Back in September last year, I compiled a list of the Top 10 People to Follow in Graduate and Apprentice Recruitment. It was pulled together in no particular order, or with any sort of method to my madness - I simply picked those whose work I liked and of whom were particularly active on social media. It proved to be one of my most well-read posts (though last week’s Education Reforms piece is taking a close second!) and so, with the support of my colleagues, we have looked at the industry once again, and this time have a whole host of people for you to know and follow.
With the huge changes in the industry - I’m talking about the levy, the new law and the (already plugged) reforms in education, I believe that there is major power in networks - and we can all learn a lot from one another. Hopefully, this list will aid your networks - many are great to follow on social media, whilst others make for some great event speakers and others are simply great people to know! With schools, employers, agencies and entrepreneurs all in the list, there is hopefully someone of value for whatever your role in this rapidly developing industry.
So without further ado and (please, let me reiterate!) **in no particular order**, here we go.
1. Emily Austin; Lloyds Banking Group
Emily is a fantastic person to work with - the first time I met her, I was amazed by her energy and enthusiasm. She is deeply passionate about the social mobility of young people and ensuring that every young person has an opportunity, regardless of background, status, location - or anything else that could stand in the way of a successful career.
2. Paul Roberts; AXA
With over 15 years of recruitment, development and HR experience, Paul is currently honing this into the Graduate and Early Careers space at AXA.
3. Michael Deane; Alexander Mann Solutions
Michael and I actually met through a LinkedIn exchange (the power of social networking, eh!) He’s been in the industry for a while now and has worked with many of the world’s leading brands. Certainly has a lot of insights to offer.
4. Stephen Isherwood; AGR
As the CEO of Association of Graduate Recruiters, Stephen knows nearly everything there is to know about this industry. He’s one to know.
5. Craig Smith; Babcock
I don’t think I’ll forget the first time that I met Craig; he’s open and honest and doesn’t mince his words - I hope he won’t mind me saying that! Definitely one to follow with his role at Babcock and the impact he made at National Grid before that.
6. Stephen Green; KPMG
After a successful start to his career at Deloitte, which spanned many years, Stephen is now the Employer Brand and Attraction Schools Assistant Manager at KPMG, responsible for their School Leaver Programmes - notably the KPMG360 and Audit Programme.
7. Celia Golding; Langley Grammar School
Celia is just fantastic. Since taking part in the first ever Class Careers workshops - where one of her students was hired into Sky off the back of this workshop - she is a constant promoter of innovative careers solutions and an ever growing source of knowledge and insight into the minds of schools and school leavers.
8. Simon Hepburn; Academies Enterprise Trust
Simon is the Director of Pathways and Partnerships of the Academies Enterprise Trust - an academy chain with over 67 schools across the country. He’s definitely in the know about what schools are up to, and how best to engage with them. He also sits on the board of advisors at London Ambitions.
9. Spencer Mehlman; Not Going To Uni
Spencer is the founder of one of the largest job boards in the apprentice space, notgoingtouni.co.uk and on the way, has picked up a lot of knowledge. He’s always happy to share it too, so if you see him around, be sure to speak to him!
10. James Lloyd; TfL
Another one who knows his stuff. As the Resourcing Manager for Transport for London, James is responsible for the ensuring the effective movement of skills within the organisation and encouraging young people to pursue the more scarcer skills.
11. Lizzie Brock; RateMyPlacement
Lizzie was one of the early members of staff at RateMyPlacement, she is now Head of Marketing - both on and offline, and is a really great source of knowledge and network.
12. Jade Harvey; Schroders
Jade is the mastermind behind Schroders’ talent acquisition. She is a lovely person to know and work with, and does a brilliant job of recruiting some of the brightest graduates and school leavers into the industry. She’s very knowledgeable and passionate about the industry; constantly looking for new ways of doing things and stretching resources to ensure successful talent acquisition.
13. Nadine Barr; Grant Thornton UK LLP
Another one that exudes passion for her industry - and it is something that is clear to see no matter what level of interaction you have with her.
14. Kate Awdry; PwC
I’ve known Kate for a while now and for the last year worked with her as a supplier to PwC. Kate is a former teacher and so knows both the school side and recruiter inside and out; she is always looking for new ways to innovate in the industry and provide something to different to young people and schools. In doing so, she makes working with her a fun and exciting experience. Definitely one to follow.
15. Jayne Cullen; TMP Worldwide
Jayne is a source of knowledge. Having worked in the entry level talent space for her entire career, Jayne has worked with a number of brands and organisations in this space and is very well respected in the industry.
