Matthew Harradine, totaljobs: The opportunity is there for graduate employers to secure top talent

totaljobs’ director, Matthew Harradine, shares his thoughts on graduate trends based on their data

First half reflections

It’s around this time of year, as summer ends and Autumn starts to set in, when we would expect the latest pool of graduates to ramp up the search for their first step onto the career ladder. Fresh out of university and in search of work, there has always been a fresh crop of graduates or those entering their final year and looking for a graduate scheme to join.

Since the beginning of the year, over 150,000 brand new applicants have been using totaljobs every month and this has also brought an influx of fresh graduates, with the term ‘graduate’ being searched for over 300,000 times on totaljobs in the first half of this year alone.

From January to June a staggering 4,000 graduates signed up to look for jobs on the website each month and a further 23,000 actively searched for graduate positions on site.

If this shows us one thing, it’s that the hunt for graduate jobs is starting earlier than ever, and recruiters need to be prepared for this when planning not only for the year ahead, but for Q1 2018 as well.

And if they prepare correctly, the opportunity to recruit the very best graduates is there. Totaljobs recorded 200,000 more graduate applications in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period last year, and this has meant that on average there are now 21 applications for every graduate job advertised. This can only leave recruiters with more choice, and therefore more confidence in landing highly skilled and ambitious candidates at the beginning of their career.

The London applications bubble

The famous trend of graduates flocking to the capital has continued in 2017, with London having over 5,000 graduates actively seeking work opportunities in the capital every month in the first half of the year. This has attracted 626,000 graduate applications in the capital as the allure of living in the UK’s biggest city continues.

So while the rest of the UK, the North in particular, looks to tempt new talent away from the South, they are still in the capital’s stead. This being said, the next most popular locations for graduates on the totaljobs database are the North West (where 2,700 graduates are actively seeking work) and the West Midlands (where the figure stands at 2,000). It is perhaps unsurprising that two of the UK’s biggest cities are in these areas – Manchester and Birmingham respectively – as it appears graduates are in search of city life upon completing their studies.

Engineering leading the way

Looking beyond location, the mean salary of graduates on our database is just under £21,000, with the median as high as £30,000. But as graduates begin their career post-study, which roles are attracting them?

One of the most prominent sector trends in this year’s graduate market so far has been the search for graduate engineering positions, with over 42,000 searches in the first half of the year. This signals a significant 34% year on year increase.

The second most popular search term for graduate roles was, perhaps surprisingly, ‘analytics’ with 16,000 searches. After this, we see some of the more traditional graduate opportunities, showing that the latest group of graduates are following in the footsteps of their peers. These include ‘marketing’ and ‘accountancy’ with 11,000 searches each, and ‘law’ and ‘finance’ with 8,000 each (but still less than a fifth of ‘engineering’ searches!).

Looking forward

The first half of the year has been an exciting one for the graduate market. It is currently bursting with a surplus of skilled graduates looking to begin working within a range of careers, and across a range of locations (despite London’s dominance).

But that doesn’t mean recruiters can rest on their laurels and wait for graduates to come knocking. Graduates are still looking for competitive packages and attractive offers, and importantly, they’re applying for jobs throughout the whole year rather than solely over an intense couple of months.

For employers and recruiters on the hunt for graduates who can offer an exciting proposition for the younger generation, the opportunity to recruit the very best has never been greater.


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

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