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Graduate Recruitment 2017

by Alison Adkins
Date: Jul 2017

As employers finalise their graduate recruitment processes for 2017, here are four trends HR needs to be aware of:-

Understand the Brexit effect

The newly released UK Graduate Careers Survey 2017 from High Fliers[1] found that three quarters of students are expecting a tougher and 'limited' job market following the Brexit result. In response, sectors vulnerable to Brexit, have seen a drop in the number of graduate applicants. Accountancy applications have fallen 21% compared to last year, with an 18% drop in finance and 17% in investment banking. A robust graduate recruitment process supported by HR technology is essential to combat any decline in candidates. Away from the Brexit effect, teaching positions have also seen a fall in applications, which is believed to be primarily the result of the ongoing public sector pay cap.

Work on reducing job offer rejections

Around half of all businesses were unable to fill their graduate vacancies last year due to an increase in last minute reneging on job offers. In total, it’s estimated that 1,000 graduate jobs were unfilled in 2016. The more positive your candidate experience, the more likely you are to retain the interest of graduate recruits and secure acceptance of your job offers.  Incorporate tech initiatives into your hiring process such as gamification and augmented and virtual reality to engage with prospective hires. Time to hire also plays a crucial part in your graduate recruitment success.

Last year KPMG drastically reduced its assessment duration, combining all tests into a one day event, rather than over several weeks. Candidates were also informed of the outcome of their application within two days. Your recruitment analytics will identify issues with your time to hire.

Incorporate retention strategies into your hiring process

The 2017 UK University Graduate Employment Study from Accenture[2]found that nearly three quarters of graduates believe they are underemployed. This trend may be behind the rise in the number of graduates leaving their jobs within the first two years of employment. At an average cost per hire of £1,700, graduate retention strategies must form part of your hiring process, with a streamlined, rapid candidate experience and effective onboarding policy.

Accenture’s study also found that graduates are more likely to remain with an employer for five years or more if learning and development options are available. Manage expectations during the interview process to avoid disgruntled graduate talent leaving shortly after their training period is complete. Alternatively, assess whether or not the vacancy you are advertising needs a graduate calibre candidate. A candidate persona can help to evaluate this.

Implement workforce planning now for 2018

Planning ahead for your 2018 graduate intake will take into account the success or problems of earlier campaigns. Data in your recruitment software will provide more insight. Your ongoing ability to source graduate talent may also be influenced by the following developments:-

Falling admissions : University admissions service UCAS data found that the number of University applications has fallen by 4% (or 25,000) this year. Nursing has been significantly affected, increasing pressure on the current nursing recruitment crisis. It is believed that the fall is the result of a number of factors, including the upcoming increase in University fees, the removal of nursing bursaries from 1st August and Brexit. The number of EU students applying to study in the UK has also fallen by 5%. Applications from outside the UK show a rise of 2%.

Rising debt : In a further new study, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found that students in England will incur average debts of £50,800 when the increase in interest rates on student loans takes effect, coupled with the rise in University fees. The IFS predicts that students from poorer families will graduate with higher levels of debt of over £57,000. This may lead to a further decline in future University application rates. 

If you're looking to hire a graduate to fill your Sales, Marketing or Creative vacancy, find out how Swindale Parks Recruitment can help. Sales, Marketing & Creative recruitment is what we do, in fact it's what we've been doing since 1991, helping candidates and companies improve their future prospects, offering recruitment solutions designed to suit individual needs.

So, if you need assistance with filling your next vacancy, or if you're a graduate seeking that first step on the career ladder, then give us a call on 0121 585 6079 or email a.adkins@swindaleparks.co.uk to find out how we can help.

Reference: http://blog.advorto.com/recruitment20/graduate-recruitment-trends-for-summer-2017

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