Finding and recruiting bright individuals is essential for companies to stay afloat in the competitive market. Currently, 84% of recruiters say they have more jobs to fill than last year. Subsequently, more than 70% of them report having trouble finding enough good quality talent. For many employers, graduates are one of the most effective ways of identifying and capturing talent before the competition notices them. And while 76% of employers surveyed by Kaplan report looking for new talent through graduate programmes, the question remains – how to recruit top graduates efficiently?

1. Attract the Future Talent with Case Competitions

Generally, companies don’t complain about having too few candidates applying for graduate positions. According to Sky News, in 2021, employers offering jobs to young talent would receive an average of 91 applications per vacancy – a 17% increase compared to 2020.

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When those candidates don’t live up to the expectations recruiters set, the issue arises. Thus, your HR teams spend a lot of their precious time screening applications that may not yield satisfactory results.

How can you ensure you attract top talents from the get-go? Act before those bright talents actively start looking for employment and organise case competitions.

Case competitions are extracurricular events where students are challenged to come up with a solution to real-life business problems. As an organiser, you decide on what that problem is, so it’s pertinent to your business.

How are case competitions beneficial to your talent attraction efforts?

Building your future talent pipeline ahead of the competition

Building a solid talent pipeline is essential for all recruitment efforts, but even more so in the case of graduate recruitment. More and more companies realise the importance of securing hires among early talent, with 55% of them reporting increasing efforts in this department.

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Organising case competitions is your way to proactively attract and identify top performers ahead of the competition and become a potential employer once they’re ready to find their first job.

Hack the Case, organised by Deloitte and Scotiabank, is an example of case competitions yielding profitable benefits to businesses. Mark Morreale, Senior Global Academic Program Manager, describes the competition as: “a great way for us to give graduates real-world experience and training using our software, while also helping our clients fill the talent pipeline that’s so critical to their ongoing success.”

The result? As reported in the article, Deloitte and Scotiabank are high on graduates’ list of prospective employers.

Case Competitions give students a chance to show their talent. As the tasks are usually highly challenging, you attract only the most motivated and top candidates – enriching your future talent pool early in the race.

Get fresh insights to inspire your strategies

The premises of a case competition are simple. You identify a problem either common in your industry or specific to the struggles you encounter. Then, students working in teams need to develop a practical, feasible solution that yields positive results.

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On top of meeting many bright talents in one place, you also get to hear fresh insights from younger generations. It’s an excellent opportunity for you to learn about ideas you maybe wouldn’t think of otherwise.

Nancy Schoemann, Vice President of Operations at Optera, talked about this advantage in an interview for the University of Colorado. The company that organised a case competition focused on attracting and retaining diverse talent noticed that: “there is such a value to us in listening to and learning from the students.”

She then continued: “these are individuals who are going to be entering the job market in a few years—they’re looking at DEI from an angle we don’t necessarily see. Getting their insight and perspective is so helpful to us as we decide where to focus our time and resources.”

Indeed, she’s not the only one to see high potential in graduates. In fact, 60% of employers surveyed by Kaplan say they believe that every other graduate will become a leader within their business in the future. It’s up to you to spot that talent early on.

Strengthen your employer branding

Employer branding reflects on your ability to find and keep clients but also on attracting early talent, as agreed by 60% of recruiters.

Can case competitions help you strengthen your reputation? As it appears, yes. And even better so, you’re also not unlikely to benefit from the free promotion. Let’s look at the example of L’Oréal and their international case competition, Brandstorm. As reported by the Global Employer Branding Manager quoted in the paper, L’Oréal benefits from high media coverage throughout the competition. Moreover, as he points out, the brand organising a case competition gets more attention and free advertising on social media.

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Although companies are increasing their efforts to hire young talent, many continue to focus on campus recruitment programmes and fairs. It’s therefore not surprising that brands organising case competitions, still not that common, get a lot of attention. The trend seems unlikely to change soon.

Considering that 75% of job seekers scrutinise a company’s reputation before applying for a job, solid employer branding is vital. Especially now when nearly everything can be found online within a few clicks, and younger generations are more than fluent at checking you thoroughly.  

Want to organise a Case Competition?

