Graduate Recruitment Technology – Make it work for you!


It’s a Crowded Market Place


Employers are finding it very, very difficult to find the right candidates for their business in the current market where there’s a scarcity of resources and a scarcity within recruitment teams.

We’re fortunate today to be joined by Saurabh Thaper, Owner of Viddi and Turbo, two recruitment software platforms that are helping revolutionize how recruitment is managed in Australia. 

Saurabh shares his views on the graduate recruitment market, where he sees opportunities for graduates, and how to stand out in a very crowded market. 

Find out:

  • What the current graduate recruitment looks like from the employer perspective
  • How expectations measure up to reality
  • How to overcome new challenges presented by remote working
  • How you can ensure you have the soft skills needed to be successful in your first graduate job and beyond
  • How to use a recorded one way video interview to your advantage 
  • What the Great Resignation is and what opportunities it offers


Get Saurabh’s Top 3 Tips on how you can stand out in the current recruitment market.


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Tune in again next week, for a new episode of The Employability Podcast, brought to you by Gradability.


Prefer reading over listening? 


Here is the full transcript of this episode


00:00 Dave: You’re listening to the Employability podcast where graduation meets employment. During this series, we uncover the good, the bad and the ugly in terms of being more employable and ultimately getting hired.

Hard truths, no bullshit, no filters, just the information you really need to kickstart your career. Presented by Gradability. We’re fortunate today to be joined by Saurabh Thaper, owner of viddi and turbo, two recruitment software platforms that are helping revolutionize how recruitment has managed in Australia.

We asked Saurabh for his views on the graduate recruitment market, where he sees opportunities for graduates and how to stand out in a very crowded market. Saurabh, look, the current employment market is unlike anything we’ve ever seen and I’d love to get your perspectives and insights, I suppose, on the graduate recruitment market, what you think’s going on in there, both from an employer’s perspective, but also in terms of what a graduate job seeker should be expecting when they’re entering this market.

01:11 Saurabh: Yeah, I think that it’s a challenging market at the moment. Employers are finding it very, very difficult to find candidates in general. There’s a scarcity of resource, there’s a scarcity within recruitment teams.

And so when it comes specifically to graduate recruitment, I think whilst employers are looking for graduates, often they’re on the back foot, they’re trying to fill roles within the organization. Outside of graduates, there isn’t as much focus where they are focused.

Unless they’ve got a strong internal recruitment team or a strong program in place, they’re finding it more and more difficult. It’s a bit of a catch 22 where resources might be available, but employers aren’t actually able to extract advantage or leverage from that because their systems might not be in place for very good reason as well.


02:11 And I think then from graduates’ perspective, when they’re looking to engage with particular companies and they may not be getting the response rates that they’re after.

They might be finding it it difficult. They may not be going into the right roles. Sufficient information might not be provided to them in relation to what’s required, the scope and so forth. So, there’s a bit of a disconnect at the moment, I think, within the space which makes it hard for the employees and it makes it hard for the graduates because there’s no alignment there in terms of what they’re looking for, what the objectives are, and then what the hiring process would look like.

02:47 Dave: What we’re seeing a little bit is the fact that you’ve got employers who particularly in this environment where as you said before, it’s hard to get access to talent. Well, there’s talent there, but they’re not necessarily getting access to that talent.

And at the same time, with businesses being so squeezed as they are in terms of salary pressure, wage pressure and talent pressure, what we’re seeing is a lot of employers are looking for graduates to be able to come in, but perform at a higher level.

And at the same time, the graduates are coming in and they’re expecting a higher salary because of the way salaries are sort of sitting at the moment, but without necessarily having those skills. So, you talk about that imbalance and that seems to be exactly what we’re seeing at the moment where there’s incongruence in terms of what employers are looking for and that’s based on business pressures and all those sort of things.

03:25 But then at the same time, from a graduate’s perspective, it’s like, well, I expect to be paid this, I’m a graduate, I expect to be paid this amount of money, and I expect you to be doing this sort of job, but I don’t actually have the skills to be able to bridge that gap.

