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About ME

Thank you for visiting my website. I am Matthew, Director of SME Graduate Employment, and I specialise in working with 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), across most industry sectors, and covering virtually all job types, including niche ones.

Before entering recruitment, my background was in customer services, as a retail shop manager where 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.

In 2005, I began my career in recruitment 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 fully 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 successfully fill roles across a wide range of industries, and a huge number of job types, including some that were unique to specific businesses. 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 on my own in December 2020, and as it’s just me I can be sure that all my clients and candidates receive the same excellent service.

On a daily basis I speak with employers, undergraduates, and graduates; finding out where the opportunities are, then proactively sourcing suitable candidates. In addition, I let relevant businesses know about carefully-selected, particularly strong candidates who I am representing

Taken literally, the term SME can mean an employer with 250 or less staff, but many of the businesses I work with do have more employees; what they 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, where they take on hundreds of new recruits each September, 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 in many cases they 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, whether it be: any engineering discipline, geoscience, writing code, marketing, operations, software development, analysis, planning, research, finance, or design. Or most other areas you could think of. Their skill is generally not in uncovering work opportunities.

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.

You can find out more about my services in the next section, but to summarise, 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.

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

Matthew Parry, Director SME Graduate Employment

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

  • Matthew recruited a new starter for myself and my organisation through the coronavirus period. He was an incredibly diligent, organised and attentive account manager. 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.
  • 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. Two of whom are currently working their summer here and a third student who we were not expecting to find who will start a permanent role later in the month. 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.

SERVICES AND PROCESS

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 .

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.

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

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.

As you will see, I offer a range of options to cover a variety of needs. The process for all is similar: 

Firstly, I will discuss your requirements to get an angle on what you are looking for in terms of skills, profile, and ideal candidate. If required I can offer some guidance on how the role can be structured,  potential candidate availability, and on salary.

It’s also important that I find out the key attractions of working for you, and of the role itself. It’s a two-way process: the best graduates will often have other opportunities to consider,  so part of my role is to ‘sell’ your opportunity to them, and gain interest and commitment. Examples may be how the role will develop, or some of the projects they may be working on 

I will then get cracking: firstly looking for suitable applicants who I am already connected with, then writing and placing adverts to attract applicants. I don’t just wait for applicants to come to me, I conduct a proactive and time-intensive search using various methods; one being searching job boards-  I pay an expensive subscription for some of the top ones, which helps me to offer you a top service. 

While I will primarily be looking for candidates who are already based locally, as I have a national-reach I can also find graduates who are from your area and looking to return after studying away from home- there are over 140 universities in the UK so this covers many potential areas where they may currently be located.

With the responses to adverts, and the candidates I find myself, there can be a lot of interest. Many applicants will obviously not be right, so I will send them a polite note to advise that they have been unsuccessful. Others are potentially suitable, and many of these can look similar on paper; it takes time, skill, and experience to reduce this to an initial shortlist of applicants who I will speak with in more depth. 

When speaking with applicants I look to gain an understanding of what they are looking for; where their skills lie including ones directly related to the role; and how committed they are to your opportunity. I have a well-honed ‘alarm bell’ system for areas of potential concern. These can include: genuine interest in the duties; suitability of location; scope of the role matching their plans; and many other factors that may have an impact on long-term commitment. I don’t just want someone who wants any job, I want someone who is looking for what you are offering, so there is a mutual match. 

Once this process is complete, I will forward you details of the candidates who I feel are strongest and best suited.  I will never send you more than 5. If there is nobody who I feel is quite right, as can happen on occasion, I will keep you updated and continue the search until there is. I will not send you someone for the sake of it. On occasion the market may show that there is nobody who is available and interested for a specific position, in this case I can consult with you to recommend other possible solutions.

In terms of interviews, I always recommend arranging these as soon as you can; again, the best candidates often have other opportunities so this lessens the risk of losing them.  

Once the interviews have taken place, I will catch up with you and the candidates to get feedback and pass this on. I will then help you manage the offer process,  as there can occasionally be some issues to negotiate.  And once an offer has been accepted, I will keep in touch with you and the candidate to make sure all goes smoothly, including helping them with any difficult situations such as handing their notice in if they are already working. I will also keep in touch once they start and are settling in to make sure all is ok.

So, as you will see a lot of time and hard work goes into the recruitment process, requiring experience and skill.  For all of this, there is no cost- unless one of my candidates starts work with you.  

As my overheads are lower, I can afford to be below average in terms of cost to you- I know my value, so it’s not a bargain basement service but it’s very competitively priced. Yes, it is still an outlay, but staff are probably the most important addition to your business and their contribution could soon cover the cost and much more.

I take a 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 the employers. My job is to send you candidates who I feel are the best available who are interested, these can then be interviewed so you can see who is the best match for you. If we get this right between us then there shouldn’t be any issues. However, for your peace of mind there is a replace or rebate period included in the terms, where if they did leave during the first 12 weeks you will get a replacement or partial refund.

Sound good? If you would like me to help you please contact me by email matthew@sme-graduates.co.uk or phone 0370 774 9500.

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