The conversations I’ve had with careers services and graduate recruiters over the last couple of weeks have made one thing very clear: both groups are trying hard to solve the same challenge, they are just approaching from different perspectives.
What is the common challenge?
To create an environment where the right kind of students meet the right kind of employers, at a time which is right for both, and with both sides having a good understanding of the other.
What are the different perspectives?
For university career services, they look after a huge, diverse range of students who are studying different courses and who are at vastly different points on their journey towards employment. They spend a (small?) percentage of their time with employers, and have to use this knowledge to inform the advice they give students. Many services work with their students from well before they arrive at university (through outreach or recruitment activities) and continue that relationship well after they graduate (through alumni activities). A good careers service has an unparalleled understanding of what makes their student body tick.
For graduate recruiters, they meet many students at lots of universities, and in a short space of time have to make decisions about which students are going to be right for their company. They spend a (small?) percentage of their time on campus, and have to use this knowledge to inform their recruitment strategies. Many recruiters work with their graduates from well before they arrive to start work (through school or university engagement activities) and continue that relationship well after they join (through graduate development programmes). A good recruiter has an unparalleled understanding of how to make a successful transition from education to employment.
When does all this work well? When there is a good relationship between careers service and graduate recruiter of course. When both sides understand the challanges that the other is facing, and both sides think about how their perspective could help their opposite number. When both sides see that they are trying to solve the same problem: helping the right student to find the right opportunity at the right time.
What do you think the challenge looks like from the perspective of your opposite number?