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Time for a top up?

Struggling to find the outstanding graduates you need? You're not alone.

It’s a challenge many companies face, including those with highly successful internal recruitment processes. This is where ‘graduate top up’ comes into its own. For those who haven’t heard of top up campaigns, here’s the low down from FreshMinds...

What is graduate top up? Why might employers need it?

When companies face a lack of graduate talent, it generally comes down to issues with quantity or quality of applications. To mitigate this, companies may partner with a top tier recruiter to provide a proportion (or all) of their graduates. Essentially, the recruiter ‘tops up' their graduate talent.

  • Companies with a graduate scheme use top up campaigns to add the last few, high quality graduates, who can prove hard to find.
  • Companies without a graduate scheme use top up to add individual or multiple graduates to the company on an ad hoc basis - topping up the company's graduate talent.

But surely grads are fighting over places? What's the problem?

The graduate job market is still highly competitive, but it’s no longer the case that a top tier graduate is simply grateful for a job. Graduate vacancies within the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers increased 17.7% over the last 4 years and are projected to increase by a further 8.7% in 2014. So the top candidates you do attract might have 2, 3 or even 4 offers on the table.

The challenge of increased competition is exacerbated by image and resource problems:

  • 71% of these top employers feel they need to improve their image among students; and
  • 44% feel they have limited resources internally.

The result? Even amongst the top 100 employers:

  • 45% are struggling to attract applications for specific graduate vacancies; and most tellingly
  • 56% want to improve the quality of the graduates they are bringing in.

And it’s only going to get tougher.

How do top up campaigns through recruiters help?

  1. Existing network - The benefits of gaining access to an existing, pre-screened and engaged network of exceptional candidates cannot be overstated. Those elusive top candidates may not have not been sufficiently exposed your brand. Without this exposure, more than likely they’ll pass you by.
  2. Established relationships - Chaotic university fairs, clashing internet ads.. . graduate recruitment can be a buzz of impersonal noise. For a candidate, being contacted by someone they know and trust can quietly overpower this – communicating your brand and opportunities with more impact. Moreover, graduates talk. The personally communicated recommendation is likely to be passed on to peers.
  3. Getting them over the line - Great recruiters guide candidates through the process with reassurance and advice. Any hesitation is spotted early on and expectations are closely managed. This dramatically increases conversion rates after offer - giving you the best chance of getting the candidates you want over the line and into your company.

How FreshMinds can help

Partnering with a high quality recruiter to top up your graduate talent does not represent an internal recruitment failure. We look at it as an emergency line - a unique tool in your arsenal for:

  • finding candidates that could otherwise slip through your net;
  • benchmarking your own processes; and
  • ensuring that  the ones you want to accept, do indeed accept.

For years, FreshMinds has been topping up companies with the highest quality graduate talent. Whether you need to find those final few outstanding graduates to fill your scheme, or have one-off positions which you need to find exceptional graduates for, FreshMinds can help. If you'd like to chat about topping up your graduate talent, we'd love to hear from you. Please drop us an email or give us a ring +44 (0)20 7692 4300