Further research into graduate recruitment* and possibilities for why SMEs struggle to find fresh talent, has been identified by Iconnyx, UK SME and Managed Services provider.
Knowledge collated from UK SMEs and recruitment agencies, as well as campaigns polling businesses across LinkedIn and Twitter identified the following issues:
- Only 25% of graduates proactively sought SME opportunities, perceiving that larger organisations offered more opportunities and stability
- Only 10% of graduates have LinkedIn profiles and are using the network to find opportunities
- Only 1 in 3 graduates had heard of LinkedIn or been advised by their university to research the social network
The issues for both top talent graduates and growing SMEs alike are frustrating in that there is no obvious forum for the two to connect and sell to each other, said Tim Walker, managing director. Universities need to alert their talent to the opportunities that exist in UK small to medium businesses as well as channels for reaching them. Its frustrating to see that high-growth companies typically lose out on the best of graduate talent for these reasons. Universities should invite SMEs and networks like LinkedIn into the student community far earlier.
In response, Duncan Cheatle, the founder of The Supper Club – a club for Britains most successful entrepreneurs has launched the Rise To Challenge, a 6-week competition for students and graduates to learn practical business skills and gain valuable insight into running a business. The challenge offers unique prizes: one-off internships (for example shadowing a CEO), jobs and training. Iconnyx has already sponsored five internships for 2012, where graduates can work directly alongside the management team with visibility of sales, marketing and technical support operations.
There is nothing more exciting or eye-opening than the chance to start out your career working alongside founders and CEOs, said Duncan Cheatle. UK SMEs are not reaching their fair share of top university talent. Rise To is a platform for graduates and SMEs to bring the very best to one another.