Graduate: When it costs a fortune to recruit a graduate, it makes sense to safeguard your investment

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How to attract, choose and keep the best graduates: `The Independent' is sponsoring a two-day conference to reduce the costs of staff turnover.

Recruiting and retaining high-quality graduates is an increasingly complex activity that takes up a lot of corporate time and resources. Recent research suggests that the typical cost of hiring a graduate is pounds 4,600, with businesses usually spending a further pounds 60,000 before they see a return on their investment.

In an effort to cast more light on an activity that is growing in prominence, and so help make that expenditure more effective, The Independent is sponsoring a two-day conference dedicated to the subject.

The event taking place at London's Forte Posthouse, Regent's Park on 12 and 13 January 1998 is being arranged by IIR Ltd and is chaired by Roly Cockman, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, and Hugh Smith, the manager responsible for graduate entry at BT.

Speakers, including Jeremy Reed, managing director of The Independent, will talk about various facets of the field. The emphasis will be on practical strategies for recruiting and retaining graduates in a range of business sectors. Among organisations due to send speakers are Andersen Consulting, IBM, Marks & Spencer and Asda.

The idea is that, as well as gaining from such organisations' practical experience, delegates will learn from the latest research into recruitment benchmarks, be introduced to ideas on revitalising and restructuring graduate recruitment strategies and gain some insights into boosting the quality of graduate applications through skilfully targeted marketing.

In addition, there will be - on 14 January - a one-day workshop on ability and aptitude testing led by Ellen Fletcher, an occupational psychologist.