03:36 Saurabh: Yeah, and look, I mean, you probably remember when you were a graduate, when I was a graduate, I remember that there was always a program in place. The program in place was not only materials, type of work that you’re doing, but there would be a hierarchy within the organization to allow you to grow both yours hard skills and also your soft skills.

But if you go into an environment now where the first year, if it’s an analyst or a manager above you is resource-constrained or may not be in that position anymore, and you are required to then act at a higher level than what you’ve come in, that then again, like you said, there’s that disconnect.

04:15 There’s a significant expectation gap whether it’s wages, salary, or whether it’s in relation to skill set and ability to perform.


04:22 Dave: So, if I was a candidate coming in, how do I bridge that? How do I make sure that I’m setting myself up to be able to demonstrate to my potential employer that I’ve got the skills that I can actually make that decision? I don’t necessarily need to have that direct sort of mentorship to be able to get to where I need to get to.


04:34 Saurabh: Taking a step back. I think it’s very hard for graduates at the moment for the reasons that we’ve articulated. But then also when you overlay that with the fact that organizations might be working from home, they’ve got a hybrid model in place and the onus then really does shift on the graduate to do what they can to try and bridge that gap as you said.


I think if you are a graduate in this environment, in addition to the hard skills that you have, tertiary education or whatever it might be, start trying to focus on some of the soft skills that will help you communicate a little bit better with the team.

So, teamwork, communication, writing skills, even how you perform on Zoom or video calls is important because it is ultimately a reflection on you. The more then your teammates can engage with you or they feel comfortable with you, it will then allow you to bridge any skills gap that you might have and you will have them.

05:38 You’re a first year. You’re not expected to know everything, but you may hope so, but no, you’re not expected.


05:43 Dave: But yet many graduates come out thinking that, “I’ve graduated from Uni, I’ve come from a Group of Eight Uni or whatever university it is, and therefore it’s my right to be able to walk into a role.

I have the skills, I am a graduate. And I think you’re right. I think it is very challenging for graduates at the moment. We’re certainly seeing it as well. We’re seeing that when graduates come in, a lot of times they have a lot of technical skills.

They can do the job, strictly speaking. But it’s those soft skills that you talk about, it’s the ability to connect the dots, the ability to communicate that issue, the ability to be able to manage that as well in terms of supervisors, et cetera, is one of the reasons why we deliver the programs that we do deliver.

06:18Because, at the end of the day, your technical degree is going to help you to a certain extent. But you are going to need the soft skills. You’re going to need the ability to translate what you’ve learned from an educational perspective, in a technical sense, into the actual work environment.

And unless you’re actually putting yourself into a position where you can get that sort of guidance and you know, like, an internship is a great way of doing it, particularly as we do it when it’s structured around learning outcomes that help you with that sort of integration, that certainly helps with what you got.

06:44 Plus, I suppose the other thing is with an internship, you do get almost a trial period for yourself. These are the things that I need to learn. These are the gaps that I’ve got, and these are the areas that I need to work on if I’m intending to make this a career on an ongoing sort of basis, which I think is really important.

06:59 Saurabh: And also, this is the organization I want to work for. This is the environment that I want to work for or work within. Because again, as a graduate, a lot of your learning is through osmosis, the people around you, just picking up what you can, the nuances within that department or that role or that organization, and it differs across.

No two organizations are the same. So, by conducting an internship, it also gives you clarity from that perspective on whether or not it’s the right fit and ultimately any role, it is actually about the right fit between employer and employer, whether you’re a graduate or you’ve got multiple years of skills.

07:39 Dave: Yeah, a 100%. We talk about it a lot that even when we’re trying to identify the right opportunity for you, it’s about the right opportunity for you and vice versa. In some ways, it’s like dating, right?

You both have to have that sort of attraction that allows you to connect between the two. One of the businesses that you own is viddi, which is a one-way video interviewing platform. And we’re seeing this emerge quite a bit now in the assembly recruitment of the sector and the whole point of that to try and make it easier for employers and recruiters.

08:06 But from a candidate’s perspective, it can also be quite intimidating. When you get a question that comes up and then you’re answering it into a screen, you’ve got a monitor, you’re looking at yourself. Doing this podcast with people without the cameras is still quite intimidating because you’re sort of hearing your voice back to yourself.

