graduate recruitment

The Association of Graduate Recruiters recently released results from a poll that shows some graduate employers struggling to fill vacancies.

As recruiters, we are often faced with a range of challenges and obstacles.

The power to adapt to changing times is something that we need to be well versed in. It’s a lot like that phenomenal karaoke tune from Rocky – ‘Eye of the Tiger’- we need to hang tough, stay hungry and be champions of our game, rising up to the challenge of our rivals.

What can graduates offer?

Chief Executive of the AGR, Stephen Isherwood said “I’d urge all graduates to really research sectors and roles that they’re applying for, tailoring each approach to show why they want that particular job and what relevant skills they can offer an employer.”

We need to remember that the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night and most graduate recruiters are probably already encouraging candidates to carry out research and take on a fresh approach.


Will graduates ever change?

Rather, this is the time to ask the question – will graduates ever change? In short, probably not. We need to employ new methods to graduate recruitment and, like Rocky, rise up, straight to the top, and get the glory.

Here at Cohesion, we always look for new ways to ensure our graduate vacancies are filled with the perfect candidate. We achieved 100% attendance rate at assessment centre and a 96% offer acceptance rate thereafter, for one of our recent graduate campaigns. Of course this was partly because of our engaging recruitment process but also through the use of elements of ‘new recruitment’.


Video interviewing graduates

Graduates are often applying during their exams and may not have the time to complete a lengthy application form, so why not carry out video interviews instead? This is an excellent way of getting to know your candidates without taking up too much of their time. There’s also a ton of software out there that records video interviews, saving us the time of conducting interviews in real-time, whilst allowing us to really dissect candidate responses through playback and transcripts.


Behaviour strengths over competency tests

We also need to start considering asking behavioural and strengths based questions instead of repeating the same old competencies, graduates will have manufactured answers for in the past. I think we all attest to hearing about that one tricky team member every graduate appears to have encountered during group work at university. As such, we are currently looking to change our application stage so that it really tests our graduates, rather than become a stale part of the overall recruitment campaign that adds little to no value in finding today’s top talent.

At Cohesion, we’ve come to the conclusion that graduates probably won’t change, so why don’t we?

We need to be one step ahead, and never forget- it’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight.

Are you thinking about hiring graduates for you company? Click here to find out what Cohesion can do for you. 

engagement onboarding social care

If you are involved in recruitment in the social care sector, it is likely that the question at the forefront of your mind is, ‘How do we recruit people who share our vision and values?’. This question was recently driven home with shocking revelations from a recent programme in the BBC’s Panorama series, showing the abuse of elderly and vulnerable residents.

Recruit the best social care staff

There are no easy answers to this question. One way, we can help to ensure this stops happening is by recruiting the right people; staff who are motivated, enthusiastic and, above all, caring. Undoubtedly, there are great carers and support workers out there who treat their service users with the dignity and respect they deserve. The difficulty comes in consistently finding, engaging and retaining the right people.

This, is only half the battle. Making the transition from ‘offered candidate’ to ‘happy employee’ is just as important to get right. We know from experience that what happens in the first few months of a new starter’s  journey, from application to induction is crucial. If  the experience and engagement is great for  a candidate, their engagement as a new starter will be high and their perception of your organisation will be reflected positively. Just imagine the potential of job referrals and recommendations  from a group of highly engaged new employees!


positively engaging carers

Why on-boarding is important

On the other hand, if the on-boarding experience is poor, the consequences can be dire. If there is little to no engagement right at the start of the recruitment process, they could end up rejecting your offer and accepting the offer of a competitor.  The perception of your organisation could become negative with the reputation of your organisation suffering with it.

Over the years, we at Cohesion have been, and continue to, fine tune our methods and practices around sourcing the right talent for our clients. More importantly, we know one size does not fit all. We partner with each client closely to make sure we attract the best talent who match our client’s values, vision and culture.


