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Graduates hunting for that all-important first step on the career ladder

Graduates hunting for that all-important first step on the career ladder could be missing out on lucrative opportunities, by ignoring the role of recruitment agencies.
Research shows that companies in the UK spend almost 20billion with recruitment companies each year, indicating the vast number of job positions filled with candidates sourced by consultants. However, a number of graduates choose to only apply directly to companies, missing out on these opportunities.
Richard Wilcock of the Career Development Team, at University of Leicester
said: Graduate recruitment agencies and consultancies play a huge role in the graduate recruitment market, but are often an overlooked or misunderstood resource.
Leicester University was the host of last months Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) event. Speaking on the day, Lee Clarke, of Midlands-based Discovery, a graduate recruitment specialist, explained that while some of the businesses that consultancies represent may not be the household names of the 'milk round', they do offer significant career and development opportunities.
He went on to explain that recruitment firms work closely with their clients, meaning that the consultant who arranges an interview can offer graduates a valuable insight into the cultural, as well as technical, or functional, requirements of the job.
Mr Clarke, Divisional Sales Manager for Discovery, said: It is important to us that we provide our candidates with lots of support and advice along the way. We firmly believe that feedback and coaching has a key part to play in helping students secure their graduate job.
The one-day AGCAS event highlighted the growing importance of recruitment consultancies in the graduate market, not only for job applicants, but also for businesses themselves.
Mr Wilcock added: More than just a recruitment consultancy, Discovery Graduates clearly pride themselves on providing a first class service to graduates and clients alike, throughout the employment cycle.
In addition to sourcing candidates for a job vacancy, Discovery goes on to provide ongoing training and support for the candidate, through its unique OPEN Programme.
This offers a three-pronged approach to candidate development, including experiential learning, to highlight and develop skills, and a Postgraduate Certificate accreditation, alongside projects and stretch assignments, which show measurable results in personal development and business improvement.


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