The Forage Talent Resource Center

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How early talent decides: Meet Gabriela

3 things campus recruiters must consider to bring exceptional talent on board

An interview with Gabriela Roworth, Clerk at MinterEllison

The annoying thing about wanting to hire the best and brightest? Everyone else also wants to hire the best and brightest.

This war becomes an arms race when you consider that pinning down the career decision factors that influence the evasive ‘yes’ to an offer is like hitting a gallery of moving targets.

  • Career fairs?
  • The company website?
  • Employer branding swag?

So how do the most competitive students decide where to apply, and what offer they go through with?

Meet Gabriela.

Gabriela Roworth, aspiring commercial lawyer, goes with her gut.

A final year Law and Business Management student and seven-time scholarship recipient, she has a lot under her belt: co-coaching an international moot team, sitting as VP of her university’s law society, and being an avid pro bono volunteer.

“I have found that having these diverse experiences has helped me develop my abilities and also narrow down my future career goals.”

Now in her second clerkship, and having an associateship in the Federal Court on the horizon in 2023, Forage asked her how she makes her career decisions.

What led you to apply for your current role, and accept the offer when it was made?

Prior to her clerkship with Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Gabriela bridged her studies at The University of Queensland with real job expectations by participating in the firm’s virtual job simulation.

Being able to learn through doing realistic tasks on Forage eased my nerves before starting my first clerkship as I could learn from some silly mistakes early on before making those silly mistakes when it actually mattered.”

During the clerkship application and interview process, her interviewing ethos is one of mutual exchange:

the firms are not only interviewing you, you are interviewing them… you have to like the work and the people you will be around all day every day.“

So what factors does she interview for?

“At the moment I am clerking at an international law firm… I picked the two firms I clerked at by meeting the firms and their people and listening to my gut feelings.”

What makes for a role you can’t turn down?

Speaking on her upcoming associateship with a justice on the Federal Court of Australia, Gabriela identifies two factors that make an experience worthwhile:

  • The value: The “truly invaluable” experience she’ll gain working with a judge and in a courtroom.
  • The breadth: “I also currently cannot rule out with certainty that I do not want to be a barrister in the future, so I wanted to do something totally different from my clerkship experiences”

Three key takeaways

Influence ‘gut feeling’ with experience design

A candidate’s intuition isn’t a mystical, uncontrollable quality. It is the product of every touchpoint a candidate has (and doesn’t have) with your company.

Consider taking a note out of the experience design handbook.

Your employer branding consists of every web page, social media post, and application form that takes the candidate from career consideration to offer acceptance. When you put on a pair of experience design goggles, you’re prioritizing selling them on the experience as a whole - not just the job at the end of it.

To action this, analyze every possible touchpoint a candidate could have with your employer brand. 

For example, consider how candidates interact with your organization on social media - past the company’s own profile.

  • iCIMS finds that 54% of grads and college seniors admit to “stalking” the managers they’re interviewing with on social media such as LinkedIn.
  • When every employee is a de facto talent ambassador, what are candidates gleaning from these touchpoints?

View your interview process as a mutual exchange

As a recruiter, you get a lot of value from interviewing candidates, like predictors of a candidate’s skills, and a sense of their person-job and person-organization fit. Rising candidate resentment trends hint at a growing number of candidates feeling that this value isn't returned.

What are you giving back to candidates in the hiring process? Companies like Corrs Chambers Westgarth provide a virtual job simulation that has enabled candidates like Gabriela to add to her skills toolkit and ease her nerves before embarking on her first clerkship.

Analyze your offering on two decision factors

Gabriela couldn’t turn down her 2023 associateship for two key reasons - each related to a facet of her career development.

How are you demonstrating that your offering is “truly invaluable” to their career development?

Ambitious talent are on a steep trajectory, and they want to know whether you can keep up with their upskilling needs.

  • Are you demonstrating a clear path of internal mobility?
  • Are you showing them case studies of similarly ambitious candidates who have grown within - and past - the role?
How are you showcasing your ability to provide them with scope to test the field?

Ambitious early career talent seek frequent change in order to develop broad skill sets and determine their best career fit.

  • Are you emphasizing the lateral mobility available to them in the role?
  • Are you showing them tangible reasons why your offering is differentiated from competitors - for example, through realistic job previews and virtual experiences?

Virtual job simulations enhance your early talent strategy, leading valuable candidates like Gabriela to find and choose your organization. To learn more, talk to one of our talent strategists.

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