Attract the right kind of student talent

In today's climate, there is no shortage of young people looking for work. But how can businesses make sure they are attracting the right kind of talent. James Eder, founder of youth marketing agency The Beans Group, has a few suggestions...

by James Eder
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
Firstly, engaging with your future employees before they even start to think about applying for a job can be a great way of raising your profile amongst the right kind of candidates. Setting up a campus brand manager programme and being renowned for offering valuable work experience or internships can all help build relationships with students who will be seeking full-time employment in the near future.

Secondly, for a business owner, it’s not only important to build a team of passionate and proactive people, but to identify skill sets that fill any gaps that may be lacking in the business. Pre-employment testing and candidate assessment such as the McQuaig System is a really effective way of limiting hiring errors and ensuring that someone is a good fit for both the organisation and the role. It’s not just ability and academic background - the importance of personality and finding someone who will fit in with the organisational culture should not be overlooked.

The key is to play to people’s strengths and ensure the right people are doing the right jobs. Jim Collins' vintage business classic, From Good To Great, talks about having the right people on the bus - if there is alignment and everyone is heading in the same direction it can only bring good results. It is not only about the right people on the bus, but also the right people sitting in the right places. If people want to move seats, go different ways or keep getting on and off the bus, that’s when the biggest challenges arise.  

Lastly, retaining the best young talent that join your business is just as important as finding them. The idea of ‘one job for life’ is no longer in the mindset of this mobile generation. Creating a fun and dynamic working environment where people want to come in every day with real enthusiasm can be the difference. It’s the small things that contribute - a free company-wide lunch once a month, allowing someone the opportunity to grow and develop within a role, creating the right office space and working environment.

James Eder is founder of youth marketing agency The Beans Group.

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