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Press – Financial Observer news

Press - Financial Observer News

Grad Mentor focusses on industry’s net growth

Financial services mentoring and placement group Grad Mentor will hold a series of speed networking events next month, allowing financial planning businesses to be matched with psychometrically tested and industry-trained students who could become their next star employees.

Founder Alisdair Barr said the group had an average 95 per cent strike rate when it came to placing university graduates in industry roles.

“No student goes to one of these events until they’ve spent at least 45 minutes in front of me,” Barr explained.

“The short time they spend with each business is aimed to identify a cultural fit, by which the business can decide to have a more formal interview at the back of the tour,” Barr highlighted.

The series of events would be held across Melbourne, Perth and Sydney kicking off on 3 May, and would showcase the most talented crop of graduates as identified by Barr.

“These speed networking events allow clients to see 10 to 20, depending on the state, of the best students we’ve identified coming out of university,” he said.

Barr said the group’s intensive testing and pre-screening process thoroughly ensured the right students were selected to meet with businesses.

“That’s why our strike-rate – [meaning] once we’ve placed them [in a role] that they stay - is so good.

“We pay a lot of interest in making sure they’re on board, they’ve got their job description, position or role, career development plan and have all the pillars of making sure that they’re in a position of success.”

The group worked specifically with students, raising awareness of the attractiveness of financial planning as a profession, Barr explained.

“There are eight campuses across Sydney, Melbourne and Perth that we go and speak at but our social media network is so far reaching now that we have students coming from all over the place now,” he said.

“We’re not recruiters and we will not move people around in industry. We won’t churn people around the profession because we’re only interested in new people in the profession and net growth to the profession.”

Grad Mentor students completed a 12 day mentor program that served as a paid trial period within the practice that chose to take them on, Barr said.

“Most of our clients want a permanent position filled and are not just taking people for a short period. Students usually end up being in customer service, client administration, para planning roles,” he finished.


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April 29, 2016