Want to attract top graduate talent? Start priming your pipeline early.

BY Natasha Lyubic |

Smart business managers know that if they want to attract the best graduate talent and position their brand as an employer of choice, the work begins long before they start recruiting.

In today’s climate, graduates are more discerning than ever.

Recent research on engaging the next generation of employees by the Allegis Group demonstrated that your brand’s success in attracting and retaining Gen Ys and Zs lies your ability to form authentic relationships with them. 

By offering them a stand-out brand experience early in their development, you have the opportunity to influence their decision-making at a time when they are eager to learn and impress.

Enter the student project team.

A high-impact and mutually-beneficial opportunity that:

  1. offers ambitious students invaluable work experience, 
  2. gives you the chance to progress a project or business challenge that you’ve perhaps been putting off due to resource or time limitations, and
  3. offers you the chance to position your brand as an employer of choice in front of tomorrow’s young professionals.

How exactly will this help position our brand as an employer of choice? 

We’re glad you asked. Have you met Millennials and Gen Z’s? They are all about connection and connectivity. Break through the chatter by putting your brand and your team face-to-face with these individuals. Enable them to experience, rather than just read about, what it’s like to work in your company. Set them up with a mentor who they can relate to and who give them a taste of the culture, opportunities and impact that they can expect to have by working in your company. 

Can I really do that in two weeks?

How long do you need to make a first impression? Two weeks offers the perfect, compact introduction to your business and more importantly provides a platform for continued conversation. Connect with them on LinkedIn, keep them in the loop by emailing them exciting company news and if you can see them fitting into your company culture, invite them to interview when the time comes.

The opportunity reaches far beyond the project team

You are not just building good rapport with the students from the project team that you host. You are actually fostering the strongest brand amplification channel there is – word of mouth. What's the first thing these students are likely to do following a great in-company placement? Share it on LinkedIn, share it with friends, share it with their classmates. Suddenly your audience of five has grown to potentially hundreds or even thousands depending on the size of these individuals’ networks. All for an investment of one week of your time. 

Ok, tell me more about what a project should look like?

We’re glad we’ve got your interest. Keep in mind that Readygrad are experts in this area and can work with businesses on developing, structuring and advising on delivery of a suitable project. However, here are a few pointers.

The students often come from an eclectic mix of disciplines which provides organisations with a lot of flexibility in terms of project options. Students are grouped based on the project scope provided by the business.

Project ideas:

-    Marketing plans 
-    CRM systems Research and Review
-    Cost benefit analysis 
-    Acquisition review 
-    Marketing expansion 
-    Policy & Compliance review and generation 
-    Process improvements 
-    Competitor analysis

This differs from an internship program.

Student teams generally include five members and are placed into a company to work on a specific project rather than to be trained in industry-skills. Projects often run over a period of one to two weeks. This is an opportunity for them to put their knowledge and problem-solving skills to the test in a structured, real-world scenario. In return you receive a tangible outcome, fresh perspectives and of course the invaluable opportunity to strengthen your position as a graduate destination.

I’m interested, how do I get involved?

We're glad to hear it! We currently have a brilliant opportunity for Sydney-based-businesses.

The details 

We are looking to place talented teams of students into forward-thinking businesses for an in-company project. We can work with you on identifying, developing and structuring an appropriate project and can advise on delivery.

Placement dates: July 15 to 26 
Time: 9am to 5pm 
Disciplines: Accounting, IT, Finance, Marketing, Business Analysis, Supply Chain and Logistics, Engineering, Policy and Social Sciences.
Application deadline for host companies: June 7

How will the groups be determined?

Students have been offered the opportunity to enrol in this program as an extracurricular activity so you can be sure only the bold and ambitious will be involved. We will create the student teams based on the project scope provided by your business and their areas of expertise.

Anything else I need to know?

There will be a networking day for all student teams and industry mentors in the week following the placement where students will also have the opportunity to present their project and experience to the rest of their peers. 

Who do I speak to?

To find out more about this brilliant opportunity, please get in touch with David Espitia on David.Espitia@readygrad.com.au or on 0417 408 556 or read this article.

Remember, if you want to attract the best graduate talent, you have to stand out from the sea of sameness. This is an opportunity to do just that. 

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