang said.

The company is continuing in its role with the Young Enterprise scheme next year.

Other winners from the NZAGE awards include:

  • Chapman Tripp for best graduate print campaign
  • Deloitte for best online graduate campaign
  • Auckland University for best careers services
  • The Warehouse for best graduate development programme


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