Now that you know how to attract top talents and broaden your future graduate talent pool, would you like to try case competitions? We can help with that.

Innoflow is a leading global provider of online case competitions, enabling companies to host local, regional, or even international events. We work closely with organisations such as RSM Star Case Competition and CBC Case Competition, helping students enrich their experience and give them a career boost. 

How do we make the whole process easy for you?

✅ We take care of a marketing plan promoting the event to educational institutions you select

✅ We provide you with a complete software solution, including a customised case – developed by us, approved by you

✅ Once the teams are presented with the case, they have 24-48 hours to submit a solution. Employees act as judges to ensure the selection of the solution most relevant to your organisation

If you’re interested in learning more about the process, our experts are happy to answer all your questions!

2. Recruit Top Graduates Successfully

Whether you choose to use case competitions to build a talent pipeline or not, you’ll still need a solid strategy on how to recruit graduates when the time comes. Is your HR team ready for that?

Resumé screening won’t work

If you’re one of the 52% of companies that still heavily rely on resumés in recruitment, you may need to change your approach to identify and recruit top graduates successfully.

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Resumés are not the best method of finding talent for various reasons. However, the statement is perhaps the most relevant for the graduate market. Why? Because resumés generally focus on education and experience.

Graduates, by definition, have little to no experience. On top of that, there’s no correlation between one’s academic scores and job performance. In fact, neither education nor experience is good at predicting future job performance, as shown by the research we discussed in this blog post.

Thus, grades or diplomas cannot be considered valid factors in the selection process. Resumés fail to accurately reflect a graduate’s potential and competencies – the factors that secure a successful hire.

With the pandemic changing the recruitment dynamic, businesses need to find better ways of assessing candidates (regardless of whether they’re graduates or not). Luckily, there’s a convenient solution.

How to recruit top graduates: Innoflow x Graduate Acquisition

As much as 75% of employers find it difficult (very or moderately) to recruit top graduates. As discussed previously, two of the most common challenges are having too many candidates overall and not having enough many qualified ones.

The Innoflow Graduate Acquisition programme is divided into three stages that help solve these issues.

Step 1: High Volume Screening  

As graduate applications increased in 2021, companies hiring young talent need a way to sieve through larger piles of applications more efficiently. To do that, consider starting with a Situational Judgment Test. The test is a replacement for resumés and cover letters (for the reasons mentioned previously).

Instead, you present your candidates with multiple-choice scenarios customised to your organisation and its needs. Thus, you get to check which graduate candidates have the knowledge necessary to succeed at your company.

This stage is fully digitalised, automated, and anonymous. The assessment is done automatically and saves your time, subsequently ensuring the bias-free selection.

Step 2: Low Volume Screening

Once you’ve narrowed down the pool, you can move on to competency evaluation. As we’ve mentioned, resumés don’t give the option to present one’s potential. And this sentiment is shared by 25% of graduates who expressed that the application process doesn’t let their skills show.

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To get information on a graduate’s potential, use work samples instead. During this second stage, your candidates will receive a work sample mirroring the tasks they’d perform on the job. That’s your chance of assessing their skills and competencies in a way that’s been proven to predict future job performance effectively.

The solutions will again be entirely anonymous, but this time assessed manually.

Stage 3: Team-based Case

Now that you have a list of top graduates, it’s time to test two competencies that are the most desired among recruiters in graduate acquisition: communication (73%) and team player skills (61%).

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In the last stage, the final selection of candidates will be asked to solve a case in small teams. The case’s purpose is to assess their collaboration skills in a work-related scenario. To facilitate your work further, we fully provide the tools to evaluate teams competently.

Would you like to hear more about the Innoflow Graduate Acquisition Programme and how we can help you recruit top graduates? Let us know!

Use Technology to Successfully Recruit Top Graduates

Recruiting graduates comes with challenges, but its benefits to your bottom line can be game-changing. Today’s companies have a unique chance to use technology to help them identify early talents, as admitted by 67% of employers who plan to increase their investment in talent acquisition tools next year.

Don’t let your business stay behind the competition, and try methods that will increase your chances of recruiting top graduates in a sure-fire way.

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