A group of business students is to help firms tackle the problem of selecting employees from the increasing number of graduates in the job market. Sixteen local students and 22 from overseas will meet early next month to see whether there is any 'best practice' in staff recruitment for Hong Kong companies. The project, in the form of a group competition, is part of the annual Business Orientation Programme organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham). Programme co-ordinator May Hung Mui said the surge in the number of graduates had made selecting the right candidate more difficult for many companies. 'It was easier when the pool of university graduates was small, but it's different now,' she said. 'We would like to know how various companies choose their candidates. These strategies can then be shared by other member firms.' The participants - who include 12 from China, four from Taiwan and two each from Macau, Singapore and the United States - will be divided into six groups. Each group will concentrate on a particular AmCham member firm. The competition aims to promote an exchange of ideas between participants and help develop their problem-solving skills in a business environment. Ms Hung, a business graduate of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, also participated in last year's programme which she described as a valuable experience. She said participants had taken on 'the role of a consultant' in the project's preparation. 'We were able to meet the management of the firm that we studied and discuss issues concerning our project. We're more like consultants who share our views with them,' she said. The programme, which began in 1982, will be held between July 1 and 13 this year. Its objective is to offer business-major university students an opportunity to understand key international business issues through site tours and discussions with management professionals from international companies in the territory. The groups will present their projects to a panel of local business leaders and academics.