15 June 2009

So at a time when the whole world seems to be cutting back, I find myself in an odd position. At this years graduate fayre at Manchester University there were the usual faces, the Price Water Houses, the Grant Thorntons, Rolls Royce etc, however there was a definate reduction in the number of places for graduates available.

Last year we recruited 7 new graduates. A year on, 5 of them have worked out and are still with UKFast. The 5 that remain have been so successful, this year we are recruiting 20 more.

Regardless of the economic climate we need new recruits. The universities are the obvious choice. And although there are no specific courses (yet) for the sort of training we require, a university graduate comes to the table, keen to learn and enthusiastic.

Interestingly this years candidates are far more flexible and willing to take on just about anything. In previous years the graduates lean towards the sexier job titles like marketing and PR, even though often these in reality involve a huge amount of organisational and administrative skills. This year, with fewer jobs available  we didn’t offer job titles, simply the opportunity to join a great company and try all the departments and on that journey, we can see where their fortes lie.

It is too easy to pigeon hole candidates on how they interview, where they will eventually reside within the company, and although we have fun guessing, we are not so arrogant to assume that we know best. My job, is simply to get the correct people in the business. What they end up doing is almost irrelevant; we can worry about that later.

If you are a graduate looking for a career. Be persistent and if you cant get a job easily, offer yourself out for experience. Do it for free if necessary. Get a foot in the door and make yourself indispensable. 

Often you dont need the qualifications you have just earned, but you will need the desire and enthusiasm. Do not fear failure. If you are turned down, you are destined for something greater. Good luck and enjoy the hunt!

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