What's fresh

FreshMinds Graduate Breakfast

Questions to take away;

  • How does our recruitment brand stand out from the crowd?
  •  How can companies best harness innovation and creativity; not only in those graduates we hire, but in our own recruitment processes and business values.

This morning members of the FreshMinds Talent graduate team held a breakfast briefing at The Delaunay with a selection of key industry experts. The event was to explore and question what today’s top graduates are really looking for from an employer and the recruitment processes they face.

To set the scene we heard from FreshMinds’ MD James Callander who over his 10 year career in the industry has noted definite shifts in graduates’ aspirations. He recalled his conversations at a FreshMinds Ones to Watch™ event ten years ago, with 99% of those present dead-set on careers in consulting and banking. Through talking to this year’s Ones to Watch™ candidates, he has been presented with a different picture. Whilst consulting and financial services remain key to those with their hearts set on specific career paths, a large number are now looking for roles in smaller, high growth companies. The perception of these candidates (whether 100% realistic or not) is that they will make a bigger impact in a smaller, less established company.

James went on to question what companies need to be doing in their graduate recruitment processes to make themselves stand out, attract the very best and maintain a competitive edge. Feedback from FreshMinds’ graduate candidates has led him to believe that most companies’ processes are too similar, with the tests too widely known and documented.

He left the group with ideas of ‘Great Escape’ style candidate challenges (to test their skills) and handed the floor to Hamish, a recently placed FreshMinds graduate candidate to hear his thoughts on the industry.

Hamish was placed at his current role at a large multinational company by FreshMinds through a scheme run by the New Entrepreneurs Foundation. He very kindly agreed to share his insight into the recruitment processes he has experienced in his career thus far with us.

He felt that many organisations’ marketing of recruitment processes was too opaque, resulting in him having little idea of what companies were really like behind closed doors. He talked about the importance of a company having a good balance of new talent coming in, with a need for an increase in innovators. Hamish spoke of the challenge companies face to retain the best, with a high percentage of graduates leaving their first job within three years. He thinks that for entrepreneurial types such as himself, a big part of his development and job satisfaction lies in being taught how to execute what he called ‘good business’. While many of today’s top graduates are great ‘ideas’ people, companies need to help them to develop these ideas into sustainable processes or business models in order to retain them. Hamish believes that those given the freedom and support to learn new skills will thrive and be much less likely to move on to another company.

Finishing his talk with how to attract the best, Hamish told us that his decision to accept his current position was very much influenced by interview stage. Not only was he impressed by being interviewed by the CEO, but by the fact that the CEO laid out a clear career path and explained that he wanted his employees to make an impact and innovate.

Many thanks to all that attended and we hope that you enjoyed our insights and the breakfast!