Can you tell us, I suppose, just firstly, how does a platform work? And then from a candidate’s perspective, if I’m applying for a role, if I’m a candidate applying for a role, particularly like a graduate role, what do I need to be aware of and how do I need to prepare myself for that first stage of the one-way video interview type scenario?

08:39 Saurabh: So, viddi is, as you said, one-way video interviewing. Effectively, what it’s looking to do is provide employers with a tool to be able to screen a range of candidates. The way it works is that an employer will have a set of questions they would like to ask.

Those questions are sent to the candidate and the candidate, once they’ve logged in, will have an opportunity to answer those questions. They don’t have visibility on the questions prior, so it is trying to replicate that face-to-face interview dynamic and then their responses are recorded and then they’re uploaded against their profile.

09:17 The advantage there is that from an employer’s perspective, they can ask a uniform set of questions and get answers in response to those questions. So, it actually then allows the employer to view candidates on a like for like basis.

From a candidate’s perspective, it’s hugely beneficial because it gives them an opportunity to stand out, it gives them an opportunity to, resumes these days are pretty vanilla, but the opportunity to be on video, the opportunity to articulate your answers, demonstrate your proficiency in English or a particular skill set is really quite valuable, and often a great tool to be able to stand out.

09:57 So, we’re definitely seeing that there’s an increased usage of the technology. And I think that’s probably due to the fact that we are in a labor shortage. And whenever there is a labor shortage across history, there is that natural correlation with the adoption of technology.

And I think that’s definitely playing a part. But I think that where employers are able to extract value is they can identify candidates that are interested, they can then identify those that have the skill set thereafter and then really focus on those candidates.

10:30 So, quite valuable from both perspectives, you’re absolutely right in terms of that it can be intimidating. We’ve introduced various protections to allow employers to ask the question on video as opposed to having it there as just a question that you read.

But I think from a candidate’s perspective, it’s important really to treat it like a face-to-face interview. This is your opportunity to present yourself, your brand, your identity to the employer in the best light possible.

10:55 And so when it comes to preparation, simple as it may seem, but prepare for it like you would for a face-to-face. So, do the research, investigate the company, the role, what may be required of you. And then when you are actually conducting the interview, make sure you’re presentable, dress appropriately for the role.

If there are practice questions, make sure you do the practice questions. Your light, sound, all of that is working as you would expect because ultimately that video is then going to be shown to the employer or recruiters within the team. Yeah, just a couple of tips that might help you before you come out.


11:33 Dave: And also check your environment when you’re recording it.


11:36 Saurabh: Absolutely.


11:36 Dave: Unfortunately, we use a video interview platform. Unfortunately we don’t use viddi because we didn’t meet until after we engaged this other business. But what we’ve seen from a few people as we get applications come through and people are lying in bed, they look like they just rolled out of bed or in some cases, lighting is poor, they record it and the cameras moving up and down.

It’s very distracting, to be honest, right? This whole podcast is about, you know, the hard truth. We eliminate those people straight off the bat because you go, well, if you couldn’t be bothered putting a shirt on, getting to a room, checking your lighting, checking that you’ve got everything set up, then we don’t really want to waste our time with interviewing you or taken any further because your heart’s not really in it. So why do we bother?


12:14 Saurabh: That’s exactly right. Like I said, it’s a reflection of your brand. It’s a reflection on how focused you are on the role. And if you’re lying in bed or for instance, we’ve seen videos where there’s a dog or there’s a cat in the corner and it’s distracting.

So, you wouldn’t do that if you’re meeting someone face-to-face. So, the same principles apply.


12:37 Dave: Yeah, I suppose one of the things as a candidate, the video interview of this sort of interview takes place before face-to-face, that sort of culling phase. It almost takes the place of phone screen to a certain extent, would that be correct?


12:48 Saurabh: It can, yeah, it can.


12:54 Dave: So, if I’ve recorded an interview or I’ve recorded what I think I might respond to, to send it through, we’ve told people in the past when they are doing an interview, one of the ways to stand out to after putting in your application is to call a business straight after and go, “Hey, look, just so you know, I’ve submitted that through.”

