The perfect combination? Graduates and small businesses …

With the job market for graduates being so competitive and students considering the value of doing a degree, what can we learn from talking to small businesses about their experiences of employing graduates?

A recent UK Government report, BIS Graduate Recruitment to SMEs, gives some useful insights. In summary:

  • Graduates contribute to SME development
  • Graduates are under-represented in SMEs
  • SMEs do not see graduates as ‘a natural source of recruitment’
  • Sector, business activity and type of owner influences preception of graduates value
  • Graduate recruitment is incidental and through informal networks
  • Working in SMEs exceed graduates expectations
  • There is an employment gap …

So, what advice would be useful to a new graduate looking for their first job?

Think SMEs! 

You might be unexpectedly valuable to your new employer and be pleasantly surprised in what you get out of it too.

But, how do you find the right business and make yourself known?

Why not start by getting your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and projecting the right image. Remember that 22% HR Directors check the social media profiles of candidates. Then use ‘advanced search’ to find the MD of the companies you are interested in and start your campaign! Remember to use your networks.

Professor Nigel Lockett FRSA

Professor of Enterprise at Leeds University Business School

One thought on “The perfect combination? Graduates and small businesses …”

  1. Many thanks Nigel for suggesting the tips in our ebook to help students get a job.

    I think for SMEs, LinkedIn is definitely one of the most important tools for jobhunting – both to go out to employers and start conversations but also to be found when they do searches. Increasingly employers are using social media only for recruitment – we haven’t placed an ad in years and have been very successful this way.

    We use the Advanced Search to see who we know and then approach them direct and also post on Twitter and LinkedIn ‘looking for’. You get excellent quality feedback

    Good luck to all students looking for jobs in #CareersWeek

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