Hiring processes for young people are broken and jeopardise the ability of employers to attract graduates. That’s according to a new report from Business in the Community (BITC) and City and Guilds Group which found that one in five young people were put off by a company following a bad candidate experience. Businesses are being urged to change their recruitment strategies to attract the talent they need to compete.
Be realistic : Don’t hire graduates for jobs that don’t require graduate calibre skills. A CIPD report in 2015 revealed that nearly 60% of graduates were in jobs that didn’t require a degree qualification. Furthermore, over half (57%) of young people surveyed by BITC reported that a lack of experience was a barrier to their progress, yet 39% of employers claimed they require no experience. Be clear about what you expect from your candidates.
Make it easy to apply : One in three young people find the job application process too difficult. Put yourself through your own candidate experience. How easy is to apply? Lengthy application forms, careers sites which aren’t mobile friendly and a system which requires repeat submissions of the same information won’t work. Keep in mind that this may be your graduate’s first ever job application. Use recruitment software to ensure a seamless transition from your corporate website to your careers page and a ‘one-click’ apply process.
Provide feedback : A third of candidates welcome meaningful feedback, even if it their application is rejected. Young people in search of their first job will benefit from advice that will help them in their ongoing job search. Keep in mind too that graduates share their experiences of your hiring process on social media and sites like Glassdoor. Constructive feedback promotes a better impression of your employer brand.
Understand your key metrics : Invest in HR technology for insight on key metrics such as time to hire, cost of hire and candidate drop-outs. For example, in-demand graduates will quickly realise their value on the jobs market and explore multiple options. Understanding where drop-outs occur in your pipeline will help you to address the problems. Sophisticated recruitment software achieves this.
Reduce delays : Lengthy time to hire is one of the biggest obstacles to successful graduate recruitment. Automate key elements of your process to ensure qualified talent is quickly screened, assessed and interviews are scheduled. Candidates will respond more positively to businesses with efficient hiring process.
Manage expectations : Nearly a fifth of young people claimed the high costs of the recruitment process are a problem. Consider alternatives such as video interviews to reduce the pressure on candidates and offer to reimburse essential expenses when face-to-face interviews are carried out. Manage expectations by clarifying exactly what is provided from the outset.
Be innovative : Take inspiration from global financial services company AXA. Last year the brand ran a Great Global Adventure online, offering the winner a twelve month all expenses paid trip around the world. The prize also included two internships with AXA and a chance to work with one of its volunteer partners. In one move it tapped into the mood of young people with the need for adventure and expectations of corporate sociable responsibility from their employers. In the process AXA also added 20,000+ graduates to its talent pipeline.
Be aware of future trends : Effective graduate recruitment strategies require a long-term, pro-active approach, not simply a response to current demand. Graduate applications to universities in 2016 show a slight increase but longer term applications from UK students are expected to dip. As global universities raise their game to appeal to international students, UK universities – and employers - must respond accordingly.
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The UK Soft Skills Shortage
Our whitepaper on the UK’s soft skills shortage explores the problems of graduate over-qualification, as well as innovative hiring processes introduced by Deloitte, Ernst & Young and PwC.