Just get your name front and center so that they have it front of mind when they’re going to screen the actual interviews themselves. Is that something that you’re encouraging people to do or you would encourage people to do as well to make sure, is there anything to kind of get their name higher up the list?

13:18 Saurabh: I highly recommend it because if anything, that shows a level of commitment to the role, a level of commitment to that organization to understand what the process is. Often if you call, you can also extract additional information that you may not get from the job ad or from that video interview.

So, you can utilize it as a tool to get some additional information in relation to the role of the structure or the process. That might be advantageous.

13:46 Dave: I normally tell people to call before they actually do interviews and even before they put an application and call up the company, have a bit of a chat with whoever has posted the ad. Try to understand, as you’re saying, a little bit more than what’s actually in the ad or in the job description. Are they looking for a particular type of person, type of trait or skill? See if you can get your name remembered, then put the application in, then remind them, look, I’ve just put my application in.

So, it’s almost that sort of constant reminding of who you are. And there’s a point when you become a pain in the ass. So, there’s a balance in where you want to get to. But I think it’s about particularly at graduate level at the moment, we’re seeing graduate roles go out and you’re getting 200, 250 applications and they’re all pretty much the same.

14:27 So, you’ve got to do something to make yourself stand out in a positive light. And things like a phone call, the right amount of contact is important in that.


14:34 Saurabh: I think that’s fantastic advice. It’s a people business. Recruiters, it’s a people business. They’re trying to identify people that would be the right fit for their organization. And from a cultural perspective, if you’re able to demonstrate that forward thinking, if you’re able to demonstrate that initiative, then I think it’s only a positive.

14:54 Dave: And from an employer’s perspective, video tech is great and the ability to use technology like what viddi is, is really helpful. One of the challenges can be not knowing what questions to ask. There’s almost this opportunity to do more rather than less.

Are there any, from your perspective, any sort of guidelines around what you should be focusing on from an employer’s perspective, in terms of questions you should be asking and what to be looking for I suppose in responses?

15:17 Saurabh: The questions, it’s very much organisation-specific. It really is. There are a couple of considerations. It’s organisation-specific role. It’s also at what stage of the process you’re actually initiating the video interview.

So, is it replacing your phone screen? Is it a second stage interview? They’re all considerations you need to take when you’re formulating your question list. I think the advice that I’d give is that you want to balance it between the soft skills and the hard skills.

15:51 The video interviews that I’ve seen that have been most useful have been those that are something relevant to the role, but also then introduce a question around personality. So, there was one the other day which was do you prefer burgers or pizza? And what’s your reason?


And what that actually did was, and it was one of the first questions that was asked, but what that did, it disarms the candidate. They feel a lot more comfortable.


16:18 Dave: I feel judged.


16:20 Saurabh: You could say both.


16:22 Dave: You could say both, why? Because I’m fat.


16:25 Saurabh: But it’s a great way to engage. And so you also then get to see a little bit of their personality and then you can move into more technical type questions.


But yeah, it’s very much role-specific. What I would say is I would keep the question list between three and five questions. I would then allocate a response time to somewhere between 30 seconds to a minute.

16:49 That way it allows you then to review the candidates responses pretty quickly. If you want to have a follow up conversation, you can do so. But if you structure it in that manner, three to five questions, 30 seconds to a minute, it typically sets the right time for the type of interview.

17:04 Dave: Quite nice and tight as well. Yeah, we talked about what a candidate needs to do from a hygiene perspective, right? Make sure that you address appropriately, make sure that you’ve got the right sort of setup environment, all those sorts of things.

But in terms of standing out, what does the candidate need to do in a video interview to stand out from, again, like assuming this goes out to 30, 15, 20 people, how do you make yourself stand out from the crowd?

17:25 Saurabh: Look, I think yeah, in addition to all of those, your ability to answer the question succinctly is really important. So, in a video interview, you actually don’t have have too much time to waffle, because if you waffle, the time will end and then you’ve got no recourse.


Unless you can retake the question. But, succinct, concise answers addressing the point is… The candidates that have been able to do that are often the ones that are more successful. So, once you’ve read the question, take the time, couple of seconds, gather your thoughts and then answer.

