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Graduate Recruitment: AGR 2011

Top of the pops - are graduate employer rankings an accurate measure of success?

The AGR seminars kicked off in style this morning with an interesting debate into the merit of graduate employer ranking surveys and how much emphasis should really be placed on the accuracy of their results as a true reflection of the graduate employer market.

With input from some of the biggest names in the industry including Barclays Capital, the FSA and Linklaters, the panel debated how accurate these surveys are and what really matters to them when marketing their employer brand.

Whilst representatives from Linklaters and Thales Group argued that graduate rankings such as The Times Top 100 High Fliers, Rate My Placement and GTI/Trendence 300 are an excellent way to measure KPI’s and benchmark against their competitors, it seemed the overriding thought trail was that the research conducted is not always an accurate perception of graduates’ preferred employers.

Do they really understand the what e-rankings mean and are they even of importance to them when making career decisions? Take, for example, the results of some 4000 students surveyed. When asked if they understand how the results are compiled, a whopping 75% answered no.

By the end of the seminar it became clear that, for employers, the ranking of their company was more important in terms of their internal branding and how the rest of the company view the job that they are doing. Only a minority of the panel actually agreed that rankings are a true perception of employer brands and are more about budgets and number of graduates hired than how strong an employer is.

Which certainly rings true for FreshMinds Talent. Some of the most exciting clients we work with are boutique firms who offer fantastic training and unrivalled career progression. We believe it’s not about your position in a graduate employer ranking and more about what you have to offer your graduates once they arrive.

Elsie Rutterford is a consultant on the FreshMinds Talent Graduate team