How to select the right graduate for a job in IT

Gary Kildare, IBM VP for Human Resources, blogs on how IBM recruits graduates.

What makes a young person stand out as a potential employee? IBM takes on between 350-500 students, graduates and apprentices each year. Over time, we’ve identified seven transferable skills which we ask young people to demonstrate in our recruitment process.

These are – in no particular order:

  • adaptability
  • creativity
  • leadership
  • communication skills
  • collaboration skills
  • passion for our business
  • a strong client focus

We find that people who demonstrate these skills during the recruitment process are more motivated and keen to take on board the training we provide.

We take on graduates and students with a variety of degree backgrounds. A recent IBM graduate studied the fall of the Roman empire and the origins of the British Secret Service for his degree. Not obvious choices for someone on their way to a career in IT. However, he is now a client systems manager and works closely with clients to understand their needs and identify the IT services and products which will support their strategy.

The world around us is constantly changing, becoming more interconnected and intelligent. Seeking out candidates with transferable skills help us make sure that our hires can adjust and thrive in the years to come.