For Twin, as a five times winner of the Study Travel Magazine reader’s poll for Work Experience providers, employer engagement is a key topic. Having placed thousands of inbound students into work or work placements as part of their services to EU and UK governments and educational establishments, they have acquired a substantial body of experience in this area.  Here are some tips in how they managed to achieve this:

Understand the employer need

Working with hundreds of different employers, it is important to understand how each can be helped by us as the resource provider. Some employers may benefit from just a few weeks of work from an overseas student, others may benefit from specialist skills injection over a period of months. This could range from: Graphic design graduates (or people partway through a degree); experts in SAP “ERP” (Complex “Enterprise Resource Planning” software) and both UK and international students of respected vocational skills such as students in Engineering and Marketing.

Having a large portfolio of offerings, as Twin does, helps in the building a substantial database of suppliers. This enables us to place high volumes of students with employers, yet still retain a high level of satisfaction. In a recent inbound funded programme, 130 students were placed over the course of just a few weeks, 80 per cent in their choice of sector; 28 per cent of which were even offered a permanent position – the clearest possible indication of employer satisfaction. 

Making a match

Much of the best contribution to the employer comes before they have even notified us of a specific opening. Twin works very hard to ensure ‘responsible matching,’ not only assessing a candidate’s likely suitability for a given organisation, but also interviewing each individual separately to understand such key issues as attitude, expectations and motivation. This helps us to manage and meet these needs and expectations, and can be the key to a successful placement. 

Candidate coaching and assimilation – reducing the employer burden

Coming to live and work in a country new to the individual generates fantastic opportunities, expanding horizons, building a greater understanding of British business and societal values. It also creates other challenges, from simple logistic and ‘hygiene’ (functional) matters, to matters of culture, both in the society and the workplace. Assimilation is about smooth integration and about reducing the burden on employers, increasing the success rates of any placements. 

Securing the assignment is not ‘job done’

In some cases, like Twin’s 'Tier 5' placement, there are strong formal obligations to ensure benefit for learner and company alike and to monitor throughout, as employers always appreciate help with compliance matters. In all cases, providing a line that the assignee can call regarding any matter allows us to smooth out any ‘placement wrinkles’ with well-judged and consultative balance. 

Dedication

Twin firmly believes that Employer Engagement is multifaceted, just as each employer is, so enduring success demands dedicated resource. Some of our key inbound programmes are on their third or fourth repetition and our multi-year relationships with demanding agents and schools are testament to our record. You need to make sure you are properly ‘in the business’ and to do that, dedication is the key.