Archive for March, 2007

The graduate round 2007 – NZ professional services firms

Monday, March 5th, 2007

It is that time of year again and the professional services firms are embarking on their grad milkrounds.  It is interesting to see how these firms are pitching themselves to the Gen Ys.  I have just had a quick glance at the grad pages on their websites.  All the websites provide information about their respective programmes and have the facility for grads to apply online.

Here’s a quick snapshot of my initial impressions.  Of course the true judges will be the pool of graduates looking to join a programme – quite a lot of grads will receive multiple offers.



Gradcasts – cool name.  The YouTube look is very appealing.  The videos are well-produced, snappy, and you get a taste of the range of experiences directly from recent grad hires – the grads are telling the story.  I think even more of the content on the careers pages could be video-ised.  I congratulate KPMG for bringing their site to life – a major enhancement on last year.



Deloitte have gone down the podcast route, rather than the video approach of KPMG.  They have a video tab on the site, but there are no videos actually listed.  They use an interviewer to garner comments, impressions etc from recent grad hires.  The conversations sound natural and honest.  Again, I think the snippets are well-produced.  You can download the Career Insights onto your iPod or subscribe via RSS or iTunes.  All good for that grad on the go!



PWC have again branded their programme as Aspire.  I like that handle, but I feel like they have lost an opportunity to explain or continue this theme throughout the rest of the site.  I do like the large pics of people smiling and the site does contain some valuable information and selling points, but it lacks the impact achieved through videos and podcasts.

Ernst and Young


After the introductory flash page I was expecting something great.  However, the site had more of a 2006 web 1.0 look and feel to me.  Again there is some great content on the site and I see an opportunity to bring the “EY Stories” to life with the aid of technology – the EY Stories are crying out for this.

Overall, I like the firms’ take up of technology to engage with grads.  In 2008, I would like to see some recruitment blogs on the sites and even the facility to receive questions and comments, thereby creating a dialogue between potential grad hires and the firms.

Paul Jacobs

Owning your own talent pool

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

Following on from the theme of the previous Engage Blog post, I would like to comment on the approach of one e-recruitment vendor operating in NZ and overseas.

The vendor system in question encourages jobseekers, captured in their client’s own dedicated talent pool, to give their permission to be approached with opportunities from other signed-up clients who wish to source candidates for their vacancies.  It is like building a super-talent pool from your clients and then monetarising it.

This model may be great for a jobseeker and great for your competitor, but one could put up a strong case that this approach bastardises your own talent pool.  Also, what happens if you want to change vendors down the track and retain ownership of your talent pool?  Again, one could argue that you have lost some ownership because your registered jobseekers have also been communicating directly, through your system, with other employers (possibly within the same industry).

Paul Jacobs

Building a talent pipeline

Thursday, March 1st, 2007


Somebody resigns and there is panic. Quick, put an ad in the paper … on a job board … contact an agency.  This reactive scenario is all too common. 

A proactive alternative

Many of our e-recruitment clients are taking a smarter, more proactive approach to sourcing talent. When somebody resigns they simply dip into their talent pool. This pool contains active and semi-active jobseekers who have expressed an interest in working for the organisation and outlined the types of roles, locations and working arrangements that will work best for them. These clients are managing a constant flow of jobseekers in a structured way.

Some of these clients are spending a lot of time learning about and communicating with these jobseekers and keeping the talent pool fresh. Recruiters are in essence assuming the multi-disciplinary role of screener, career coach and talent scout. Our clients are either managing this process in-house or have outsourced all or part of it. Technology is providing tools that allow recruiters to run very specific searches, be alerted automatically when people with a particular skill set enter the pool, manage particular groups of jobseekers (eg high-potential people), and maintain candidate care at all times. A few clients are using some innovative pre-screening technology approaches to pre-qualify and narrow down large numbers of jobseekers.

Commercial benefits

Up to 50% of hires across our clients are being sourced directly from their own talent pools.  This is eliminating the need to necessarily go out to market every single time a vacancy comes up.  In many cases the cost savings are astronomical.  But even those clients who do go out to market each and every time are still hiring significant numbers from their talent pool.

Some of the more niche employers have even captured a sizeable slice of the available jobseeker pool – resulting in a significant competitive advantage.

Managing frequently advertised roles

Results are particularly obvious in areas where there is high volume recruitment of the same position across a number of different locations. It definitely looks a lot tidier listing a high volume role (eg customer service representative) only once on the homepage of a careers site, rather than 20 times for each different location. We find that jobseekers are becoming very discerning about where they want to be located (even within a city). In fact many jobseekers may be looking for opportunities outside their region. It is best to get these sorts of preferences from a jobseeker when they first register. If there are no current vacancies within the jobseeker’s preferred location then the better e-recruitment systems will inform that jobseeker when a new vacancy comes online.

Paul Jacobs