Battle for strongest graduates intensifies


A new report by WCN and Universum highlights the increasing candidate expectations employers face when recruiting.

The study identifies that the battle for graduate talent is so intense and students so empowered, that recruiters are making engagement and candidate experience their top priorities in 2018.

As part of a wider global study involving 1 million applicants and 40,000 business students across 4 international regions, the research is billed as ‘the must know student recruiting trends for 2018’.  Across the board and around the world, business students ranked having a work/life balance and being offered security/stability as their top two career goals. 

In the UK, the top attraction preference for students is the potential for high future earnings, while professional training and development rated highly in all regions.

Students universally indicated social media is their preferred and most used communication channel, with Facebook coming out on top. Employer websites and careers fairs consistently came second and third.

In the UK, the survey polled 375,000 applicants and offers factual insight into why attraction and engagement are now so important to hiring the future leaders with the most potential.

The report finds that only 3% of those polled go on to receive an offer compared with two thirds screened out early, and that the combined number of candidates withdrawing, declining and reneging equates to UK businesses missing out on 18% of talent.

Diversity also continues to be a challenge. Female applications sit at just 28%. However, conversely, women tend to be more successful at the hiring stage with just 41% of men achieving success compared to 59% of women. Additionally, there is a gap in the roles being filled by Black candidates compared to White/Caucasian and Asian candidates that could be addressed by focused engagement activity.  

And while in the US there is less leaning towards students with Ivy League backgrounds, here in the UK almost three quarters of offers go to Russell Group University students.

WCN Founder & CEO Charles Hipps comments: “The findings in this study, coupled with the perspectives provided by Universum, show just how intense student recruitment is becoming around the world. Mounting competition is ramping up business pressures to recruit faster and be more agile but employers also face the threat that increasingly it is students who hold the power in determining which business is the best fit for them.

“This report clearly demonstrates the need for recruiters to expand sources, find diamonds in the rough and improve diversity in a hugely competitive landscape. Engagement is key to this and recruiters really need to be thinking about how to accelerate their commitment to hiring superstars by personalising approaches to candidate nurturing so that you can vie to be faster than your competitors.”

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

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