Tricky Task

13 Jul 2010

Needle in a Haystack: Getting the Right Graduate Can Prove to be a Tricky Task

Graduate recruitment requires both adequate planning and the appropriate tools. With tens of thousands of students graduating from universities every year, businesses can experience difficulty in finding the right individual with the skills, ability and determination to fit the requirements of their graduate plans.

Thousands of national and international businesses around the world have graduate programs that are prepared to hand-pick the most promising applicants, but choosing between them can be the tricky part, as a list of names and qualifications offer very little information about the people themselves. Personalities, ambition, and work ethics are all aspects that need to be considered when recruiting graduates.

ABB Global Trainee Program for Information Systems is a global company that seeks recent university graduates who have earned a degree in Computing, Information Systems, or a related major, at the MSc or equivalent level, and then places them in a program in their area of residence. They offer extremely competitive salaries to recruited graduates, and conduct extensive searches for the right graduate for each position. Airservices Australia and Reckitt Benckiser is another example that offers as much as $50,000 – $55,000 for graduate trainees. Major banks often offer salaries near the $60,000 mark.

In addition to the significant salary attractions of many graduate programs is the added responsibility given to graduates in the current climate. Key responsibilities and roles are given to graduates, whether it is solving IT problems, networking between an important client and the organisation or providing support and facilitation to a government department. The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission), for example, gives graduates roles that span across their many offices, sending them to network between separate offices and work with everyone from managers to staff in communicating the aims and needs of the company.

Graduate programs commonly offer applicants the opportunities to work in several diverse departments requiring individuals to adapt to different work environments in the space of 12 or 24 months. At Telstra, graduates find themselves working in rotation across departments as varied as engineering, finance, commerce, IT, human resources and marketing. Needless to say, getting the right graduate is more important than ever, with such competitive salaries on offer, huge responsibilities and thousands of applicants vying for the same positions every year.

Whilst a degree can demonstrate an applicant’s academic abilities, it is often difficult to assess behavioural or personality characteristics. With graduate programs remaining one of the most competitively fought employment prospects for students fresh out of education, businesses regularly find themselves in need of more information about the applicants in front of them. Many of the best applicants may not appear superior on paper, while others that are not ambitious could shine on their resume. To ensure that the best graduates are selected around both attitudes and ability, RightPeople have developed a range of graduate and apprenticeship assessments that target factors such as learning potential, maturity and cultural fit. Unlike others, RightPeople’s tests have been developed in Australia, taking into account our culture, experience and educational system.

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