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New trends in graduate recruitment

With the talent war in full swing, corporates are implementing innovative ways to attract and retain the best and brightest individuals to join their teams, says National Brands Limited (NBL).

Graduate recruitment initiatives offer candidates the opportunity to enter companies through workplace training programmes which develop their skills and knowledge with hands-on training and real experiences and fast-track their professional maturity.

Technology is an increasingly enabling factor driving development in workplaces. Such is the case too in recruitment and the latest innovation has resulted in a new trend of online applications, and search and selection techniques to attract and facilitate the employment of optimistic, bright and ambitious individuals.

At the forefront of innovation in graduate recruitment is the National Brands Limited (NBL) Graduate Recruitment Programme, which has been running since July 2000. The programme previously included face-to-face roadshows and presentations to introduce NBL's career opportunities to students at various universities across the country.

The focus shifted in 2004, and NBL is now undertaking a new challenge by utilising an online, technology-driven recruitment programme. The aim of this year's programme is to recruit five technikon or university graduates for the Supply Chain and Finance divisions. The programme gives NBL the opportunity to search for exceptionally talented and well-rounded individuals to join the company for a two year unparalleled training and work experience.

Utilising NBL's careers website to facilitate the recruitment and shortlisting process will make the rigorous task of finding the best talent easier and simpler. Online recruitment will also position NBL as the graduate employer of choice, building and reinforcing the company's brand values throughout the graduate recruitment process and differentiating it from its competitors.

According to Elize Potgieter, NBL's Human Resources and Information Systems Manager, "Today's graduates are more technologically literate, making it far simpler and more cost effective for NBL to connect with graduates, and in so doing, reinforce our company's values. Innovation is a critical strategic driver for NBL and is integrated into all supporting business processes. Graduate recruitment is no exception and we believe our solution is unique and different in the marketplace. From an internal perspective, online graduate recruitment also allows for a time-efficient and productive method that ensures our brand experience is delivered to each and every candidate."

An integrated marketing campaign is aimed at steering candidates to the NBL graduate recruitment website. All communications regarding the Graduate Recruitment Programme are driven through multiple media platforms including print, online banners, posters and adverts, all of which encourage graduates to search the site and to submit their online applications.

Candidates can also respond to print and outdoor adverts by sending a sms with their email address to a designated number. Automated response handlers email interested applicants with the website address link to the NBL graduate webpage.

"Barring the final interviews, the entire Graduate Recruitment Programme is online and technology based. This new trend in online recruitment will allow NBL to attract the best graduates among a pool of computer literate candidates," says Potgieter.

While the selection process is rigorous, the end result offers current graduates the opportunity to be trained and developed as a future leader within one of the top FMCG companies in South Africa.

"I would strongly encourage students to apply for a position as a graduate at NBL for an experience that will broaden their horizons and advance their careers," comments Deepa Daya, graduate of the 2004 NBL Graduate Recruitment Programme.

Registration deadline for the NBL Graduate Recruitment Programme is the end of August 2004. Graduates wishing to apply should visit

Editorial contact

Grapevine Communications for NBL

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