Current challenges facing graduate recruiters

The previous two weeks have seen a number of exciting events in the recruitment space. The first - the AGR Trade Show held on Feb 4th, saw an impressive line-up of employers, recruiters, suppliers and universities gather together to transform their acquisition strategies. We were there with a camera crew to capture all the action and updates from the day - so, just in case you missed it, you can catch up on the highlights - including insights and challenges facing both apprentices and graduate recruiters.

The following week we saw the RMP National Undergraduate Employability Awards which celebrates the outstanding achievements of those involved in undergraduate work experience. Over 400 nominations from employers, universities and students across 17 categories and whilst we can’t mention them all in this article, a special congratulations from us to all the recruiter winners:

  • Deloitte: Best Short-term Insight Scheme
  • Thales and AIA Worldwide: Best On Campus Marketing Campaign
  • Civil Service Fast Stream: Best Diversity Initiative in Work Experience

For me, as an entrepreneur myself, I particularly enjoyed hearing from Levi Roots. As expected, he was both energetic and inspiring as a speaker.

Following these events, I decided this week’s blog post would showcase some of the points that were reaffirmed to me throughout both:

  1. The Apprenticeship Levy is kicking in hard and fast. Throughout both events, it became apparent that the levy is a huge focal point for many employers. Some looked physically pained with another big addition on the "to do" list, some are seeing the degree apprenticeship as perhaps the easiest way to dip their toe in the apprenticeship market after years of graduate recruitment and some are going to use the opportunity to upskill their existing workforce. 
  2. More and more recruiters are finding themselves in the boardroom tactically discussing the impact early careers will have on the bottom line of their company, as a direct result of the apprenticeships levy.
  3. Recruiters are facing many challenges. Some are ongoing, and some are new problems. Retention, in particular, is a problem that graduate recruiters have faced for a while now and it is still continuing to be a costly one.
  4. Many recruiters are struggling with differentiation due to the variety of similar opportunities that are now on offer, this is particularly proving to be the case in apprentice and school leaver recruitment. 
  5. More and more frequently, recruiters are seeing young people renege on job offers, or not accept the offer in the first place, which is becoming highly frustrating for employers.
  6. It is becoming more and more apparent that education is key. Employers are strategising to promote their businesses in universities and schools - especially now, as schools are about to be required by law to promote apprenticeships as much as the higher education route.

Bringing it all together

As we are all very aware, it is a changing time in the early careers space, and it is both exciting and scary for many. In conjunction with the AGR Trade Show video, this post has explored only a few of the challenges that recruiters are facing. As ever, I’d love to hear about the challenges you are facing and your thoughts on the above - so, please do use the comment box below.