Common Vision is currently participating in the IT industry’s version of the AFL National Draft, namely the various Universities’ Careers Fairs. Yesterday we exhibited at the University of Melbourne Careers Fair for 2011 Graduates. Our objective for the day was to provide candidates with a realistic overview of our company & graduate program and meet some final year students. We were also interested in what other prospective employers were doing to attract the best IT talent.
For any professional services company, the quality of people is a key factor in the value of the service which that company is able to provide. Graduate recruitment will become an increasingly important component in that equation for Common Vision along with existing fundamentals we apply to personnel selection and development as follows:
- Recruit and develop highly-skilled Professionals in strategic disciplines with a solid understanding of “best practice” IT delivery techniques
- Develop internal practice-specific collateral, practices and Intellectual Property for IT delivery
- Continue to develop all staff on a “best you can be” basis through training, mentoring and encouragement to participate in best practice forums within the industry
- Grow our practice through an annual graduate recruitment program with an emphasis on high-potential individuals with Common Vision providing training and mentoring in Common Vision disciplines and practices
- Focus on the motivation and desire to “grow” their professional capabilities (depth and breadth).
While I’ve previously been involved in co-ordinating graduate recruitment at other organisations, this is the first year Common Vision has instituted a formal graduate recruitment program. I wasn’t sure how many candidates would be sufficiently motivated to make the trek over from the University to check out the 130 or so employers who exhibited on the day but we expected that Jason, Lorena and I would be sufficient to handle the queries. As we are only hiring 2 graduates for our 2012 intake, this year we only attended the Melbourne University Careers Fair (for the simple reason that we were most familiar with that University’s curriculum).
For those of you interested in the practicalities of the fair, exhibition set up was conducted between 9 and 11am with an opportunity to meet the other exhibitors from 11am. Doors open to candidates at midday with a nominal close time of 4pm. We provide a standard graduate brochure to anyone who expresses an interest in applying after we have discussed our company and their studies. As an indication of the level of interest received, 46 application brochures were requested by candidates. While any of our impressions of candidates on the day are necessarily brief and imperfect, my personal assessment is that there no less than 25 individuals whom we met that would have a chance of success. Five of these individuals might reasonably be considered “very strong” candidates. Our brochure provided all candidates with an online puzzle that they can complete to demonstrate their programming capabilities so any response from that exercise might give us a better idea.
While it wasn’t possible for us to spend more than 10 minutes or so with any individual on the day (interviews come later) we were able to confirm that there are some excellent candidates with a diversity of skills and interest who are now considering an application for employment with our company. Given that most of these individuals would never have heard of us previously, our participation in the graduate fair can be considered an unmitigated success.
Jason brought along a camera to take pictures during the day. He took a few pictures before the doors opened but the level of interest was such that the 3 of us were kept busy for the 4 hours and beyond. If we look a little lonely in the following picture it’s because it was taken after the fair had closed and just as our last students were heading off on their way.
While we remain unconvinced of the merits of the new “Melbourne Model” introduced in 2008 http://uninews.unimelb.edu.au/news/4155/ we could only be pleased with the organisation, preparation and communication for the careers fair. Next year we shall extend our graduate program to Monash University and RMIT and would like to involve members of our consulting staff in one or more of the sessions. We shall also arrange for an additional exhibition banner and “Common Vision Graduate Recruitment Team” t-shirts for staff representing the company on the day.
If you have any interest in participating in future graduate recruitment activities, please indicate your interest to Lorena with a cc to firstname.lastname@example.org.