Graduate recruitment remains a burgeoning market. With 13.2% more vacancies becoming available in 2015, employers will need to focus on finding the most adept and ambitious recruits in 2016.
AGR has released the results of its Annual Survey for 2015, indicating graduate recruitment has been a key focus for many organisations in the last 12 months as they seek to find the best talent for roles across the entire business.
One theme throughout the study was that to find the right hires, employers must be able to sort through the thousands of applicants to attract the most qualified and culturally appropriate recruits, whether by using technology or manual methods. At the heart of this lies data and the processing of that information to find the best fit.
As it turns out, many companies fail to make the best use of their data (or even collect it): The report revealed that 86.4% of employers are unaware of the socio-economic backgrounds of their hires, almost three quarters are unable to achieve an established 5-year retention rate and 40.4% of the business leaders questioned don’t calculate the value of onboarding individual candidates. However, trends indicate that businesses have plenty of opportunities to improve the engagement and effectiveness of their HR departments.
Spry in StepThe thought of entering the labour force can be an overwhelming prospect to many students as they approach graduation, but in reality, the odds are actually in their favour – in 2015, employers offered 13.2% more vacancies than in 2014, and the opportunities came with an average 3.7% raise in pay. And the good news doesn’t stop there: in 2015, 78.4% of firms now have equality and diversity strategies in place. This is especially important for women, who now outnumber male graduates, yet receive less than half of all job offers.
But as usual, this good news comes with a catch: today, every vacancy will see an average of 65 applications and offers generally take about 11 weeks to finalise. In order to effectively cover their bases, employers will generally make over 10% more offers than actually required, which means that a guarantee isn’t always what it seems.
Looking OutwardHow do recruiters feel about this rising market? Unsurprisingly, they’re a bit overwhelmed. Companies are fielding unprecedented numbers of applications and often can’t keep up with number of interviews necessary to make informed hiring decisions. The upshot is that recruiters are unable to give sufficient time to candidates in order to effectively flush out their personalities and characteristics. As a result, CVs take on the role of the interview, and best fits consistently slip through the cracks.
But this can be a serious gamble – on average, it costs about £3,396 to develop a new hire, and in a wavering post-recession economy, it’s essential that businesses find effective ways to identify the right fit candidates as efficiently as possible. Luckily, there are proven strategies that can bolster graduate recruitment programmes and increase the likelihood of filling their vacancies with the best possible hires the first time around.
The key for graduate recruiters today is to leverage technology to both speed up the interviewing process and improve the quality of candidate interactions. According to a recent LaunchPad survey, 95% of the companies that responded see technology as critical for improving recruitment, and they employ it in a number of different ways.
For example, social media campaigns allow companies to target candidates on a more personal level with specific brand messaging, according to ERE Media. Similarly, app-based approaches keep communications between parties clear and open, and make it much easier for recruiters to effectively engage top prospects.
Our study, detailed in the white paper, “Technology Trends for Graduate Recruiters,” found that, most commonly, businesses are making use of psychometric and reasoning tests and video interviewing. While the former helps businesses assess talent and character more quickly, the latter empowers recruiters to reach a wider audience more effectively and consistently. And because 94% of job applicants view candidate experience as important to the recruitment process, clearly communicating your business goals and expectations is vital to your ability to hire top talent.
(Main image credit: Luftphilla/flickr)