Cary Curtis, CEO and founder of Give A Grad A Go, is well aware of how challenging the job market is, yet he is convinced that many graduates still have the qualifications and ambition needed to start a successful career. “I started Give A Grad A Go in 2009, just as the financial crash of 2008/9 was starting to hit,” he says. “I saw the impact that the financial downturn was having on the jobs market, particularly on graduates, and wanted to try and create a way of helping them.”
Watching the students protesting, Curtis saw how lost and panicked many of them felt, and started to look at the support and advice available to help them find jobs, especially outside the large corporates. “Despite the downturn, there were a large number of technology businesses and SMEs doing exceptionally well, yet they were struggling to find, or didn’t have the resources to find, the right talent” he says. “The graduate market was also being largely neglected by recruitment agencies and job boards, so I started Give A Grad A Go with a laptop in my kitchen.
The business evolved from a platform into a recruitment business which has now placed over 5,000 graduates into nearly 1,000 businesses.”
While Give A Grad A Go was based around securing career opportunities for graduates, Curtis was also keen to ensure the companies they supported could be assured of a similarly high-quality service. “We streamline their recruitment processes,” he says. “That can mean building a website, writing a job spec, planning ongoing hiring, then introducing candidates to them and managing the interview process.
It’s so satisfying seeing individuals go off and be really successful, while also seeing companies becoming more successful as a result of the people we source for them. Graduates we’ve placed have frequently come back years later as clients, looking grow their own teams.”
Curtis agrees that the job market can appear challenging, but just as he made a major success starting a business at a difficult time, he has every confidence that the graduates they place are equally determined. “There’s no doubt that the jobs market has been tough recently but, similar to 2009, there are lots of businesses growing at a rapid rate and creating lots of opportunities for graduates”