Posts Tagged ‘Business and Economy’

A strategy map for graduate recruitment teams

July 15, 2009

I thought it might be interesting to apply the strategy map idea to graduate recruitment (similar to my application of a strategy map in a news industry case study here).

What are Strategy Maps?

Strategy maps are a tool that organisations can use for communicating both their chosen strategy and the processes, systems and skills that will be required to implement that strategy. They demonstrate “the cause and effect links by which specific improvements [in assets, processes and staff attributes] can create desired outcomes.” (Kaplan and Norton, 2000, p168). They give employees, at all levels, a clear view of how their jobs are linked to the overarching objectives of the organisation, hopefully allowing everyone to work in a cohesive manner towards achieving the organisation’s goals.

The Strategy Map, as a progression from the Balanced Scorecard, “show how an organization will convert its initiatives and resources – including intangible assets such as corporate culture and employee knowledge – into tangible outcomes.” (Kaplan and Norton, 2000, p168). The measures from an organisation’s balanced scorecard are based upon the strategy map, which connects the desired outcomes of the strategy with the measures which will drive those outcomes.

The Four Perspectives applied to graduate recruitment:

These are the points which I believe will, through a cause and effect relationship, allow the department and ultimately the whole organisation to meet its objectives.


  • Improve corporate performance by attracting and retaining better people.
  • Reduced operating cost through improved efficiency
  • Greater asset and staff utilisation.


  • Product Leadership – through market leading graduate scheme and easy to navigate & professional recruitment process
  • Customer Intimacy – Nurture relationships with potential employees.
  • Operational Excellence – Set tough targets and aim for fast, accurate and helpful recruitment experience.

Internal Process:

  • INNOVATE! – Embrace new methods like social media etc.
  • Improve customer value through improved customer management processes – Engage with them, project positive image through efficient procedures.
  • Become a good corporate citizen through fully transparent recruitment criteria and processes.

Learning & Growth:

  • Employee Competencies – Train in new technology and methods; support recruitment staff with gaining professional qualifications.
  • Technology – Be open to adopting new technologies and methods, such as social media tools.
  • Culture – Encourage functional excellence. Create an holistic company-wide view. Be more open…

My proposed strategy map:

Graduate Recruitment Strategy Map

Graduate Recruitment Strategy Map

This is just a rough idea of what I think graduate recruiters should be aiming to do (although I only know it from the applicant’s side). The above strategy map is for the graduate recruitment team, but could be for the HR department as a whole. I see this as part of a wider company-wide process of looking at the organisation’s strategy as a whole, and then individual departments/divisions having their own strategy maps to allow for greater detail and relevancy for those employees to see how their roles “are linked to the overarching objectives of the organisation.”

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WikiJob Poll: What is the most important factor in choosing a job?

April 4, 2009

This is this is the first of an ongoing series of fortnightly posts which will analyse the results to the latest poll on WikiJob.

The latest poll looked at what WikiJob users thought was the most important factor to choosing their job, mirroring a previous poll from last year. the latest poll also included an option for ‘Job Security’ in light of the current jobs climate.

WikiJob Poll - Most Important Factor in Choosing a Job - Mar 09WikiJob Poll - Most Important Factor in Choosing a Job - 2008

Results are very similar…

The differences between the two sets of poll results are very minimal. But there has been a clear shift from career progression and pay towards training and job security. A clear reflection of the dramatically different graduate job market we are in compared to last year. As you would expect in a time of uncertainty over the future of jobs, let alone companies, WikiJob users have altered their decision making to take into account aspects of future jobs which will ensure they have good training (and are thus more employable should the worst happen) and the perceived job security of the offer (reflected in the increased popularity of public sector graduate schemes).

WikiJob users are, I would say from my experience, quite an ambitious lot; a reflection of the biggest sections on WikiJob, namely financial and professional services, and the competitiveness of those industries. So that ‘Career Progression’ is the biggest result with 43% is not a surprise. Interestingly I can’t really recall many organisations stressing the career progression available to their graduates, but I have probably been looking at a slightly different cross-section of organisations from the most common WikiJob users.

Second place is occupied by ‘Pay’ (with 25% maintaining second place from last year), maybe not quite as high as reality due to perceived negative connotations of choosing a job based on how much money you get. Undoubtedly it is an important factor for most graduates, especially now that those who had to pay top-up tuition fees are graduating this year with ever larger amounts of debt.

The option which I expected to come out top was ‘Training’ coming in third place (18%), which is my preference, but this may again be a reflection of the different groups of WikiJob users, with those seeking a move into accounting probably take into account the importance of getting good training and gaining a professional qualification.

‘Job Security’ came a distant fourth (9%), which tells us that graduates are worried about their careers suffering an early setback due to the economic problems currently being experienced. I would take this as reflecting the rise in demand for public-sector, and careers perceived to be more secure, graduate schemes.

‘Working Hours’ and ‘CSR’ finished at the bottom of the pile with 3% and 2% respectively. One thing I have always questioned is companies’ keenness on stressing how socially responsible and ‘green’ they are, do graduates really care that much? I’m sure a minority do, but at the end of the day does it bother people sufficiently to accept or reject an offer based on how socially responsible they say they are.

How can employers react to meet these desires?

From these results I would suggest that employers (if targeting WikiJob users) should ensure that their graduate schemes provide graduates with a clear path of progression up the ranks of the organisation; obviously easier in some industries than others, and rapid progression should not be a requirement if a good graduate does not want it. They also need to provide a clear commitment to high quality training and personal development, whether through professional qualifications or just internal training courses and development opportunities. Both of these need to materialise, they cannot just have lip-service paid to them, in this era of openness (with the likes of WikiJob and social networking sites) businesses cannot afford for people disgruntled with unmet promises broadcasting to the world.

Are WikiJob users different from others? More ambitious, money mad?

Do these results conform to received wisdom on what grads want?

WikiJob Stats Man.

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