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READY... SET... ATTRACT!

Posted by Nikki Barnard

December 6th, 2016

When it comes to graduate programmes, a clear and well thought out graduate attraction strategy will be what sets you apart from the rest, as you position your company as the employer of choice

In order to select the top graduates, you need to attract them first. Here are a few things to bear in mind when putting together your attraction strategy:

1. GET READY…

Attracting the right candidate for your graduate recruitment program is usually determined by the old “what you put in is usually what you get out” cliché’. This certainly rings true for graduate recruitment, as the more effort you as an organisation put into your attraction strategy the greater the calibre of student you will be able to select from.

In order to do this, you need to define your student target group and understand what matters to them. Times have changed and the work environment is constantly evolving. Young graduates know what they want and what is important to them and as such, graduate programs need to be clear on a few things:

  • work-life balance
  • challenging and stimulating work
  • international opportunities
  • opportunities for advancements
  • learning and development prospects
  • clear goals and regular feedback
  • compensation and benefits

How I hear you say? Be a professional stalker. Think about the person you (ideally) would like to work for your organisation, then be specific about what you can offer and how that would matter to them. The other vital step is to identify your channels and providers - the key is quality over quantity.

2. GET SET…

Gearing your yourself up to showcase your organisation is the next fundamental cog in the proverbial graduate attraction wheel. In order to do this, you need to get online and make your company known.

Students in their exploratory stages may be aware of your company, but not necessarily of your employer brand or employee value position (EVP). Help them picture you as their employer, by showcasing your organisation and your job opportunities. It is helpful to bear in mind that strong employer brands spend less time and resources on hiring, and have better employee retention and increased productivity.

The bottom line, when showcasing your company, comes down to authenticity. Communicate your company, its culture, values and benefits. Don't forget your uniqueness is what will set you apart from the rest.

3. ATTRACT!

Like attracts like - if you are wanting to select the top graduates for your organisation then you need to be top employers and be ready for them. Stay current and ahead by:

  • Setting clear targets for your attraction campaigns - Determine the criteria for a successful campaign such as better calibre of students, shorter screening times, higher offer-to-acceptance ratio, and increased awareness of employer brand. Having clear goals up front will determine the success and return on investment (ROI) of your attraction campaign.
  • Consistently measuring your progress and adjusting it if you need to - Keep your eye on the analytics and readjust your content or channels if needed. In an ever-evolving market, where young graduates are at the forefront, you need to keep up and be willing to move along with it.
  • Remembering to celebrate and acknowledge your successes - Don’t be shy… go on brag! Be proud of your organisation and let others know how you feel. Remember that the most powerful form of marketing is word of mouth, so get people talking.

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November 21st, 2016

Joining Towngas as a Graduate Trainee is a milestone for fresh graduates, you may have a lot of doubts about how’s the life there. Let’s hear from our 2016 intakes- Parry, Carol and Shawn about how Towngas helps them in reaching their dreams!

The Towngas Graduate Trainee Program is accepting applications from now until 9 December 2016. Apply now at: https://www.towngas.com/eng/corp/careers/training/gt.aspx

Parry Chan Pak Long

Parry Chan Pak Long

BEng (Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management),
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Parry is currently under the HKIE Scheme “A” MIE Discipline, and belongs to the Hong Kong Core Business

Why did you choose to join Towngas?

Serving the community with my professionalism was my childhood dream, and Towngas is the perfect place to help me realize it. I have always wanted to join an innovative public utility company and become an engineer because all my work will make a positive impact on all Hong Kong people’s daily life. Apart from my dream, the Towngas Graduate Trainee Programme has a structured and clear career ladder, I can expect advancement within the corporate.

How’s your first 3 months as a Towngas GT?

If you ask about the best thing working in Towngas, it is definitely the support you have received from top management. They always spend time with us and give valuable feedbacks for our learning and growth, as well as not hesitate in showing their appreciation to our work done. The sense of achievement I have gained at Towngas is tremendously beyond my expectation!

Carol Huang Mei Yu

Carol Huang Mei Yu

BBA (China Business)
City University of Hong Kong

Carol is the Business Trainee of the Hong Kong Core Business.

Why did you choose to join Towngas?

My career goal is to work in a large corporate that I can be exposed to the different scope of businesses and roles. Towngas has a diverse business profile in Hong Kong and Mainland with coverage in gas production, transmission and distribution, sale of appliances and total kitchen solution, telecommunications, metering and new energy. I can foresee my future here as an all-rounded management. Other than helping me to achieve my career goal, the Graduate Trainee Programme is well-structured and it has started since 1982, many of our current executives are my GT seniors!

How’s your first 3 months as a Towngas GT?

I particularly appreciate the one-month management orientation training. Not only am I introduced to the corporate’s businesses, I have been provided with training to enhance my business networking skills through different workshops. As I am a business major without any engineering background, the orientation has also helped me to pick up a lot of the technical learning in a short period of time. I am really excited about the steep learning curve I have experienced in Towngas!

