Based on the introduction of higher university fees, the HR Think Tank Series (HRTTS) highlights that students are taking career planning more seriously and becoming more vigilant when sourcing work experience and job opportunities.
Employers suggest that failing to engage with undergraduates during their first year of university will prove detrimental to graduate sourcing plans, however it was noted that the optimal time for engagement was also largely dependent on industry sector. Additionally, it was clear that offering work experience or internships prior to enrolment on a graduate scheme was hugely beneficial for raising brand awareness and creating a lasting impression with students. Approximately 50% of HRTTS contributors report using internships to fuel their graduate pipelines, but stress the need to introduce such schemes early, as students typically pledge alliance to the first company they spend a considerable amount of time in.
Further findings show that ‘over selling’ a graduate opportunity and/or candidates not being explicitly clear of what the role entails, largely impacts on the rate of students withdrawing from graduate schemes. HRTTS members noted success rates of 80-90% of students being effectively converted from internships onto graduate programmes once they had experienced the role first hand.
Jeremy Thornton, Founder of Oasis HR comments:
“Often for graduates their first role out of university is an experiment, so it’s crucial to be upfront about what you can offer as an employer and additionally develop a thorough screening process to ensure candidate’s values, motivations and behaviours are aligned to the businesses’. Ultimately, inaccurately portraying a job opportunity is going to waste both the candidate’s and employer’s time further down the line.”
A full report can be found here.