Every year the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) releases a survey containing some really key insights into graduate recruitment trends. Whilst the survey results are, for the most part, gathered from larger organisations that have significant graduate intakes, there are a whole host of things that smaller organisations can learn from the findings.

So that you don’t have to read the entire 72 page document (and as I genuinely get quite excited about this kind of reading!), I have identified the top five ‘stand-out’ statistics and provided a flavour of what you could learn from them and apply to your organisation.

If there are any that you would like to discuss in more detail, or if you would like a copy of the full survey, I would be delighted to speak with you – just drop me a line.

#1

51% of employers tailor their recruitment processes to find candidates with negotiating and influencing skills and 71%, to find commercially aware candidates

The fact that organisations are starting to identify these skills, or identify potential for these skills, during the selection process is a huge step towards reducing the skills gaps that we have all been aware of for such a long time. It highlights the real importance of recruiting these skills into a business, regardless of the role the candidate is being hired into. It also shows that even the larger companies struggle to find these skills amongst graduates. A proactive approach is exactly what is needed and from business simulation exercises to competency based questions, every company can adapt their assessment process to draw out these skills (or potential for these skills) in candidates.

#2

91% of employers now ask candidates for feedback on their selection process

How can we ever expect to improve the reputation of the recruitment profession without feedback?! With the proliferation of open, social forums for candidates to tell the world their thoughts on your service, it’s no surprise that organisations are getting serious about gathering candidate feedback. This is encouraging news and hopefully positive changes will be made as a consequence to ensure graduate recruitment stays both current and convenient for the millennial generations.

#3

36% of graduate intakes are now comprised of previous interns/placement students

Undergraduates embarking on industrial placements are ambitious, eager and keen to perform well, and this statistic proves it! Placements and internships can be an essential stepping stone towards starting a graduate career and so these students are eager to impress. The benefit for you is that you can get the services of a high calibre employee who wants to make an impact and wants to achieve. Whether you like the idea of recruiting one placement student or ten, both are viable options and can help you bring fresh ideas and young talent into your business with little risk involved.

#4

Assessment Centres are the most common selection instrument, with 93% of employers using them

The Assessment Centre is certainly a tried and tested, excellent method of final selection and it’s staggering that 93% of employers surveyed use them. It’s versatile, so whether you are recruiting one graduate or 100, an assessment centre provides the opportunity for you to bolster your employer brand, see candidates ‘in action’ and assess a range of competencies in a short space of time. No other form of final graduate assessment is quite as efficient and effective.

#5

Graduate vacancies: down by 8%
Apprenticeships: up by 13%

This year, graduate vacancies have dropped for the first time in a four year period. This is unsurprising really given current market uncertainty in terms of Brexit and the impending apprenticeship levy. It’s interesting to hear that 12% of employers say that the apprenticeship levy will lead them to repackage their graduate schemes as degree apprenticeships. Whichever way organisations respond to the apprenticeship levy, the result will be more entry level talent entering organisations; talent that can be trained, developed and up skilled into future leaders.

As I mentioned above, if you would like to discuss any of these in more detail, or understand how some of these things could work for your organisation, I would love to have a chat with you – just drop me a line here (enquiries@discovery-graduates.com) or on my LinkedIn.