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Recruiting bright, young talent

Chris Gee

Talent blog

Chris Gee, executive commercial director at SilverDoor on the benefits of recruiting graduates

At SilverDoor we invest in young people and, with an average employee age of 25, university graduates and school leavers make up an important part of our workforce.

 

Our relationship with a number of the graduates who work at SilverDoor starts with our placement scheme. We work with universities to offer placement opportunities to undergraduates, giving them a year of valuable industry experience inbetween their second and final year. Every year a healthy percentage of former placement students return to permanent positions, and several now even head up departments.

Offering placement students contracts after they graduate has substantial benefits for both the graduates and the company. If the students impress us on their placement year then there may be a job offer for them after they graduate, which allows them to focus on successfully completing their degrees. SilverDoor benefits from the reduced risk that hiring these employees represents as we know that they fit our culture and have experience of what their job requires due to their time as placements. Overall this means reduced recruitment and training costs as these employees can hit the ground running.

Recruiting graduates is different to recruiting candidates with years of industry experience because graduates typically have similar levels of education and experience. Graduates lack industry knowledge but have gained experience with customer service, finance and work ethic, having mostly worked in shops, bars and restaurants. Graduates bring a fresh approach and new ideas to the table and come to SilverDoor unburdened by previous practices. In this way, they are better able to understand what makes our company tick, having learnt about our business from the bottom up. 

The graduate selection process can be tricky because the work experience they do have isn’t usually relevant to SilverDoor office work. So how can you tell whether they’ll excel or flop? It has to be about attitude, preparation, personality and work ethic. But how do you work that out in an interview? We do try to put people at ease so that we can see through interview nerves, but as for psychometric tests and presentations, we’d rather stick with our instincts. 

What graduates may lack in experience they make up for in enthusiasm, verve and energy. If you’re willing to invest in them, as we are, they can prove to be loyal, long-serving assets for you company. After all, we were all young and inexperienced once.


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