May 25, 2019

The Digital Graduate

Many thanks to Shannon Diment, IBM Graduate Recruiter, for writing this post for the 1st day of GSM Career’s Digital World Week.

Digital Technology and Graduate Recruitment

As a fairly recent Graduate myself, the main reason I chose to go into Graduate Recruitment was that I know what it’s like to be on the other side! The last thing you want to be doing when juggling the social engagements of your final year with writing a dissertation is planning your career too! And all of that on top of leaving education and stepping out into the scary big wide-world… but it’s not that bad really, I promise! There are lots of Graduate recruiters out there (like me) that want Graduates (like YOU). We aren’t hiding the opportunities; they are all right there at a click of a button! This short blog is all about how we are using Digital Technology in the Recruitment world throughout our everyday processes, which will hopefully take away just one small unknown and let you get on with finding your future.

In a nutshell, Digital Technology is the application of resources to locate, explore, produce, spread and utilise intelligence in a digital context. Within the field of Recruitment this means:

  • Efficiency when searching for the right candidate and likewise, for candidates searching for the right role
  • A deeper understanding of the target audience, which in turn provide insights as to how to reach out to these people
  • Faster, wider and more efficient spread of attraction materials

Graduate Recruitment has been particularly focal and cutting edge when utilising such tools; as it is the current university leavers that are completely submerged in all flavours of digital works, through all aspects of their life. Although it is highly rewarding for employers to leverage this, it does not come without some challenges:

  • Competition between Graduate recruiters becomes ruthless
  • We can drown in too much information about Graduates
  • Rumours or bad experience of Graduate employers spread like wildfire all over the internet

But, ultimately the pros of exploiting Digital Technology unquestionably outweigh the cons. We use Digital Technology throughout the whole Graduate Recruitment process – from attracting the candidates to apply, through to assessing and choosing the right ones for our roles.

So, how do we use it here at IBM?


Digital Technology is now key in the part of attracting candidates, as we can reach out further and specifically target those who may be interested in working for IBM. Aside from our website, where we can put as much information about our roles and Graduate life in IBM as possible, social media has added great value in showing IBM as a great place to work! The platforms we use are mainly Facebook and Twitter, but also LinkedIn and more recently Instagram. Social media is great for getting involved in our candidates’ everyday life, but it also gives you a stage to reach out to us with any questions you have about becoming an IBMer. Another part of our attraction campaign is our Campus Tour – having a physical presence at universities. When we come to you, we want to bring our innovations and the interesting projects you could be involved in at IBM. Having the technology there to play with, really gives you a taste of what we do to make a difference in the industry. Last year we showcased an ‘Augmented Reality’ stand, which gave participants a chance to take photos of Graduates come to life and talk to you about their experience within IBM. This year we are challenging you to a game of ‘Virtual Tennis’, so make sure you bring your racquet skills!


Unlike other Graduate employers, most of our assessment is done face-to-face. The only technology we use before candidates reaches an IBM building is online Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs). Being at an assessment centre is mandatory at IBM, we want to see you interacting with other like-minded professionals in the flesh! Although the assessment centres are simple, it is still vitally important that you bring with you your interest in the digital world – we are a huge multi-national technology company after all and a strong interest in this area is essential! Following our assessment centres, we usually ask for a further interview to place you in the perfect role, again this is done face-to-face. However, our candidates come from all over the globe and sometimes it can be a long way to bring you back into an IBM location within the UK. In exceptional circumstances, we use Digital Technology to bring the interviewer virtually to you – over Skype.


For our Graduates at IBM, it can sometimes be a long time between you getting the offer letter and actually starting – but we like to keep in touch and help you prepare for your new Graduate role. We have an online community called ‘Soon to be Blue’, where you can read up about everything IBM. Some parts of the business also use social media to allow you to talk with Graduates who are already doing a similar role and others that are starting at the same time as you – a great way to connect with people just to say hello, or you may even find your next housemates!

The ‘Digital Era’ has allowed all fields of Recruitment to transform, whilst we continue our quest to find the mythical ‘perfect candidate’. Here specifically in IBM, it has allowed us to give our future employees a preview of what working for us as a Graduate (and further in your career) is really like. It is imperative in this computerised world, that within Graduate Recruitment we leverage the tools on hand – as it is the Graduates that are the ones that will continue to develop this Digital Technology at a truly amazing rate.




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