The class of 2018

Posted in News on 17 January 2018 By Victoria Sugg, Group Business Development Director

The recently rebranded Institute of Student Employers (ISE) annual showcase was dripping with inspiration, trends and insight this year. CEO Stephen Isherwood delivered an interesting and positive keynote – despite being foiled by an impromptu power cut!

The ISE report that apprentice-level vacancies continue apace, building on the 19% growth of last year. Encouragingly, despite the growth in graduate recruitment remaining relatively flat last year, there are signs this year that around an 11% growth is to be expected this year. So the early talent workforce is still being invested in post Brexit and, indeed, graduate salaries are rising – from being stagnant two to three years ago.

The room was somewhat surprised to learn that one in seven graduate job offers aren’t taken up. While in the past this was down to roles being turned down, increasingly candidates are reneging on offers too. And with employers not having time to backfill the roles, many go unfilled. The ISE’s poll found that 32% of graduate recruiters surveyed didn’t fill all their vacancies last year.

The room was somewhat surprised to learn that one in seven graduate job offers aren’t taken up. 

Turning to the top challenges, while last year the top spot for employers was the uncertainty of Brexit and the ensuing repercussions, this year, encouragingly, the subject of diversity is top of the list. In the same vein, Bob Gilworth, Director of Research at AGCAS, highlighted the importance of social mobility and the establishment of the office for students which will prompt a new focus on students from the wider stream “not just getting in, but getting on”.

As ever, the candidate experience was cited as the most important focus for many to continue to improve. Time to hire is decreasing, due in part to greater candidate testing upfront and technology being used more cannily to streamline the process. It has decreased dramatically over the past few years, from eleven weeks on average down to eight. Video interviewing is being used by over 50% of the market, compared to just 10% two years ago. And with the use of gamification and VR also contributing to the quality and efficacy of the candidate experience, we expect to see technology impacting even more next year.

Time to hire has decreased dramatically over the past few years, from eleven weeks on average down to eight.

It remains an exciting time to be in apprentice and graduate attraction communications, with a world of possibilities presented by technology and a focus on diversity widening the candidate pool. Those forward-looking organisations that continue to invest and keep their ear to the ground on the latest trends and developments will be sure to outperform their peers now and in the future.  

 

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