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Sustainable Graduate Recruitment

Posted by Nikki Barnard

Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) provider, Harrier Human Capital, recently released a whitepaper on delivering sustainable graduate recruitment. As we all know, grad recruitment is an important pipeline for organisations to consistently grow their talent and drive innovation, flexibility, knowledge share, loyalty and retention. But what's the impact of turning off the talent tap when economic times get tough? If your organisation is under pressure to cut entry level recruitment efforts, Client Solutions Manager Lindsey Barnett suggests this paper might cause you to rethink….

Human Resources Interview Recruitment

Why organisations don’t recruit

‘Graduates are too expensive’. ‘There’s an oversupply of graduates – the market’s flooded’. ‘Our business is cutting back on recruitment at every level – why would we hire graduates?’ These are just some of the reasons that organisations use for not recruiting grads or, even worse, cutting their recruitment efforts mid-cycle when times get tough.

Hiring graduates is essential

Harrier works with clients to help their key decision makers understand the flipside:

  • That graduate hiring brings fresh talent into a business.
  • That it creates and develops a talent pipeline for the future of organisations.
  • That it can counteract the effect of an ageing and retiring workforce and bring new skills, knowledge and innovation to the workplace.
  • Hiring grads ensures businesses remain competitive and current, and can assist with organisational culture changes.
  • Many companies even recruit entry level hires to meet their short term requirements for lower level roles and qualified labour at reduced salaries.

Naturally all of this must be underpinned by an understanding of, and alignment with, business objectives, which can sometimes be overwhelming: But that’s what we’re there for!

Halting recruitment can be detrimental

If cost cutting is a factor, or redundancies are on the agenda, the flow of graduate talent is often seen as an easy tap to turn off. After all, if your organisation is downsizing, how and why would it justify recruiting for entry level roles? Halting graduate recruitment, letting go of important university partnerships and retrenching graduate recruitment managers is easily done, but not as easily recovered when business improves. Employer brand takes a long time to build and a moment to destroy: A sudden disappearance of presence in the market now will affect engagement with your brand when things pick up again. However, putting a robust business case forward and managing the internal messaging as others are redeployed can be difficult.

Sustainable graduate recruitment

Education Career Opportunities

So how can graduate recruitment be sustainable when the economy slows? What can proactive HR departments build into their business case for new or continued efforts in graduate recruitment and development? Our whitepaper explores four major components that can help in securing time, money and resources in a budget-focused, cost effective way:

  1. Align graduate recruitment with the organisation’s broader people strategy
  2. Differentiate yourself as an employer
  3. Maximise low cost engagement opportunities
  4. Measure return on investment

Whilst it may currently be a buyer’s market, ignoring the need for a consistent pipeline of entry level employees as part its wider people strategy can ultimately be detrimental to an organisation’s growth and competitiveness. Hiring a pipeline of entry level employees will help guide, build and shape the workforce of the future.

Read on to find out more


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