Towngas

I am an outgoing person who enjoys participating in a lot of volunteering and events organized by the company, including challenging myself in the 5-day Outward Bound adventure and being the “junior master chef” at the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival 2016. As a Graduate Trainee, I often have the chances to take up responsibilities like being the emcee and the organizer of different events. Work is really dynamic and fun at Towngas!

Shawn Chan Sheung Yin

Shawn Chan Sheung Yin

MEng (Biochemical Engineering),
University College London

Shawn is currently under the HKIE Scheme “A” CML Discipline, and belongs to the New Energy Business.

Why did you choose to join Towngas?

Since a young age, I have always wanted to help improve the traditional energy business, which aligns with the vision and mission of Towngas. Towngas has a lot of exciting projects in different regions of China, including resource exploitation, liquefaction of coalbed methane, coal-based chemicals, and biomass energy. I wish to get more exposures at various chemical plants as to develop my engineering profession, and being the New Energy GT at Towngas is the best choice.

How’s your first 3 months as a Towngas GT?

From learning business etiquette to studying the gas production and supply chain, the first three months at the Hong Kong Core Business have provided me with comprehensive training that helps me to transit from an engineering graduate to the business world. Through attaching to different departments, I am more prepared for the upcoming 18 months attachment at the Mainland China.  

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November 15th, 2016

In just five years, GradConnection has made their mark in the Hong Kong graduate recruitment market as we look ahead to continued growth in 2017

Since expanding our footprint to the shores of Hong Kong (HK) in 2011, GradConnection HK has gone from strength to strength. As the graduate recruitment market continues to grow so do the number of students, employers, and universities that have partnered with GradConnection HK on the quest to match the right student with the right employment opportunity.

The growth and expansion of GradConnection HK has been exponential as the need for graduate recruitment continues to rise. Evident in the success of the numerous events, conferences, and website traffic that has occurred over the past five years, GradConnection HK has become a household name in the Hong Kong graduate recruitment market.

The pageviews alone on the GradConnection HK site has been particularly encouraging. Based on our Google Analytics data, for the months of September to November 2016, the number of unique pageviews are up by 236.91% compared to the same period in 2013. From 117,265 unique pageviews in 2013 to 391,277 in 2016 (Peak Graduate Recruitment Season), just shows how much of the Hong Kong graduate recruitment market we have in fact reached over a somewhat short period of time.

As 2016 draws to a close, GradConnection HK is excited about what lies ahead. With our GradConnection Campus product having been launched this year we are expecting big things in 2017, as we aim to use the international student jobs portal to increase returnee students’ employability outcomes. If you would like to get in touch contact Tony Ye, GradConnection Director ([email protected]) or click here for more information.

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November 15th, 2016

GradConnection Campus is enabling universities to bridge the gap between returnee students studying around the world and top employers

GradConnection, in partnership with many of the top universities around the world, has launched GradConnection Campus. This online job vacancy platform has been developed specifically with returnee students in mind and is conveniently located on the associated universities websites.

Aware of the tremendous need for improved employability outcomes for international students studying in Australia, the USA and the UK, GradConnection is excited to be working alongside the various universities by providing access to top international job opportunities.

International and domestic students will be able to easily apply for jobs all around the world by conducting either a general job search or a more extensive one, using the filter option, based on the student's’ country of citizenship or working rights.

In the UK over half (58.0%) of all full-time postgraduate students were from outside the UK, according to HESA, and 46.3% were from outside the EU. The 2014/2015 figures show that among undergraduate students from outside the UK, the highest proportions came from Asia (42.7%).

Again similar results are true in the US, with Chinese students at the top of the list. According to Project Atlas, 304,040 students enrolled from 2014-2015 making up 31.2% of the total student population.

Interestingly, Australia has the largest percentage of international students studying onshore at 35%, followed by the UK with 22%, and 15% in the USA. Of the current 348 000 students in Australia, 40% say that they would like to stay and work once they have completed their studies. However, despite the fact that 17% of employers accept international student applications, only 1% are hired and are able to stay in the country. Unfortunately for the 40% of students who want to stay, it is not always possible and we, at GradConnection, need to support them on and offshore.

International organisations who hire students studying abroad could technically fill their entry-level positions from domestic sources, however, they have seen the value in students who have studied within Western institutions. Having gained a cross-cultural experience, as well as good English communication and language skills, these students are of great value to international employers. Without having to worry about visa or work-rights issues for their own citizens, these students are in high demand.

The University of Queensland Careers Service Manager, Daniel Capper, says that the platform highlights graduate opportunities in their home country, provides direct links to applications and identifies international employers who are actively recruiting. He adds that the resource addresses a gap that previously existed for international students who are away from their home country and may feel somewhat disconnected.

