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Optimising SoT Offers (An Employer’s Guide)

By Ruth
September 28 2016

Posted in Employer Resources

We are 1 week way from SoT2016 offers day, when employers send offers out to their top candidates for paid summer internships!

Securing the “top talent” is competitive, as you know from the world outside Summer of Tech, top digital professionals are in high demand, and that is equally true for students and graduates in our programme.

Our top candidates in 2015 had 10+ offers each! Until we figure out how to clone awesome candidates, they can only accept one offer… which means we’re in for a few polite and regretful “thanks but no thanks” responses to internship offers this year, too.

Here are some tips for employers, to help increase the chances of a resounding YES PLEASE from your top candidates for SoT2016 internship roles:

Tip 1: Search far and wide!

Our top tip for employers in SoT2016 is to cast the net wide!  This year, we launched an anonymised search function which was designed to help you do exactly this! Give it a whirl to eliminate unconscious bias and unearth previously unexplored candidates. Remember, if you’re looking to hire good people, they might not look, sound or appear how you’re expecting… and diverse teams are the best teams (much longer blog post on this topic, here)!

Don’t disregard non-final-year students: outstanding people will be outstanding in earlier years of study. While they may not have been exposed to All The Things yet, motivated undergraduate will learn fast, and with the right support from your mentors, they WILL deliver amazing and valuable work for you during their internship. If you’ve got capacity to mentor and support, then you can DEFINITELY get pay-back on your investment in an undergraduate before the end of summer.

Tip 2: Be an Intern-magnet

Just re-capping the advice we gave in this blog post: there’s a bunch of things you can do to help students understand why your organisation is THE BESTEST.  Anything you can do to help students understand the nature of your business, the opportunity you’re offering for them to apply, learn & grow their skills, the kick-start & support you’re providing to their career… all these things are GOLD right now.

For an insight into how we’re advising students to make their assessment and decisions around accepting offers, check out this blog post.

Tip 3: Communicate!

SoT Recruitment Season has some rules. This includes the very important rule about offers happening on, and not before Offers Day. You must not put pressure on students to decide on roles before then. But you can (and you are encouraged to) let your top candidates know that you’re keen, that an offer will be coming, that you’d be stoked if they accepted, etc!

Communication is super-important.

Unpressured communication, that is, in line with our Terms & Conditions that you’ve all agreed to 😉

How-To Guides

Extra bonus tips for Shortlists & Cloning Roles below! These are super-SoT-employer-skills that will come in handy during SoT Recruitment Season:

Managing shortlists

Students can see if they’re on a shortlist, so this is a great way to let them know you’re interested, that you’ll probably be contacting them for an interview, etc!  Being shortlisted is super-exciting for students, and it will trigger all sorts of research, hopes & dreams as they start researching and getting ready to hear from you about next steps!

As we get closer to Offers Day, we expect shortlists to get shorter.  If you’ve interviewed a candidate but decide not to proceed with them, it would be extremely wonderful if you can send a quick email with some feedback about why you’re not taking it any further with them.

SoT is not a formal application process, you’re not expected to respond to every Expression of Interest or follow up with everyone you met at Meet & Greet.  But for students who have put time, energy & effort into preparing for an interview, or responding to a technical test that you’ve set, they would hugely appreciate some follow up and feedback, so they can come back stronger for SoT2017, and in their next job application or job interview out there in the real world.

Cloning roles

Can’t decide between 4 awesome candidates? No problem, you can pre-load an offer to all 4!  When you “clone” an internship, you’ll get a replica of your original role, including the shortlist.

All you need to do is adjust the shortlist, so that your top 4 candidates get offers in the first wave!  In the example below, the original Role has a Shortlist of 10 awesome candidates, ranked in order. To send offers to the top 4, you should clone the role three times, creating 4 roles (Roles A / B / C / D below).  Then you just need to adjust the shortlists and pre-load offers so that candidates 1-4 get their offers first, and your backup candidates get offered immediately, in the unlikely event that one of your top picks declines.

We suggest you pre-load offers for candidates 5, 6 & 7 as backups, just in case, so that your offers are sent out seamlessly.

Here’s the example:

Note there’s a slight risk in this scenario that candidates 5, 6 and 7 get multiple offers for the same role (in the unlikely event that 1-4 decline). But they can only accept once, so if they’re momentarily confused, they’ll probably figure it out.

Happy offering, everyone! Search well, communicate clearly, schmooze your best candidates, play fair, and all will go well on the 5th of October.

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