OK — here me out on this one.
When I meet young Designers and Strategists I'm usually fielding quite a few questions and frustrations. One of the main frustrations is the difficulty to access the services of some of the major recruitment agencies.
They simply struggle to get any traction.
Most of the feedback I receive is that recruiters don't hustle hard enough to get graduates on their books — opting to leave them with the suggestion that they go out and 'get some experience' before coming back.
So this got me thinking.
What if there was a recruitment agency, solely focussed on graduates?
This new type of recruiter only dealt with people who have graduated from study (irrespective of age) and helped them with a far more holistic approach than simply placing them into a job and winning off the commission — which isn't a bad model by the way.
So I asked around and collected some thoughts.
You arrive at your meeting with Sarah (such a friendly name Sarah, isn’t it?), she smiles at you and asks you what you’d like to order.
You’re sure the sign out the front said The Recruitment Agency For Grads Only (cut me some slack with the name) but it doesn’t feel, well … like an office. But it's more cafe than office.
You’re a little confused because you’re watching a Hipster-Barista making swirls in coffee (tattooed arm, Sesame Street t-shirt and beard) and you put on your best threads, ready to meet with a recruiter. You expected an office.
At least that’s what your lecturers told you to expect.
After you’ve ordered your coconut milk coffee (it’s the only way to go) Sarah asks you about your day and you look over her shoulder as you give her the standard small talk responses.
You realise the walls are covered with books, good books, great books in fact. Design books. Business books. Strategy books. Advertising books. Strategy books. Award annuals. Books from wall to wall. It’s like the library in The Name of The Rose, but slicker and more Danish.
‘You’re welcome to borrow some of those’ she says with that kind, ‘Sarah’ tone in her voice.
‘What the fuck?’ you think.
‘Huh?’ you say.
She explains to you that as part of your ‘journey’ together, you have access to the library of literature that The Recruitment Agency For Grads Only, owns.
‘They’re books that are recommend by our mentors.’ she goes on to explain.
Now you’re mind is in over drive. Mentors?
She explains to you that The Recruitment Agency For Grads Only will link you with, not one, but five mentors who have put their hand up to meet with people like you (yes, people like you) seeking work in the industry. They’re under no obligation to hire you, they’re just going to buy you a coffee and answer your questions for an hour at a mutually convenient time. You’ll meet with five of these good people and what you get out of it is really what you choose to put in.
Who pays for the coffee is irrelevant really.
You ask about doing a a free internship or two to ‘gain experience’ and the place suddenly goes quiet. You can hear a pin drop. The Hipster-Barista stops swooshing, the waitress drops a plate and The Mountain Goats song that was playing over the speaker grinds to a halt.
‘Sorry, I was only joking’ you say.
Everyone laughs and returns back to business as usual.
‘Of course’ replies Sarah as she takes a note. She whispers to you ‘we don’t do that type of thing here’ with a comforting wink.
You like Sarah.
As you complete your scan of the room you realise that the rear of the building—the part that opens up to a garden and some type of modern office space, is in fact an office space. That’s where the business is done you suppose.
Sarah notices this and says ‘you’re also welcome to pop in and hire a desk with us’ you pause to take this in as she continues, ‘if you’re willing to put in some part time hours to work with The Recruitment Agency For Grads Only, we’ll throw the desk in for free.
Did she just offer me a job? … your thoughts betray you.
Sarah begins to ask you questions:
- Where will you be in 10 years time?
- Why haven’t you travelled?
- What is your purpose?
- Why do you want to do what you do?
You’re thinking to yourself that this place is going to challenge you, scare you and also help you like no other.
Her questioning continues and it's more focussed on you as a human, than the stuff you piled into your folio and CV.
She completes entering your profile into her iPad Pro, smiles and schedules in the following short courses for you:
- Finding your Purpose with a capital P
- Creative leadership for Grads
- Emotional intelligence like a slick Mother Fucker
- How to find shit loads of Mentors
She then hands you the following:
- some other courses you might want to consider doing at other times (these aren’t free)
- a guide to the industry in your capital city, which includes a list of potential employers, their areas of focus and key clients
- her contact details and your signed contract
She explains that over the coming weeks she’ll be putting you forward for graduate roles and your part of the journey will see you journalling your experiences with your five new mentors, and any other mentors you may have gained along the way and also sharing your experiences on The Recruitment Agency For Grads Only website for other grads to read.
'Yes' she says when you ask if you'll be paid for writing on their company blog.
You decide to stick around and sit in the cafe pondering your meeting with Sarah, if she has a sister who is as cute and kind as her, and you spend the next half hour trying to decide which book you’re going to borrow from The Recruitment Agency For Grads Only Library.
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