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About ME

Thank you for visiting my website. I specialise in recruiting for small to medium sized businesses (SMEs – which is where my business name comes from, though by a happy coincidence it’s also the initials of my wife, daughter, and I). I cover most industry sectors and job types, including niche ones.
 
Before entering recruitment, my background was in customer services. As a retail shop manager my team and I regularly scored 100% in mystery shopper visits. Then dealing with queries and complaints for a leading bank. I have carried this customer service ethos over into my recruitment work.
 
I began my career in recruitment in 2005 and I have been doing it since. Apart from 18 months working with a university in an employer liaison role, where I got a great insight into many of the reasons why university careers services are not always engaged with students and graduates. And also the difficulties that SMEs can have in accessing these students and graduates.
 
My recruitment roles have been varied and I have used my adaptability skills to fill roles across a wide range of industry sectors, and a huge number of job types. I have filled positions at up to CEO level.
 
I have now found my niche and have been working in undergraduate and graduate recruitment since 2016. I started my own business in December 2020.
 
Some of the businesses I work with have less than 10 staff; others have hundreds. What they all have in common is that they can offer great opportunities, but are often overshadowed by the huge graduate employers who have teams who visit the universities to promote their graduate schemes, and are featured in books of ‘top graduate employers’ that have a high visibility in university careers departments.
 
Graduates can add huge value to SMEs. But they aren’t always aware of the benefits and opportunities that a career with an SME can offer, nor where to find them
 
So, we have SMEs who do not have as high a profile as the bigger graduate employers, and skilled graduates who would love to work for them but aren’t aware of the opportunities.
 
Which is where I come in.
 
If you work with me I offer: great customer service, knowledge, ethics, good judgement, reputation in the market, adaptability, and pride. And all at a very competitive price – with nothing to pay unless I find you someone who starts work with you.

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Matthew Parry, Director SME Graduate Employment

Interested in hearing more? Please email me at matthew@sme-graduates.co.uk or call me on 0370 774 9500

 

Here are a selection of testimonials from delighted clients that can be viewed on my LinkedIn profile:

  • We worked with Matthew to recruit 5 graduate engineers. The standard of applicants was excellent. He had clearly listened to our requirements. We were only presented with the best candidates at the interview stage and the recruitment process did not take up too much time. All have now been working with us for a number of months and are progressing really well. We could not be happier.
  • A joy to work with and my first phone call when I next need a graduate.
  • Matthew takes time to understand what the business needs, keeps you updated with progress and provides quality candidates to review. We have made two excellent Graduate hires recently and it was easy. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Matthew.
  • Matthew recruited a new starter for my organisation. He was incredibly diligent, organised and attentive. From my perspective, he supported the recruitment drive well – he sent high quality applicants, responded quickly and asked for honest feedback. It was a pleasure and I would absolutely work with Matthew again.
  • I found Matthew Parry via Linkedin and am very pleased that I did. The service is aimed at SME’s who are looking for graduates and placements. Due to the timing of our requirements we decided to go for a placement. The investment we have made into the service has been fruitful and we have a brilliant addition to our team thanks to Matthew’s hard work and University connections.
  • Matthew provides a tailored service and I can recommend. One of the good guys!
  • We’ve been mulling over the idea of Summer Internships for some time but without the time or resources to spend finding the right candidates we’d all but given up. Matthew Parry took no time at all to provide a great short list of students. Matthew was super-fast, found ideal candidates and took out all the hassle. I can’t recommend him enough.
  • Matthew helped me secure an excellent intern. He listened to what I needed and found me someone who was a great fit for the role. I couldn’t have done this independently, I did try but was unsuccessful. Matthew made it an easy and cost effective experience.
  • We worked with Matt to help locate a student placement. He really went the extra mile to understand our needs, deliver constant progress communication and eventually find us some stellar candidates. During the interview process, it was also great to hear all of the students we met talk highly of Matt and the support he had offered. We hope we get the chance to work with Matt again in the future and would definitely recommend him!
  • We worked with Matthew Parry on a couple of occasions and I can recommend him for any future client. Matthew is highly professional in his approach to advertising, selecting and recruiting processes. It was an ultimate pleasure working with him – great communication, quick response, precise information and every step of the process is organised perfectly well. We found a fantastic candidate for our role with Matthew’s help.
  • Matthew understood exactly what type of person we were looking for and put forward an excellent selection of candidates. I would not hesitate to work with Matthew in the future
  • Matthew was very helpful in finding an excellent graduate to work with us recently. He was helpful, prompt and professional. Very happy with his service.

