10 Tips For Hiring The Best Graduates And Interns In South Africa

10 Tips for hiring the best graduates and interns in South Africa
Graduates are by nature not the easiest of people with whom to engage, never mind to interview for a job. Often called Millennials when in fact they aren’t, these youngsters might not be the best at verbal or written articulation, but technologically, they can outsmart most generations before them. 

So how do you go about finding the best of the bunch when the job advertised is attracting thousands of CVs from desperate youngsters willing to take a chance by submitting a CV that is not relevant to the position at all? 

 

1. Call in an expert

Not all companies have a fully-fledged graduate recruitment team that fly around the country courting the top students from various universities and colleges. If that’s your company, use an agency like RecruitAGraduate that hires experienced graduate recruiters to do the leg work for you. You give them the job spec and they do all the CV sifting, interviewing and screening. All you need to do is to sit back and wait for the shortlist of best candidates, saving you both time and money.

 

2. Don’t assume anything

In a country like South Africa, what might be a norm in one society is not necessarily in another. Top calibre candidates can be overlooked if CV’s and online testing are the only measures in place to evaluate applications. Personal engagement with candidates telephonically or via video reveals so much more potential than what one can observe on paper alone. If the skillset has been achieved, the candidate is worth an engagement. 

 

3. Tell me your story

Always ask the candidate to tell you their story of how they achieved their university or college qualification. The stories of grit, determination, resilience, initiative, sacrifice, tenacity and sheer hard work will give you great insight into the person’s background and psychological strength to achieve goals despite hardship. These stories tell far more about an applicant than a CV. 

 

4. A CV is like a treasure map

Many graduates have no real idea as to how to complete a CV. This is not a slight on them, it is a slight on the education system. Use a CV like a treasure map to find the jewel and then spend the time with the graduate to discover the rest of the treasure. Very seldom do we find a first CV draft that tells the full story of a graduate. It’s by engaging with them and asking the right questions that you get to extract valuable information that can then be put into a CV to create a comprehensive picture of the graduate’s abilities and soft skills.

 

5. Widen your fishing pool

Thousands of smart, hard-working people graduate from universities and colleges every year in South Africa. Don’t just fish in one college or university. You have an entire nation from which to choose. Using online recruiting allows you to reach job seekers and people wanting internships on a national level as many are willing to relocate. RecruitAGraduate has a national footprint. 

 

6. Look for attributes, not just skills

Attitude and personal attributes can take a person a lot further than just a qualification. Ask interview questions to open the door which will allow you to better understand these attributes. Then harness these attributes in your business, not just the graduate’s qualification skill. 

 

7. Be mindful of data costs being a barrier to entry

Asking interns and graduates to complete extensive online applications and assessments is a barrier to entry for many who have no means to buy the expensive data to complete the process. Be a considerate employer and invite them to complete the tests in your offices, or collaborate with township internet suppliers to allow graduates to make the applications at a reduced rate. Data in South Africa is expensive and is an unnecessary barrier to the job market for many. Not completing the required assessments may not be due to a lack of interest, it may be due to lack of funds. 

 

8. Don’t confuse desperation and entitlement

Language can be personal and thus easily misunderstood. We see many written motivational letters that can be seen as entitled or arrogant, when in fact they are just desperate. Use every piece of writing to hunt for treasure and don’t assume you can understand the candidate from reading the CV alone. Any expert recruiter will tell you the real diamonds are there you just need to look beyond the obvious. 

 

9. Have a plan

What problem will this graduate or intern solve in your business once recruited? Have a well thought out graduate onboarding plan. By having a well thought out onboarding plan before the recruiting process starts, you will have clearly defined the roles and responsibilities this person will need to fulfil. This will direct the recruitment process in finding the best-suited intern or graduate for the job. 

 

10. Do a qualification verification

A specialist graduate agency can do this for you as part of the recruitment process. Due to the verification process being lengthy and costly, it is best that this is done at the final stage before a job offer is made. 

 

If you have a graduate or internship job, and you would like expert assistance in filling it, post the job today on RecruitAGraduate or email us at admin@recruitagraduate.co.za. An experienced recruiter will be in touch. 

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