Positively engaging your carers

We also know positive engagement with candidates/new starters is the key to retaining the best staff. From sourcing to on-boarding, we maintain constant communication with candidates, informing them every step of the way. We found this reduces the candidate drop out at any stage. And, that’s not the best part. The best part is we do all this as the recruitment partner of our clients, under their brand identity and image. So when, candidates join, they join with a positive impression of the organisations they are joining!

How does all this tie in with good care? Recruitment cannot possibly provide all the answers as to why or how such abuse can take place, but it can certainly be a part of the solution. Getting the best talent, the right talent, is the least we can do. Indeed, it is the least we do. There are most definitely super care and support workers who really do care. Our job is to ensure you recruit them!

Are you thinking about recruiting carers? Click here to find out what Cohesion can do for you.


job descriptions

Take your pick of 5 of the latest job descriptions you’ve either read or written. I bet every single one of them came with a list of prerequisites. A few years’ experience, a minimum degree classification, a driver’s license, etc. etc.

Being realistic writing your job descriptions

For example, imagine you’re on the hunt for a new sales executive to help bring in new customers. Your job description might list that the ideal sales executive should have at least 5 years’ experience and a minimum 2:1 bachelor’s degree from a Redbrick-listed University. But what you really need is a sales executive who is going to be able to sell.

The point here is, is the focus of your screening process shouldn’t be to tick candidates off against a list of credentials. So what if the candidate doesn’t have a minimum 2:1 degree? The ability to teamwork, manage time and meet deadlines – all things a degree supposedly equips you with – aren’t necessarily taught within the confines of a lecture room.


What skills do your candidates  have?

Rather, you need to find out what skills people have – and more specifically, if they have the skills needed to overcome the business problem you face.

So, whilst your screening techniques shouldn’t discount experience or education, your methods need to decipher more. Test the thought-processes of your candidates by asking real-life situations into a timed video interview format. And know that the Internet has unlocked many unconventional ways to learn new skills – and your screening process should promote this, not neglect it.

job descriptions

So, what do you put in your job description?

Without prerequisites, what would your job description look like, I hear you ask? Well, if the responsibilities are clearly outlined, unqualified candidates will likely not apply. And if they do, chances are they won’t make it very far. This isn’t call to end all prerequisites – they can be powerful in highlighting the best candidates when used right. However, more often than not, they narrow a recruiter’s perception of what a good candidate looks like in terms of experience, skills and qualifications.

What are your thoughts on the value of prerequisites for a role – and ultimately, finding the right candidate? Is values-based recruitment a better strategy?

Are you thinking about outsourcing your recruitment? Click here and find out what Cohesion can do for you. 

Working in recruitment can become a mad rush of responding to emails, answering calls and relentlessly chasing candidates and hiring managers. When we get caught up in this whirlwind of questions and queries, we can sometimes forget what the overall aim is- to recruit.

We want to offer the best recruitment experience possible, but sometimes we miss the little things that could make the difference between filling a role with the best candidate for the job and having the top quality candidate drop out.

We have to know what’s on offer to our clients. Marlin searched the ocean to find Nemo and we should put just as much effort in to knowing everything about the role our candidates are applying to.

Be passionate about your client’s business

That creepy fish with the war scar that lives in the dentist. Remember him?

He had it pretty good in that tank, no predators, comfortable living space and a range of ornaments, including the ring of fire. What more could a fish want? But he was so enthusiastic about the ocean that even his friends wanted to head out to the big blue.

If we aren’t passionate about the role we are recruiting for, how can a stranger to the business be inspired? We can discuss this with our candidates by really getting to know what’s on offer to them. What opportunities are there to develop? What are the unique selling points of the business?

You can learn all of this by doing your research.  Read through your client’s website and careers section, sign up to news alerts, understand the market and it’s competitors. At PPS, we delve into the intricacies of our clients with in-depth consultation calls and on-site visits to get a feel for the the business, beyond its job opportunities.

As the link between the company and the candidate, really knowing your role and client inside out can entice a candidate to remain in the recruitment process, and hang on to experience those opportunities for themselves.

So, just keep swimming! If we can keep our candidates enticed and show them why this is the business for them, then we can jump through the jellies and straight on to the EAC to ride with the sea-turtles to success. Give me some fin!