SERVICES AND COSTS

PERMANENT EMPLOYMENT For graduates. This can be at any time of the year, and does not need to be a formal graduate scheme. Also an option worth considering if there are no experienced candidates available, particularly as the graduates I work with will all have some kind of work experience, and many will have something directly relevant. Graduates can also be a solution for diversity, or succession-planning related issues. Cost: £2,500+VAT

GRADUATE INTERNSHIPS / FIXED-TERM CONTRACTS Again, can be any time of the year. These can last anything from two months to a year and are useful if you have a piece of work that permanent staff don’t have the time, or even specific skills for. Also a good way to see if there is scope for a permanent role. Cost: £1,500+VAT

STUDENT INTERNSHIPS These are generally during the summer break from university, so between 2-3 months at some point between June and September.  £1,000+VAT

SANDWICH PLACEMENTS These last for around a year from June or July. They form the third year of a four-year university course, and are only available for certain courses; there are a good variety of courses, and I will do the research for you to see if this option is feasible for your needs. Cost: £1,200+VAT

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is there a cost Yes, but I am confident that it offers excellent value in relation to how productive the students and graduates can be, and the value they can bring to a business. There is a huge amount of work that goes into sourcing and screening candidates (sometimes hundreds for one job), and it is not always easy to find the right ones- but it’s what I do, and there is nothing to pay unless one of my candidates joined you.

What if it doesn’t work out I take pride in my work, and throughout my recruitment career I have had an outstanding record in finding the right candidates for my clients. Very seldom has it not worked out, and most have gone on to have successful careers with their employers. My job is to send you candidates who are the best available and most interested. You can then interview them and see who is the best match for you, and support them when they start. If we get this right between us then then there shouldn’t be any issues. But, for your peace of mind there is a rebate period included in my terms: if they did leave within the first 12 weeks you would get a replacement or full / partial refund.

There are a lot of people who apply directly to us Is the quality there, and are you 100% certain that there is not someone even stronger who is not aware of your opportunity? I don’t charge a fee unless one of my candidates joins you, so it won’t cost you anything to find out.

We only want people who apply to us directly, it shows they want to work with us Graduates aren’t always aware of the benefits and opportunities that are offered from a career with an SME, nor where to find them. These graduates are skilled in their own area, their skill is not generally in uncovering work opportunities- and apart from very niche areas it may be a bit unrealistic to expect that a graduate will have heard of an SME by name.  In terms of proactivity in a candidate, I do my bit to measure this as part of the process.

We don’t have time to train graduates You might be surprised by how much they already know. All the graduates I work with already have work experience of some kind, and I regularly receive feedback from employers that they have picked things up very quickly. While they do need some kind of training and coaching, most of my clients don’t have a training department, nor do they have a formal graduate scheme- and this is ok.

What industry sectors and job types do you cover Too many to list- my area of specialism is students and graduates, and this covers most sectors and job types including technical roles. I am adaptable and know enough to find the right people, then you can question them further on the technical aspects at interview stage.

We don’t pay fees for graduates Why not? It’s equally important to get the right person when hiring a graduate as when making an experienced hire. If you get the right one they could be with you for years.

Which universities do you work with I can access students or graduates from any of the UK universities, and have placed graduates from all in jobs at some point.  Sometimes through direct links, but more generally using a variety of other methods that are tried and tested.

We have links with a university These links can be great and I know of many employers who have had positive experiences. But also many others who haven’t. I myself have found the service can vary depending on the university. Some are very switched on and helpful, and I have good relationships with them. Others are not.

Either way, there are some things you need to be aware of, and even if you are receiving an excellent service you could use me alongside your chosen university to make sure you are not missing out.

There are over 140 universities in the UK, and many students will travel to another city to study then return home to work after graduating. If only concentrating on local universities you risk missing out on these. Also, you will only have a set number of graduates in the pool, and the skills and overall employability and work-ethic can vary significantly between them: a particular issue once the strongest ones have been snapped up.

Universities do a great job of educating our students and graduates, but many have long-standing issues with student and graduate engagement – particularly once they have finished their courses and left the university.  I have often spoken with businesses who have relationships with specific universities, but not had any suitable applicants for a vacancy. Through using various other methods I found them graduates from that university who were unaware of the opportunity. 

Can you send me CVs now from your database I don’t work like that as it doesn’t offer you or my candidates the best service. Firstly, I need to know more about your business and the ideal profile you are looking for, so I don’t send you irrelevant CVs. I also need to know why the opportunity is attractive. The best graduates will  have various offers, so it’s important to show them why they should  join you – it’s a two way process. I want to find a mutual match. Also, I would never sent a CV without speaking with them first. 

But each role is unique, and although I am already in contact with many graduates, it doesn’t mean they are the best for you. So I also conduct a proactive search from scratch to see who the best candidates are who are available now. I use various methods, one being searching specialist job-boards for which I pay an expensive premium.

 

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