The world of Graduate Recruitment – please mind the gap!
Last updated 12-Dec-13 14:42
The Graduates Yorkshire team is still buzzing from #trulondon - a recruiter unconference. An unconference is driven by the expert knowledge and opinions of its participants. It's a laid back environment that really encourages debate and makes sure all voices are heard.
The thing is with some of these events is that it can be based too much around the recruiter without listening to the voice of jobseekers. That's why it was so refreshing to see a group of graduates mentored by @wendyjacob lead a discussion on graduate recruitment - and boy was it lively!
One thing that became apparent throughout the debate is that there is definitely a gap between graduate & recruiter perceptions. Is this through a lack of communication and knowledge, or are we all suffering from a bit of narrow mindedness?
Most of the graduates we talked to are currently studying finance and therefore looking to progress into accountancy type firms.
Here are some of the varying views we whole heartedly discussed during a really insightful hour:
The Graduate View
Most of the graduates were applying for graduate training schemes
Applications were strongly geared towards the big 4 accountancy firms
The application process was a lengthy & drawn out one - one graduate said how they had spent 2 weeks on an application
They were very selective in terms of the type of jobs, companies and places (location) they wanted to work for
Graduates want feedback from their applications
There needs to be a more transparent process when applying for jobs - with more open levels of communication
The Recruiter/Employer view
Graduates should not just be limiting themselves to graduate training schemes - the development opportunities within SME's are immense!
A few recruiters thought that strength is in numbers and you should send out hundreds of applications.
If graduates want to apply for the big schemes they need to go through so many processes as there's such tough competition. If you apply to SME's the process is a lot shorter!
If graduates want to work in a particular field they should be focussed on that goal - however something's got to give - whether that be location, salary, roles...
If a recruiter or employer is receiving hundreds of applications they can't always provide feedback to every graduate. Sometimes you didn't get through simply because someone had a slight edge - rather than anything in particular!
Communication is a two way thing so graduates need to make sure they're engaging with the employer/recruiter too. Make yourself known!
These are just some of the key ‘gaps' we picked out from the session but I'm sure there's a whole lot more. One thing that is clear is that there needs to be more communication between jobseekers & employers/recruiters.
One refreshing thing to come out of the discussion is that the recruiters at #trulondon are keen to lend their expertise to graduates. @PeterGold99 proposed a #trulondon mentoring scheme and by the end of the day all of the graduates were paired up. It'll be really exciting to follow their progress and see how they fare whilst searching for that graduate job!
However there needs to be more calls to action - such as the mentoring scheme - to ensure the channels of communications between graduates and employers are left wide open.
What do you think are the key things graduates should be doing whilst looking for a job? What do you think about sending out lots of generic applications or a few tailored ones? Are graduates narrowing their search too much? How can we bridge the gap between graduates and employers?
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