Trends and innovation set the agenda at gradireland Talent Masterclass

On May 17th, top recruiters representing both Irish and international companies attended the latest gradireland Graduate Talent Masterclass in the Gibson hotel to hear about the latest trends, innovation and technologies in graduate recruitment. The event was part of a continuing series of events by gradireland and their partners Cut-e.

Attendees heard presentations from those working in both well established companies and start-ups in the industry, getting an insight into new approaches and some of the creative recruitment methods being used.

Finola Gallagher Taaffe from Deloitte, gradireland’s Graduate Employer of the Year 2018, spoke about their approach to graduate recruitment. They have embedded assessment in an instant messaging style programme in order to narrow down the pool of candidates. The programme poses a series of scenario based questions to applicants to which they have three possible answers. Only one answer is in line with the Deloitte values. The programme provides “more of a three dimensional element to the initial process to identify the top calibre candidates,” Finola explained.

The Deloitte approach is especially interesting considering that in a live poll at the event, 56% said that finding a graduate who was a good fit for their company was the biggest recruitment challenge that they were facing this year.

Howard Grosvenor, an occupational psychologist with Cut-e, discussed the digital job finder he created with Vodafone that could tackle such an issue. The ‘social project’ aims to find digital jobs that are relevant to you based on educational experience, job experience, location and a built-in personality test. It will then match you to a number of digital job roles that will interest you based on your result.

Similarly, Lena Rogova of, an artificial intelligence driven start-up, told attendees of how AI can make sure that the right talents are hired. gathers data from digital versions of applicants CV’s and then matches it with the suitable jobs. Rogova explained that the intelligence can also pick up if, for example, you’ve forgotten to put that you are proficient in JavaScript on your CV yet all its contents make it clear that it is a skill you have. “It aims to minimise the element of human error” according to Rogova.

Director of gradireland, Mark Mitchell, highlighted the candidate-centric approach taken by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). In 2017, they launched TechQuest in which people could unscramble clues to discover JLR. If you could complete the hunt, you might be asked to join the company. A combination of marketing and recruitment, this new approach to hiring is crucial in a graduate recruitment landscape that is increasingly challenging.

Start-up company, The Hire lab, emphasised that, in their opinion, for today’s graduates, job specifications and ‘must haves’ don’t work. Founder Lorraine Scroope advised recruiters to instead focus on the objectives and to think about what employees have done in the past that was good. Scroope also encouraged attendees to embrace using technology in recruiting so that they could spend more time on viable candidates and less on admin. “Tech can do all the heavy lifting”, Scroope said, “and recruiters can focus on the human experience”.

Gary Berney from HireUp, also a start-up company, said that employers need to start thinking differently when it comes to how to reward employees. “It’s not always monetary,” he said. Berney encouraged recruiters to start thinking towards experience based rewards such as a weekend away. The importance of mobile engagement is key, according to Berney, with generation z (those born after 1995) being even more mobile facing than their millennial (those born between 1980 and 1994) counterparts.

Jim O’Brien from Tandem HR discussed the importance of millennial aspirations and integrating them into the work place. “Millennial’s want to contribute to their community”, O’Brien said. He pointed to a collaborative learning environment being a way to achieve that, especially with most graduates feeling that their skills are being underutilised in the work place.

David Barrett, Chief Commercial officer of Cut-e, emphasized the growing move towards hiring candidates that can bring the company into the future. According to Barrett, academics were becoming less important to employers and that they were instead looking for “people with the skills for the digital future”. David also discussed the impact that technology will have on job redundancy. He explained that robots will be able to do some jobs for us but that it doesn’t mean mass unemployment. Referencing the statistic that 65% of today’s children will have jobs that don’t exist yet, he highlighted the necessity for and importance of transferable skills.

For more upcoming gradireland events, click here.

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