16. Tim Campbell, Alexander Mann Solutions
As a previous participant of The Apprentice, Tim knows a thing or two about business. Tim is the Head of Client Services at AMS and is involved with a number of recruiters and charities, he’s active on social media too, with over 47,000 followers.
17. Mike Thompson; Barclay's
Again, someone with plenty of years experience under his belt and plenty of knowledge to share. Mike has worked his way through the ranks at Barclay’s and is currently their Director of Early Careers. You might even recognise his face from some of the Barclay’s apprenticeship adverts on TV.
18. Craig Barnett; Hodes
Craig’s been the Director of Client Development & Relationships at Hodes for only a short period of time, but brings with him to the agency-side of the fence years of experience of working client side - for both Deloitte and KPMG.
19. Gary Argent; Graduate Transitions
As the former Head of Careers Service at City University London, a graduate recruiter at Logica and Business Operations Manager at Association of Graduate Recruiters, there is not much that Gary has not seen or learned in his time in the industry.
20. Claire Flannery; Your Life
A former recruiter for Nestle and Schroders, and a relationship manager at the Association of Graduate Recruiters, there is not much Claire doesn’t know about this industry. She’s now at Your Life, encouraging more and more young people to take STEM subjects at A-Levels. Claire is already one to watch, but it will be interesting to see going forward as she combines her knowledge of recruitment with education.
21. Ashley Hever; Enterprise Rent-A-Car
As the Director of Talent Acquisition at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, which - if you didn’t already know - has just been named Graduate Recruiter of the Year at the TargetJobs awards - it’s clear to see he’s doing something right. Definitely one to follow.
22. Debbie Edmondson; Cohesion
I met Debbie only recently but was immediately impressed. In our very first meeting, I could tell she knew the industry well and I could see her entrepreneurial spirit kick in as she identified how our solution fitted with her clients.
23. Claire Herriott; MSL
I know that Claire has done a lot of work with EY and I think they are great example of how an employer can best connect with young people. Considering her involvement, I think Claire is one to watch this space as she works with employers to achieve the same success.
24. Saj Jetha; The Smarty Train
As the Founder of The Smarty Train, Saj is a very well respected person in the industry; hence why he has once again been picked to be a keynote speaker at the upcoming AGR Recruitment Conference 2016. He’s an economist at heart and he takes a very thorough and detailed process to everything he does; knowing him has certainly been an inspiration for me at Class Careers.
25. Helen Alkin; M&S
Helen cares deeply about all the school leavers and graduates at M&S and having been there for nearly 10 years, there is not much Helen does not know. As a huge retail brand, Helen will continue to shape this rapidly growing industry.
26. Alison Heron; GSK
As former Head of Student Recruitment at KPMG and a board member of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, Alison is a well-respected person in the industry, and rightfully so!
27. Claudia Harris; Careers & Enterprise Company
The Careers & Enterprise Company was recently set up and is set to have a huge impact on the careers and employer landscape. As the CEO, she is certainly worth starting to follow - though I must admit, she is one of two people on this list that I do not know personally.
28. Lord Young
Leading on from Claudia - no, I do not know Lords Young - but it goes without saying that his is a must follow. Many would say he is the father of all the recent careers development and well, you certainly cannot understate his impact on this. He continues to make strides that will have huge impacts on the industry, most notably the digital passport for young people. From what I can see, he doesn’t have LinkedIn, but you can follow him on Twitter: @TheLordYoung
I’m going to be cheeky on these last two points. Well, how could I not mention myself and my colleague?
29. Jasmine Wheelhouse; Class Careers
Jasmine has only been at Class Careers for around six months but is already refining how we do things, making the process both simple and effective for agencies, recruiters, schools and most importantly - young people.
30. And, myself; Class Careers
Most of you already know me, and if you’re reading this, you’ll know that I’m a regular blogger too. I’m the founder of Class Careers - an organisation that serves to bridge the disconnect between employers and school classrooms through live online chats. If you’re coming along to a blog post for the very first time, please do connect with me or get in touch directly if you want to know more via firstname.lastname@example.org
I have not provided contact details on the above list, merely just a link to their LinkedIn profile; however, if you would like an introduction to any of the people listed here - and if there is value to both parties - I’ll try my very best to make it happen.
There is also probably plenty of people that I have missed that are worth a mention - though I didn’t just want to pull people out of the sky that I didn’t know already. If I’ve missed someone, or you think there is someone I should know, please do tag them in the comment box below!