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Testgrid transforming the future with Monash Talent

Monash University has launched its own full-service recruitment agency, placing more than 20 graduate candidates per month.

Monash Talent, which launched in October 2017, is relying heavily on AI-based technology, executive director Brooke Young said.

"We're trying to design a recruitment service for the future, not as it's done today. That old-fashioned thing of 'send them a resume, come in' – it's just too slow."

The agency, which has already created a talent pool of 1,900 pre-assessed graduates, builds candidate profiles with three components, beginning with basic CV information, such as qualifications and work experience.

Applicants then complete a gamified and neuroscience-based assessment, followed by an online interview, and candidates only need to create their profile once.

The focus is on using cognitive and behavioural analysis and looking at the whole skillset of a person, not just their degree background.

"We collaborated with Testgrid [using its Vieple product] because video interviewing is a convenient and effective way to complete the snapshot of characteristics and strengths of the graduates," Young says.

Her team (three recruiters plus an associate director) collect data from employers about what they need from a candidate, and then match candidates to those criteria based on their assessments, before providing employers a shortlist to make their final selection.

They are now able to profile large numbers of graduates in a largely automated and simple process, and currently place 20–25 graduate candidates per month.

Meeting graduate recruitment challenges.

Monash Talent went live after a six-month development process involving consultations with industry and analysis of previous market surveys, says Young, and already had a myriad of good relationships in place with employers through its intern programs.

Last year the Monash team surveyed employers and hosted co-creation workshops to identify their biggest challenges, and also looked at surveys from the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) and Australian Graduate Employers.

"During our interaction with employers, they told us that it was difficult and resource-intensive to attract, screen and select graduates. They were looking for solutions that were flexible and saved them time," Young says.

It also heard from graduates about "the difficulty in finding the right job that matches their interest and skillset".

Monash Talent's graduate candidates go on to work in a wide range of fields with high demand for talent, such as professional services, technical, science, banking, communications and marketing, for both global and national brands.

It is the SME market that has the greatest appetite for graduate hiring however, and the agency is catering to employers that, like software platform Xero, are growing rapidly but lack the brand visibility needed to entice grads.

"Most external recruiters don't focus on the graduate market," Young says, noting that many are focused on executive or volume recruitment, and for graduates, most universities don't offer more than a job board.

"We offer the option of recruiting temporary or permanent roles, so graduates can be placed on short-term assignments or in longer-term contracts. Also we guarantee the placement – if the candidate doesn't work out, we will find a new one at no cost."

Looking ahead, Young says there are plans to scale up Monash Talent beyond its current pilot phase, including overseas, and there might be potential to go offshore in the future to place Monash graduates returning to China, or recruit graduates from other institutions.

Assessments gaining prominence

In the next 12 months, Young predicts greater use of assessment centres and big data to make hiring decisions, as well as internships as a way of accessing talent early and getting fresh ideas and digital capability into businesses.

Employers are looking for wider skillsets in the face of digital disruption and a more specialised job market, she says. "They don't rely just on university marks, but on how well graduates will perform in the workplace."

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