Love them or lose them - Graduate Recruitment

John Curran - Monday, August 23, 2010


Love them or lose them – Our Approach to Graduate Recruitment

Neil Fowler, Director, Product Development,

Micro Focus (IP) Ltd.


At Micro Focus we are committed to bringing in new talent to the Development team. Like many other companies we go to the Graduate Fairs looking for skilled and gifted people who can take our company forward.

We are currently the fourth biggest software company in the UK and in the top forty globally. Keeping our technology at the cutting edge means that we need to recruit people who are capable of understanding what we do, but more importantly, recognising new trends or needs before anyone else in the market. Therefore, we try to identify people who can use their vision and mesh it with our ability to listen across the workforce to keep Micro Focus at the leading edge of technology.

The culture we encourage is summarized in our Charter for employees:

  • Cross Functional SupportAs a team, we work together with a collective responsibility for the shared objectives in support of each opportunity
  • Take responsibility & InitiativeColleagues are empowered to make a change within the organization
  • Respond promptlyResponding fast and flawlessly leads to superb customer satisfaction for internal and external customers
  • Deliver on CommitmentsDelivering on time build trust and respect with our customers
  • Close loop feedback/communicationAct upon and seek feedback to continually improving processes and customer satisfaction 
  • Get involved, debate passionately, then get on boardBe open, be involved, be part of creating a successful organization.


Consequently, our approach to recruitment, we like to think, is unique. We meet the graduates or undergraduates through the usual channels and invite them to spend a day with us to explore their aspirations and capabilities.

This is done through a three step approach including:

  • Background to the Company and induction process,
  • Interviews – technical and general,
  • Review and feedback.

They are given a tour of our HQ in Newbury and they meet senior people from the development area to hear some background on our technology and our vision for the company. They then spend time with John Curran from Curran Associates. John’s remit is to help them relax, conduct some management games to get them talking and help them to hit the ground running through their technical and general interviews. They have lunch and meet people from the company who have come through the same process. We conduct various review meetings with the interviewers to discuss the candidate’s progress and capabilities. We do not conduct formal tests but we do explore their technical and interpersonal capabilities from an open and transparent viewpoint. Observing how candidates perform when presented with technical problems gives us great insight into how they will perform in similar situations. We are looking for people who can work on their own effectively and excel within teams. The graduates are then given specific feedback on why they were or were not successful. We find that this approach helps them to see the culture within the company and motivates them to want to succeed. Even those who have been unsuccessful have asked if they could reapply next time, or tell us that they have enjoyed the day and have learned more about themselves than at any previous recruitment days.

Below is an unsolicited comment from one of our most recent recruits.

Hi John,

It's Chris from the Micro Focus interview that took place on 22nd June 2010.

I would like to thank you for all of your kind words and support on the interview day; they meant a lot to me.

I would also like to mention that the interview process at Micro Focus was the best I have taken part in. I do not know who came up with the interview process, but it was excellent! Regardless of whether I would have received an offer or not, I would have left Micro Focus feeling that it was a great place to work.

I wish you all the best,

Chris S

As you can see, we like to help people succeed. So, if you’d like to hear more about what we do, or apply for a position in the future, please look on our Website:



Neil Fowler


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