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6 Ways To Improve Your Graduate Recruitment Drive

Posted by Kate Smedley on 30 Mar 2017

As employers begin to look towards this year’s graduate intake, here’s our advice for how to improve your hiring success:-

Take a look at your brand : The impact of a poorly thought out strategy was demonstrated by sandwich shop chain Pret A Manger last week. After expressing concern about the problems Brexit would cause its hiring teams, it announced its ‘Big Work Experience Week’, intended to hire 500 teenagers for a week of work experience. A reference to ‘paying them in sandwiches’ led to a widespread social media backlash and threats to boycott the chain. Don’t underestimate the effect a careless remark or badly worded job advert might have on your recruitment efforts.

Move beyond the same talent pool : New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that unemployment among graduates in London is highest among young black men. The BBC reported that of approximately 1800 graduates recruited by 11 of London’s top graduate employers in 2016, only 30 were black males. Their unemployment rate stands at 18% compared to 10% for white male graduates. Barclays employed the highest percentage (9 out of 320) while the NHS Leadership Academy recorded none. These figures come at a time when the UK’s biggest businesses have been warned of mandatory targets on diversity in recruitment if they do not voluntarily improve career development opportunities for BAME employees. Take the first step to reducing unconscious bias in your hiring process by removing filters in your recruitment software. An analysis of your recruitment data will also reveal just how diverse your hiring process is. 

Don’t dismiss the digital skills crisis : A new report from Intern Tech[1] found that 93% of tech firms are held back by a shortage of qualified candidates. The problem is compounded by the fact that 48% of graduates lack necessary tech and digital skills and were unfamiliar what specific tech jobs entailed, including roles such as data scientist, app developer and cyber security specialist. Last year we reported that UK businesses were paying up to 30% above current market rates to attract the top graduate talent in sectors including tech and finance. 

Offer degree apprenticeships : Rolls Royce, GlaxoSmithKline and Goldman Sachs are among the growing number of employers who offer degree apprenticeships in partnership with Universities to attract young people with relevant skills. It can be a more attractive option for the employee as businesses pay both a salary and tuition fees. For sectors such as engineering, where 182,000 extra people are needed each year up until 2022, the degree apprenticeship may offer an effective alternative to standard graduate recruitment. 

Think outside the box : Companies are stepping up their efforts to identify the best graduate talent. Earlier this month Pepsico announced its ‘Go Trendsetter’ challenge, an online competition which asks graduates to identify an industry trend and submit proposals on how to market it effectively. Elsewhere, online simulations, hackathons and gamification are increasingly used in graduate recruitment and the rural surveying sector recently took the unusual step of signing a Rural Charter in an attempt to reduce the number of job offers being turned down at the last minute.

Be prepared for the Brexit effect : Prior to the Brexit vote, 50% of the UK’s leading graduate employers anticipated a reduction in graduate recruitment, with an estimated 50,000 jobs in the balance. The reality is very different. High Fliers predict an increase of 4.3% in graduate vacancies this year with just 8% of businesses now intending to reduce their graduate intake. Retail, the public sector and engineering will collectively add 1,200 new graduate vacancies and nearly one third of graduates believe their job prospects will improve as a result of Brexit according to Intern Tech. Streamline your recruitment strategy with HR technology to ensure a prompt, personalised response to applications and effective screening to rapidly identify qualified candidates.

Advorto’s HR software is used by some of the world’s leading organisations to support their graduate recruitment process. Find out why, start your 30 day free trial today.

You might also like to read:-

4 Emerging Graduate Recruitment Trends

The Changes You Need To Make To  Fill Your Empty Graduate Jobs

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Topics: graduate recruitment

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