GradConnection Campus, alongside the partnered universities, will be giving international employers and students a centralised job source. Backed by our extensive GradConnection global employer network, this innovative platform is the link that has been missing between top international organisations and students studying onshore from around the world.

If you would like to get in touch contact Tony Ye, GradConnection Director, ([email protected]) or click here for more information.

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THE FACEBOOK EFFECT

Posted by Nikki Barnard

November 15th, 2016

Facebook has become a powerful tool in the Hong Kong and Singapore graduate recruitment market and our Facebook pages are no exception

According to Statista, the number of Hong Kong Facebook users is expected to reach 3.7 million in 2019, compared to the 3.4 million in 2016. There are only 7.3 million people in Hong Kong, which equates to around 48% of the current population using Facebook. Similar numbers are shown for Singapore with 2.9 million users on Facebook in 2016, which is around 52% of the 5.6 million population.

With numbers like that, it goes without saying that Facebook is a powerful social media tool able to reach a significant number of people, specifically for us, students and employers.

Knowing the influence that Facebook has, we launched our Hong Kong and Singapore Facebook pages three years ago and have since then had an extremely positive response. For both the pages, the information loaded has far reaching effects with an impressive 30,000+ followers on our Hong Kong page and 16,000+ following the GradConnection Singapore page.

With valuable posts available such as graduate and internship programs, recruitment talks and the like, the GradConnection Hong Kong and Singapore pages are there to equip and inform, particularly students, on the news and happenings from our partnered employers. With an average of 2,000-4,000 views per post on both the Hong Kong and Singapore pages, the content loaded hosts and impressive audience.

Always on the lookout for the most effective methods of communication, GradConnection’s Hong Kong and Singapore Facebook pages have grown to become a respected and significant cog in the graduate recruitment process, valued by both students and employers.

If you would like to get in touch contact Tony Ye, GradConnection Director, ([email protected]) or click here for more information.

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September 17th, 2012

Hong Kong Association of Graduate Recruiters (HKAGR) 2012 Conference

Dan and I attended the 2nd Annual HKAGR conference, held in Hong Kong on the 24th of August 2012. We attended the first conference last year in April and it was one of the reasons that we ended up launching www.gradconnection.hk a site dedicated to the Hong Kong graduate recruitment market.

HKAGR

The conference was attended by around 50 delegates with a mix of employers from a wide range of industries predominantly finance and law related. This year there was a strong Aussie contingent with Ben Reeves from the AAGE, Emma from SA Water and Josh from DBL attending as well as a number of the attendees being Australian expats.

HKAGR

The presentations throughout the day were delivered by quite a wide range of presenters and covered a lot of ground in regards to the various phases of the graduate recruitment process and a lot of the market research specific to the Hong Kong market.

Presentation Sessions

GradConnection: This year we covered a wide range of topics, from Mobile website optimisation for careers sites, trends in mobile development and handsets, how to source students back to Asia from the US using Google Adwords and how the use of Internet Memes is becoming something recruiters are going to need to know now and even more in the future. If you’re interested in getting a copy of our presentation, send me an email at [email protected].

GraduAce – assessment centres in asia – Peter Finch the managing director of Graduace Graduace specialises in running assessment centres throughout Asia and works with major recruiters in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Peter shared some insights he has learned from building assessment matrices for his clients which include HKTDC, Nokia and PwC. One of the key learnings from his presentation was to create a competency mapping to ID core competencies to all of your assessment centre activities to ensure total coverage with validation of findings from one assessment to another.

HKAGR employer survey and panel – Presented by Neil Chowings from Work Group– this presentation provided some good insights into what employers in the HK region are thinking and will help forecast recruitment activity into the next year. It was interesting to note that recruiters in Hong Kong were recruiting across a very wide geographical area, specifically Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Japan, Australia, India, SEA, Korea, Taiwan and the UK. The Majority of employers were also open to hiring graduates form out of the region to begin their careers somewhere in Asia. One of the key trends to note is that the hiring numbers across APAC were staying consistent to last year.

Alexander Mann Solutions – how to recruit in China – Presented by Martin Cerullo Managing Director APAC at AMS Martin and his team at AMS are extremely active across Asia and were sharing knowledge on some of their learnings from the Chinese market specifically. Some of the more interesting points were that out of all of the Chinese students studying at overseas universities, 63% of them would like to relocate back to China after graduating making this a great talent pipeline to recruit if you are able to reach them to pull them back to your organisation in China. Another interesting dimension was the esteem that grads hold government employers, state owned enterprises and private enterprise in terms of attractiveness with the figures being a lot more skewed towards public service and SOE compared to other countries where government jobs can be unattractive to students.

All in all it was a very informative day and if you have a focus on Hong Kong let alone the Asia region you will be able to take a lot out of the day by attending, find out more at www.hkagr.com full members are able to download most of the conference presentation files as well so get in touch with the committee to join.

HKAGR

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