Navigating The Perfect Storm of Graduate Recruitment

How to attract top graduate talent

For the last few years, international students have not been able to enter the country as easily as they had before. Pre Covid-19, the international student population in Australia was 738,107. This year, the population is 422,095. In addition to this, graduate demands have never been higher and interest in graduate schemes has never been lower, making for the perfect storm in the graduate recruitment field.

With talent teams still feeling the burn from Covid-19 travel restrictions and more candidates going straight into entry level positions and skipping the graduate process all together, it is increasingly difficult to keep talent interested, even once they have been offered the job, but this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. It simply means that graduate employers need to ensure their process is in line with market demands and that they’re in the best possible position from the beginning. 

Virtual recruiting isn’t going anywhere

We may be stating the obvious but virtual recruiting is here to stay. There’s a good chance that you’re reading this from the comfort of your home office, couch, or, even bed Research by the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) finds that 93% of employers have moved their recruitment process online. This may have been brought about by the pandemic, but virtual graduate recruitment is now business as usual with 48% of employers anticipating that their recruitment process will still be mainly virtual in five years’ time. Virtual recruitment can attract a higher number of candidates — potentially more than your current application and assessment process can handle. The process should be efficient for you and for candidates. You don’t need to read hundreds, or potentially thousands, of resumes. You don’t need to conduct dozens of interviews. There is a range of digital tools that can be a huge help for remote recruitment, from pre-employment assessments to video interview, when combined they can significantly reduce your time to hire.

Diversity really matters

ISE’s research into the biggest student recruitment trends looks at the commitment employers are making to diversity in hiring. Employers are broadening out their recruitment strategies to include targeted action on diversity strands including ethnicity, socio-economic background, disability, and gender. While 65% of employers have formal targets around diversity and have been actively developing their recruitment processes to make them more inclusive, almost all (99%) felt that they had more to do on diversity over the next five years.

According to Intel, diversity “will be a workplace deal-breaker for Gen Z.” Over a third of Gen-Zers say if given two similar offers, they would without a doubt choose the company they saw to be more diverse and inclusive.

What are you doing to stand out in this space? It is important to consider language used in graduate job descriptions as research suggests that the inclusion of certain words in a job description which are regarded as being more masculine could deter females from applying for the position, and vice versa. Do your job advertisements include a diversity and inclusion statement? Are you profiling current graduates? Student’s researching your program should be able to see profiles from a range of different candidates of different genders, backgrounds, disciplines etc. After all, you can’t be what you can’t see!

An efficient recruitment process is critical

22% of graduates  say that a long and complicated application process would deter them from applying. A poll carried out by Prospects supports this, discovering that university graduates are discouraged by long application forms that asked, (what they felt were) unnecessary questions or that require candidates to repeat information already supplied.

Some of the most common causes of prolonged time to hire are:

  • Having a poorly structured and unoptimised hiring process 
  • Lack of communication between the company and the hiring manager
  • Multiple rounds of lengthy interviews
  • Poor online presence

Pre-employee assessments are proven to cull out unqualified individuals early while providing your hiring manager with high-scoring candidates. Another helpful way to streamline processes is to automate scheduling. There’s no need for one round of phone interviews to schedule two more in-person interviews when everything can be done online in only a couple of minutes. By utilising assessments and video interviews, we were able to cut down Coles’ time to hire by 95%, saving them 20 business days. You can learn more about the case study here.

Make upskilling a priority

The Bright Network’s research shows that 95% of graduates want employers to be actively involved in their career upskilling. Upskilling refers to learning new skills to improve your performance – and possibilities – in your current career. Development should be a key part of employer branding in graduate recruitment strategies and employers should consider how they can bring in mentorship and training into their graduate development programmes.

Through upskilling, companies can save money by increasing the abilities of their current employees, instead of spending time and budget on hiring new workers. By providing employees with upskill training opportunities, organisations can make employees feel that they are valued and have a dedicated future within the company.

Wellbeing and the work-life balance

As we heard earlier, the job market has changed for good as a result of hybrid working. Graduates coming out of university have done the majority of their studies remotely and will expect their move into the professional world to be equally as flexible.

Work life balance, and people and company culture are more important to graduates than pay. When asked, 61% of graduates cited having a good work-life balance as most important, and 39% said having a good salary. Therefore, the ability to convey your organisation’s company culture, values and work-life is critical during the recruitment process. A realistic job preview, especially in a virtual setting, is the most effective way to bring your organisation to life.

Ensuring you have an effective recruitment strategy for graduate hires will ensure your businesses has the talent it needs to head into the future. Offering graduate talent a fair, engaging, digital assessment experience is where Testgrid can help. Contact us to learn more

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