For more than a decade, CRM SaaS company Lime’s hugely successful trainee program has helped talented graduates start their careers in the tech industry across a variety of roles – including sales, consultancy, and development.
By targeting and investing in the next generation of leaders and innovators, Lime fosters a skilled workforce built on mutual growth and collaboration. Trainees are a key part of their culture.
How does Lime keep its steady stream of new talent flowing when industry competition is so fierce? We sat down with Cornelia Olsérius, responsible for the Trainee Program at Lime, to find out.
1. Pick the right schools
If you’re a graduate recruiter wanting to get your brand in front of students, it makes perfect sense to attend university fairs, host guest lectures, and build a presence around campus. But as Lime learnt early on, the biggest schools aren’t always the best place to be.
“It’s much harder for us to stand out if all the industry giants vying for attention at the same school,” said Cornelia. “They have the privilege of being household names, and naturally students will be excited to speak with them. It’s easy to get lost in the noise.”
By building a relationship with a smaller group of schools that produce quality talent, it can avoid being eclipsed by bigger names without sacrificing opportunities to connect with the nation’s brightest. Which leads us to another very important point to consider:
2. Understand that it’s a process
It’s easy to think that spreading your recruitment activities across as many schools as possible will net you a greater chance of attracting top talent. And while this may work for the biggest names, brands like Lime rely on repeated interactions with students at the same, smaller schools.
“We’re always giving students new opportunities to interact with us and judge our culture,” said Cornelia. “We’re often celebrated for how approachable and personable we are, and it’s a culture we try to communicate across all our touchpoints, but it’s not something you can really capture from a single interaction at a busy fair.”
By hosting multiple activities in the same school, students can get a stronger sense of what Lime is all about and whether it’s the right place for them. And when graduation time comes, they’ll know where to apply.
3. Tactics for a digital world
Of course, we understand that the world has changed dramatically, and engaging in face-to-face activities with students is likely off the table for now. This hasn’t stopped Lime getting creative and sourcing data from schools to target prospective recruits remotely. This means investing in a stronger digital presence and delivering its tried and tested messaging in personalised content and ads.
4. Employ guerrilla marketing
This is something Lime excels at. Not only is it more cost-efficient than other recruitment activities, but it’s a hugely efficient way to create brand awareness around campus.
“We noticed that many students on the Lund campuses cycle, so we made a big batch of Lime-branded seat covers – all lime-coloured, of course,” said Cornelia. “We then sent a team out to cover all the bikes we could see around campus. It’s a strategy we hope to replicate as we expand into the Netherlands, too.”
Easter egg hunts, hosted around campuses, are another great example of the recruitment activities Lime runs. These engage students in a collaborative activity, while raising brand awareness.
5. Talk to your current trainees
To help cultivate new contacts, identify new recruitment activities, and improve the hiring process, Lime’s current trainees prove an invaluable asset.
“Many of our trainees are fresh out of university and still have contacts we can use,” said Cornelia. “They can go to their former campus, arrange to speak in lectures, and share their success story to inspire next year’s graduates.”
And that’s not all. “We frequently ask our trainees questions like ‘are there any fairs you think we should attend?’, ‘How can we improve our ads?’, ‘Have you experienced any other recruitment activities that could work well for us, too?’,” says Cornelia. “Never underestimate how valuable your current trainees can be to improving your recruitment efforts.”
Recruiting the best employees can mean creating the best employees
Lime has seen enormous success with its trainee graduate program, and as it expands into new territories, the company plans to replicate this success once again.
It’s also an ideal blueprint for growing software companies to consider in their own recruitment strategies. But don’t forget, once you’ve got their attention, you still need to consider the factors we covered in our blog Recruiting top tech talent.
Students may like what they see and hear on campus, but you’ve still got work to do before they accept the job and invest in your culture.
For more tips and insights about talent management—check out Monterro’s Field-guide to talent management for Nordic software companies going through growth. You can also watch Software Talks by Monterro where Johan Redtzer, Talent Manager at Monterro, and Anna Dyhre, employer branding expert talk about finding and keeping talents.