West Midlands companies are seeing the positives of the recession – because the region is getting first pick of top graduates.
According to Birmingham-based recruitment company Katie Bard, the downturn is forcing organisations across the country to opt out of graduate schemes and as a result, better quality graduates are choosing to stay put in the city.
Verity Stokes, divisional leader at Katie Bard, believes this is an ideal time for companies to take advantage of the change in business environment.
She said: “Organisations throughout the West Midlands should take advantage of the trend changes – they can have the best graduates come into the company for full time employment at entry level roles, but who boast excellent soft skills and have achieved first class degrees on taxing courses.
“Graduates who come away from university with excellent degrees usually tend to move away from the area either for graduate schemes in other regions or return home, which means that the West Midlands misses out on the best candidates.
“But during the recession we’re noticing a definite change. There’s a real movement, with the big graduate schemes not hoovering up the best candidates, simply because companies are deciding not to run the schemes during the downturn or are reducing their graduate intake.
“People are now coming out of university with an open mind to what step to take next.”
According to Ms Stokes – whose company is part of the international Angela Mortimer group and has an office based in Waterloo Street in Birmingham – the soft skills that the latest wave of graduates possess include a high level of communications, analytical and IT skills, as well as good problem solving and intelligence in their thought processes.
She added: “These intelligent, high-achievers are building blocks for companies in times like these.”