17:59 I think that’s probably one one of the most important pieces of advice that I can give outside of those hygiene points that we mentioned. Yeah. So, probably focus on that. I’d say.


18:10 Dave: Yeah. And I think that’s the same thing whether you’re on a video interview or a face-to-face interviews, you want to be as succinct as you possibly can.

I’ve seen situations where you interview somebody and I particularly when I’m interviewing, I like to ask a question, let them answer and then not say anything and just let the silence sort of get that little awkward silence and then watch the person just waffle on.

18:32 Dave: Or the really confident ones just go, say their piece and then stop. And I particularly do that with salespeople to see whether they’re going to waffle on for the sake of it or whether they’re actually confident enough to actually stop and go, “Well, I’ve said my piece and that’s it.”


A lot of employers actually will do that just to test your ability to respond and look at that reaction.


18:51 Saurabh: You’d make candidates quite nervous, wouldn’t you?


18:53 Dave: I try my best. I don’t give very much away in an interview, put it that way. But that’s also because I don’t process an interview until after. So, I’ll have a conversation with you and I’ll ask questions, I’ll be taking notes as we go along. But at the same time I’m trying to record what you’re saying, process what you’re saying and try and rank you to a certain extent in terms of how I view you compared to other candidates.

I always tell people that personally, and this is terrible advice, I always tell people not to try and close me in an interview because they always go, “Ah, so, is there anything I failed to address, is there anything that I need, any concerns that you’ve got?”

19:25 And genuinely, for me, I’m at that point going, I’m still trying to process what you said 3 minutes ago. I’m not actually that smart to be able to go, “Bang, here’s what I thought, what I think…” Unless it’s really a glaring gap and I know, I’ve been told that candidates find quite intimidating with me.


And I’m going, “I’m genuinely not trying to do this, I’m genuinely trying to process what you’re saying, I’m not trying to put you in a difficult situation…” But I know the impact that that has on people, trying to work on it, trying to get a bit quicker. It’s a challenge.

19:53 We talked about recruitment, and right now everyone’s talking about the great resignation. It’s the great resignation. Companies, businesses are sort of feeling the pinch from that perspective.

But there’s also opportunities that that presents. Very clearly, there are opportunities that presents both to businesses and candidates. Can I just get your take very broadly on that and what options you see potentially for applicants or candidates looking into that market?

20:18 Saurabh: So, there’s probably a new term coined every week these days, great resignation, great reassessment, great recalibration, whatever. I think there’s so many different ones these days. If you’re an employer, it’s very hard just to keep up with what’s going on.

But I think taking a step back, what COVID has done is that it’s actually required both employers and employees to reassess, one, how they recruit, but then also what kind of job requirements or aspirations the employee has.

20:52 So, there’s been a significant shift in terms of objectives for both parties. Those employers that have embraced it have really sought to understand what’s the culture, what are the values of the business, are they where we would expect them to be – do we need to shift?


And then trying to find the recruits that match that have probably been the most successful. Those that haven’t or haven’t identified what those core tenets of their business are, continue to struggle.

21:27 And so, irrespective of which region we’re in, it’s important that as an employer, you address that in the first instance. When you look at a business, there’s always a lot of focus on the financial metrics of a business and there’s a lot of robustness, whether it’s through your budget, your forecast, whatever it might be.

But that same principle, that same rigor or application isn’t applied to your culture and HR, so those companies that are doing that I think are starting to see sums of success. For a candidate, there’s so much opportunity, if you are able to demonstrate some of the key principles, go above and beyond and be flexible.

22:06 There probably hasn’t been a market like this pre-GFC is probably what I’m thinking. You have this kind of market for graduates where there’s so much demand. So, if you’re able to demonstrate some of those qualities, overlay that with self-learning, soft skills around teamwork, communication, I think that you can position yourself very, very well in this market.

22:27 Dave: You touched on COVID-19 and the impact that that’s had. We’ll touch on some of the other things, you’ve talked about them. But I just want to touch on that COVID sort of impact, and more so, the impact that has had in the direct way in which we work, right?

