Smart Moves: How employers can gain net benefits
Alongside traditional recruitment methods, firms can now question graduates on the Internet before calling them in for interview. By Rachelle Thackray
Sunday 14 June 1998
For them, the work has only just begun. While many potential trainees are still attracted to firms through the traditional university milk round, thousands of other students who are not quite so well prepared will flock to summer recruitment fairs, such as that at Liverpool University on Wednesday 17 June.
The question which the canniest employers are asking is not "How do we lure the best graduates?" but "How do we keep the best graduates?" One of the ways in which employers are beginning to combine recruitment with retainment is to weed out unsuitable applicants by using a series of tests accessible through computers, even up to interview stage.
With the growth in Internet use and in the standard of IT-literacy, this method of recruitment is an inevitable and growing trend, says Graeme Wright, director of media and research at Park Human Resources, which publishes an annual survey on how graduates are seen by employers. "People are already beginning to question if there is any need for a CV when a machine can interview the best candidates."
In the States, one large department store - Macy's - takes on hundreds of extra staff at peak season and already routinely selects the best candidates via computer testing. "You sit there in front of your screen, and it asks you 'Why did you leave your last job?' then will respond to your answer. They need to know how you will react in a given situation. Then it's marked by the software, and if you've been successful, your computer gets in touch with the right person to arrange an interview," explains Mr Wright.
He admits there are drawbacks, but argues that these can be outweighed. "If I was applying for a job and had no personal skills whatsoever, I could get my friend to do the test. But as it's just leading to a final interview anyway, if you lie you are just wasting your own time." Tests range from basic through to sophisticated; Coopers and Lybrand in the States, for example, no longer prints a graduate brochure, although British graduates can still send off for one.
Meanwhile, today's students will need other skills apart from that of CV-embellishment. "It's getting quite unusual for employers to ask for a CV, because they are difficult to assess: they're a student's PR tool," says Mr Wright. "Companies are now asking how you've demonstrated your leadership skills, for example. If you're good enough to con your way into the job, chances are you're good enough anyhow." He points out that companies would be wise to combine different methods of recruitment advertising. "One of the Web's strengths is to convey detailed information, and the most successful recruiters will find ways of using different media in tandem, for instance by attracting people's attention to corporate web sites through newspaper publicity."
But while this year's graduates - most of whom have Web access on campus - are happy to request recruitment literature via the Internet it seems the computer is not necessarily their only port of call: there's still plenty of frantic newspaper page turning and dashing round recruitment fair stalls.
Says one student: "The Internet does enable you to see lots of different options without having to send off for all the application forms, which can take days. But you need to know what you're letting yourself in for, and it's good to meet people who've been and done it already."
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 Sussex couple die in suspected Christmas Day 'suicide pact'
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
UK weather: Travel chaos continues as King's Cross train delays add to snow on roads
The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
North Korea calls Barack Obama 'a monkey' in latest attack as 'The Interview' row festers
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
iJobs Money & Business
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...
Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...
Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...