The second interview in our series and our last for 2017 is with TARGETrecruit Account Director Holly Weaver. Here she talks about the importance of candidate engagement, why she enjoys her job and what she has asked Santa for this Christmas.
Name and job title?
Holly Weaver, Account Director, TARGETrecruit
What does TARGETrecruit do?
We’re early talent recruitment specialists who provide support to a range of different clients across a variety of sectors, such as engineering, IT and banking. We support a lot of different client needs, such as providing applicant tracking systems for volume recruitment through to end- to-end recruitment process support (like marketing, attraction, selection & assessment) in addition to offering material design and offer management process consultations.
How long have you worked at TARGETrecruit?
Just over five years
Why did you choose to work in graduate recruitment?
I like the aspect of guiding students through the process and giving them the best support along the way. I love hearing the excitement in their voice when you’ve made them their first proper job offer – it’s really satisfying.
I also love working on a variety of projects. It’s very rewarding to work on a project end-to-end and see the successful outcomes.
What kind of clients are you currently working with?
Quite a range! The clients I manage are from the property, FMCG, banking, construction, utilities and retail sectors.
What is one of the key issues that you think is facing the graduate recruitment industry?
I think it’s a pretty competitive marketplace at the moment. There are a wide variety of roles and opportunities available for students to apply to. Students obviously have a choice of employers, so we often see that they make numerous applications to these roles which makes it harder to engage and hold onto the top talent.
The challenge is not just finding the right hires but then keeping them in the process after you’ve made them the offer. We often see that more and more candidates are not turning up to assessment centres, are dropping out of later stages, or are accepting (and then subsequently declining) multiple offers from clients.
With so many students engaged in a number of different processes in the graduate application season, it makes our job a lot harder to retain the students that our clients wish to make offers to.
So, how do you deal with this issue of ensuring students don’t subsequently renege on an offer?
Well, not only is important to build an open relationship with candidates throughout the recruitment process, but by bringing them into the culture of the organisation, we can help them understand and get excited about the role early on. We do this by engaging them with company updates and newsletters, or sending them top tips on how to best prepare for the next steps of the recruitment process.
The student may be waiting up to eight months before they start so it is vital that they remain engaged and on-board throughout this period. One thing employers can do to help is by introducing them to their “buddy” to ensure the work interaction is there at an early stage, and that there is a pre-established support network. Using social media groups to interact with any new graduates is another method, as is inviting them to company events. One of our clients hosted a summer BBQ so that all the new grads could be brought together early on.
Essentially, it’s about making the graduate feel part of the organisation before they make the first step through the door.
Have you seen anything new in the industry to deal with this issue?
There are a lot of technologies out there such as social media platforms and candidate engagement multimedia like video conferencing. But actually it doesn’t necessarily need to be the most technical process. This can be as easy as calling or emailing the candidate as long as the communication is on a regular basis. People just want to be engaged.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Working with our clients and across a range of different sectors is really exciting. Here within the TARGETrecruit team we have a very friendly environment and we like to celebrate success when we perform well for our clients. Delivering excellent client service and quality hires are ultimately our main aim!
It’s also really nice to be able to adapt to different clients’ needs. The TARGETrecruit office is in Southwark but we often visit the client site – to candidates we appear as a member of their internal team. It is also fun to go out on campus for our clients and really engage with students.
Generally across the teams we have a lot of fun and all enjoy what we do.
What was your dream job when you were younger?
My dream job as a child was to be a PE teacher.
And all you want for Christmas…?
Ski gear! I’m off skiing after Christmas and into the New Year. So some nice ski gear to keep me warm on the slopes would be nice.