So, whether it’s face-to-face, remote, some sort of blended version of that and I suppose you kind of touched on it before, but from an impact perspective, every company that I know is working on some kind of blended work model where it might be two days in the office, might be one day in the office, might be once every fortnight people are coming in.


22:58 How do you make sure that from a business perspective, culturally, that you’re engaging with people, but also from a staff perspective or a team members’ perspective, if you’re coming in particularly new, how do you make sure, how do you integrate into that culture when it’s not necessarily a physical culture anymore?

There’s no more water cooler conversation, not a lot of it anyway. How do you make sure that you are front and center to a certain extent with the culture, with making sure that you can actually go above and beyond it and get plugged into the things that you need to?

23:24 Saurabh: The onus I think a lot rests with the candidate. It is a little bit unfortunate because again, if I refer back when I was a graduate, you may not have been the most confident, you may not have been the most vocal, but through learning, through osmosis, you go grab coffee with someone, learn a little bit more about the business, you’d go for lunch, you go for beers after work. And that’s really how you educated yourself. At least that’s how I did, it took time.


23:50 Dave: And the fact that you sitting next to somebody as well, so you’re hearing what they’re saying, you’re getting that sort of as you’re saying, learning in osmosis.

23:56 Saurabh: That’s right, that’s right. And we were fortunate that we had that environment. Now, working from home, hybrid model, you might be sitting at your computer for the whole day, whether it’s one day, two days, or whatever it might be, and you don’t have that opportunity.

So, the onus then, I think, really rests on the candidate to try and then allow themselves to differentiate. So, how do you do that? I think the only way is working out how you’re going to build your brand, how are you going to promote yourself in that organization, how do you connect with someone senior and catch up for five minutes, even if it’s on Zoom or it’s face-to-face.

24:34 So, if you drive that, you’re front-of-mind, so similar to the phone call analogy that you gave, the recipient will be more willing to engage with you if they know you, as opposed to just someone on a Zoom call or someone that’s sitting on the desk in the corner.

So, being visible, I think key component. Flexibility as well, so again, if you’re a graduate, once you’ve done your work, offer yourself to help out. There is lots of work around due to the scarcity within each organization.

25:07 So, I’m sure that you will get taken up pretty quickly. And I’m not advocating that you just work endlessly, but what I am suggesting is that by doing that, you’re getting in front of the right people and you’re getting that opportunity, which others maybe are not taking, to learn those skills and then hopefully significantly advance your progression.

25:24 Dave: Particularly, I suppose, like, you’re coming at a graduate level, you’re allowed, almost mandated that you should be making mistakes. So, there’s no harm in putting your hand up for it. I think the other thing with that is if you’re going to volunteer for something, we’ve seen the reverse of this some times where people volunteer for something and they go, “Look, I’ll take on that project.”


And then the very next sentence is, “How much am I going to get paid for that?” And from an employer’s perspective, it’s yes, as an employee, you know, you want to get fairly remunerated for what you’re doing. And I think absolutely you want to at some point to be looking for that reward.


25:51 But personally, I think that’s the wrong approach to take if you’re going, “I will do this if I get paid.” It becomes then a very transactional employer-employee relationship, and it would build to a certain degree a small resentment between, “Oh, I don’t really want to give you that because you’re just going to ask me for more money.”

And whereas if you just go and look, this is an opportunity for me, I want to take this on and I’ll learn from it. Then what you’ll find, I think, is that the employers then go, “This is awesome, this person is prepared to do something, I’m going to support them more than I potentially would have otherwise, make sure that they’re able to do things, to have the resources they need to be able to be successful in that.”


26:24 Saurabh: Yeah. And there’s an element there of your own growth. And as a graduate, you may have the technical skills, but there’s a significant level of information that you need to take on board and there’s a significant level of learning that you still need to do.

Now, if you’re committed to your own growth and your own development and you’re able to stand out and you then get access, I think you will quite soon find that you will get access to whether it’s work or opportunities that are not available to others purely because you’ve taken that initiative.

27:01 So, as you said, as a graduate, you’ve got so many opportunities, you’re allowed to make mistakes. So, yeah, leverage that, try and learn as much as you can and work with as many people as you can.


