Students’ site helps firms make the perfect matchOn 9 May 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Most HR managers have had good and bad experiences of the student placementsystem. When the student fits in, works well and is given a full-time job at the endof it, the system has provided an effective and low-cost method of recruitment.But when the student doesn’t fit in or have the attributes to secure a jobafterwards, it can do more harm than good – the company has wasted time andresources and the student goes back to college telling his or her peers that heor she wouldn’t work for the company if you paid them. Four students from Manchester, however, are set to change the face of theplacement system via an Internet-based matching service, which will enable HRdepartments to target the right kind of students for their company. The ukplacements idea is based on a model they’ve seen in the US, wherebycompanies can potentially save $6,200 (£4,320) by recruiting undergraduatescompared to what it would cost to recruit them as a graduate. “When we were setting up our own placements we found it was difficultto find which companies offered which placements and corporate websites didn’tshow sufficient interest in this area,” says one of the founders, UsmanMalik, 22 who, like co-founders Adeel Quyoum, 21, and Shabir Ahmed, 25, haveyet to graduate from Salford University, having taken a year out after theirown placement to set-up and run the business. The fourth director, Mohsin Siddique, 21, has already graduated from Umistand did his placement at Kimberley Clark. At the end of 1999, they came up with the idea of a network that wouldfeature profiles of the kind of students the companies are looking for andwhich gave them the chance to match their abilities and desires with vacancies.They progressed the business plan and, despite the dotcom doom and gloom inthe second half of last year, impressed Carabiner Capital enough to get thebacking they needed. “We decided that rather than partner student websites, we’d go tocorporates and let them tap into the talent,” explains Malik, who addsthat it enables a company to target a good student two to three years inadvance. Revenue comes from a flat fee charged to the corporate, rather than aper-vacancy charge, and packages range from £3,000 to £10,000. Students sign upfor free. The service has been live since February, and firms including Accenture,Eaton Corporation and Fidelity Investment have already signed up. Accenture recruitment manager Helen Glasgow says she is impressed. “Youcould tell they’d really thought it through. We’ve signed up for a year,because I feel you’ve got to give it that long to analyse the results, butalready we’ve had quite a few CVs that have come via ukplacements.” Corporates can post news and updates on the site, so they can be in directcontact with the student community. Glasgow says, “We’re trying to broadenour reach because a lot of people think we’ll only be interested in students onbusiness or senior management-related courses, but Accenture recruits from anydegree, so it helps us get that message across. It’s also helping us build ourprofile in the IT and technology sector.” Usman believes this service will become increasingly significant in an ageof self-funded higher education. “Many students come out with debts of£4,000 plus, so they are looking to secure a job much earlier to get a returnon their investment. They’re also looking at the companies that they might liketo work for much earlier,” he says. At some point, Malik, Quyoum and Ahmed have to find time to go back touniversity, but they remain committed to the business, which has a natural fitin the age of e-HR and corporate websites. “I could certainly see it working at intranet-level,” says Usman.”Basically, we’ll listen, and do whatever firms want us to do.” Related posts:No related photos.