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UK Business Set to Revolutionise Graduate Recruitment for SMEs


A business in York is turning graduate recruitment on its head with the introduction of exclusive software that connects small and medium sized businesses with the very best university graduates.

Gradintelligence, which is based at York Science Park, is the UK’s largest verified online talent platform, hosting achievement data for more than 690,000 registered students. Following ten years of research and development and with the launch of its Online Talent Matching Engine software just a year ago, the business is now seeing rapid uptake from universities and students alike, and is pursuing strategic partnerships with national recruitment agencies.

The company’s matching engine offers start-ups and SMEs the chance to make use of the extensive data resources held by Gradintelligence in order to identify, target and recruit from a national pool of students and graduates. The data used by Gradintelligence comes directly from universities and contains both academic and non-academic achievements.

Director at Gradintelligence, Fraser Anderson, says that his business aims to fill the huge gap in the graduate recruitment market which, until now, has been very poorly served for SMEs:

“Around 50% of graduates would now consider a career in start-ups or SMEs, and many we’ve spoken to have a positive preference to work in a small, growing business where their efforts can make a tangible difference. The current graduate recruitment market for SMEs is not good, and vast numbers of graduates in the UK are unable to find suitable positions due to the current failing processes.

“Each year, universities create an attractive potential workforce, but smaller companies often struggle to access this talent pool because they’re not familiar with university structures and processes. Our matching tool, which is the first of its kind in the UK, has been specifically designed for, and piloted by, smaller businesses. Over time, we expect that it will have a positive impact on regional economies by attracting and retaining emerging university talent.”

Gradintelligence now has contracts with 42 UK universities and its graduate level talent pool is growing at over 80% per annum. A typical contract would cost about £50,000 in the first year of operation and roughly £20,000 per annum thereafter. The company is aiming to increase its university customer base to over 100 in the next 3-5 years representing approximately 75% of all UK Higher Education students.

Gradintelligence has been based at York Science Park since 2014. In the last twelve months the company has expanded its team, taken on additional space and launched its online service to support SME employers. Being based at the park has also enabled the team to leverage connections to the University of York, The Higher Education Academy and other Science Park residents.

1616 Media is one such business, who has worked with Gradintelligence to find talented graduates for their first two staff appointments: roles that were critical to their business growth. Suzy Edward, founder and director says: “Like most SMEs, we had a very clear idea of what we wanted but simply didn’t have the national university connections to identify suitable graduate level candidates.

“We used the matching engine to specify the academic and non-academic credentials we needed and – most importantly – the personality fit that is an essential ingredient in many entrepreneurial start-ups. Within days we were presented with a highly tailored pipeline of candidates with verified, comparable profiles and we went on to hire two outstanding graduates. Without Gradintelligence, it simply wouldn’t have been possible for us to make these connections.”

Tracey Smith, York Science Park CEO, says:

“Gradintelligence is a great example of a business using a new and innovative approach to modernise an existing market. The team is helping a wide range of businesses find their next team member and make use of information they would never previously have been able to access, and it’s brilliant to see other Science Park residents benefiting from their service, too. We actively encourage residents to engage and interact with each other, and it’s always rewarding to see it in action.”

Doug Cole, Head of Employability and Enterprise at the Higher Education Academy, also based on the Science Park, adds:

“The Higher Education Achievement Record platform provided by Gradintelligence is a valuable tool that can support universities in their work in graduate employability. As a wider record of a student’s engagement and achievement throughout the duration of their studies, the importance of helping students recognise and articulate their learning both in the curriculum and beyond cannot be underestimated.

“The way the Gradintelligence platform then allows students to share their records with potential employers means that the employers can target jobs at students drawing from a huge national database at the press of a button. This is a really exciting development in the world of graduate recruitment and will benefit not only employers, but universities and graduates too.”