27:09 Dave: I think the key is we’re not advocating that you allow yourself to be taken advantage of…

27:12 Saurabh: Exactly.


27:12 Dave: But it’s about giving yourself the opportunities to grow. And I think it goes beyond your graduate roles. I mean, the roles where I’ve had the most growth are the ones where I’ve taken on work above and beyond what I’ve had to do, which will, A, be pushing your personal boundaries, I certainly found stretching myself every time I did that.


But every time you stretch, it’s a bit like that elastic band, every time you stretch it a bit more, you get a bit better at doing it. Then you ease the tension a little bit and you grow a bit more and you stretch a bit more and you find that you can actually stretch a bit more and more.

27:37 It’s like going to the gym and lifting heavy weights. You can’t go in and expect a deadlift 300 kilos on day one, but you slowly build up your tolerance to that. Eventually somebody will get to that.

But and I think that’s the key thing is that your learning doesn’t sort of stop after you first graduate role. I think the ability to challenge yourself and say, I’m going to keep pushing those boundaries, my own personal boundaries to learn, I think are really important all the way through your career.

28:02 Saurabh: Yeah, it doesn’t stop. I was just going to say that it never stops. If you’ve got that mindset, it never stops. And there’s a great saying around there’s no such thing as luck. It’s just where preparation and opportunity intersect.

Essentially, that preparation is all the work that you’re doing prior, personal growth, growth within an organization. So, I don’t think that ever stops. You get into those habits early, you will start to reap the benefit.

28:28 Dave: Yes. And one of the interesting things that I found is saying that you fail at the edge of your experience. And what I found was that the more I was pushing myself and stretching, the more leeway I was given to make mistakes because I was testing myself, because I was going above and beyond.

Whereas the people that were very happy to cruise and just happy to do their job, turn up nine to five, do what they needed to do, and then pack up and leave and not put in the extra bits. They’re the ones that tended to get called out for when things were going wrong, because, well, you’re only doing this, you’re not actually doing any more where somebody else is doing a lot more.

28:58 And they might be making mistakes, but they’re pushing themselves, pushing the boundaries, helping the business grow, those things which I think makes a huge difference as well.


29:06 Saurabh: It does. And it’s a big reflection on your commitment to the role, your initiative. And if you’re able to demonstrate that, plus you’re helping the business grow, then you are given a bit more leeway.


29:18 Dave: So, just to end up, I suppose, if you had to give three tips to graduates in terms of them looking for jobs and maximizing their opportunities in this market, what would you be telling them?

29:26 Saurabh: I think flexibility is key. Flexibility is not only in relation to type of role because there are so many roles out there, you need to have a transferable skill set or you might be required to. So, being able to demonstrate that flexibility I think is very useful prior to going into an organization. Study the organization that you’re going into.

Unfortunately, I think with so many opportunities, sometimes that diligence is probably not conducted. So, the decision is made maybe on salary or maybe, but really I think if you take the time to find the right organization for you, that has the right infrastructure, that has the infrastructure if you’re a graduate to help support graduates, that’s hugely beneficial and will help you grow.

30:17 And then I think probably the third one I’d say is invest additional time outside of technical, around those soft skills. You will differentiate yourself not only against other graduates, but I also think against anyone that may have started a new role.

If you’ve got good video skills or good communication skills, teamwork, these are all some of the skills that as a consequence of COVID has probably impacted everyone that’s working. So, if you’re able to work on that, I think you’ll stand out not only against other graduates but also against other employees.


30:55 Dave: And it will help you stand out for the next promotions, next opportunities you’re going to get, et cetera. I think that’s really good advice, I really enjoyed our chat. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your insights. I think everyone listening would have got some real insights from that. And thank you, everybody, for listening.

31:08 Saurabh: Thanks for having me. Cheers.


31:12 Dave: You have been listening to the Employability podcast presented by Gradability. If you would like more information about today’s topics, please check out the show notes and or visit

A reminder to subscribe on your favorite podcast app so you don’t miss an episode. I’m Dave Phua. Until next time, remember to control the controllables.



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