The Changing Role of Graduate Recruiters

The industry - the recruitment one, that is - is changing like we’ve never seen it before. I am constantly - and probably quite shamelessly - plugging another article of mine which outlined the facts of the apprenticeship levy when it came out, and well, here we are… in full swing, seeing the effects first hand.

It is, of course, having a major effect on companies of all sizes across the UK - small or large - they are now thinking about putting in place schemes that hire young people into apprenticeships straight out of school. Plenty were doing this before, but not quite on the scale they’re doing it now; so, what effect does it have on the recruiters in those companies?

Well, quite a lot actually...
 

  1. Changing job titles: A simple one really, but it’s happening across the board. Those who were once known quite simply as Graduate Recruitment Managers are now finding quite a bit of variety in these titles: Early Careers Managers, Student Recruitment Managers etc. These are all-encompassing titles that do just that…
     
  2. A changing role: For some, as with the changing job titles, roles are changing too. Opportunities for young people are exploding and as we all know, young people have SO MANY questions that you wouldn’t expect from a graduate looking for a job. ‘Graduate’ recruiters are now dipping their toes into those murky waters of schools and finding that they have to do a lot more explaining than before - apprenticeships; school leaver schemes; graduate programmes; sponsored degree programmes; and the rest. What does it all mean? What’s the best option for me? I’m taking these subjects - will they help me get a job with you? It’s almost like the recruiter role is being merged with that of a careers advisor!
     
  3. Plenty more time in the board room: Excitingly, the apprenticeship levy announcements has meant graduate recruiters are finding themselves spending time in the boardroom. For most larger employers, it has means large tax bills and in turn, the graduate recruiters in those firms are certainly feeling the importance of what they do.
     
  4. Changing recruitment strategies: And out of those boardroom meetings comes different attraction campaigns and recruitment strategies. Some will change dramatically; some slightly; and some might just expand. What we are seeing here is that recruiters are now realising that with the more positions they have to fill, the more young people they have to approach - and the best way to do that is through engaging with schools - which brings me to my final point:
     
  5. Working with schools: Working with schools is an entirely different beast altogether. In my opinion, for reasons mentioned above - the students are simply fantastic. They’re inquisitive, enthusiastic, nervous, unsure and excited all at the same time - not to mention how hilarious and challenging they can be. Schools, on the other hand, can be difficult to work with - especially for those used to working with just universities. Schools run on their own time schedules - their days are short and they cram a lot into them, so making time for employer-student time can be difficult. That said, it’s not that they don’t want it - schools are crying out for meaningful engagements with employers - and it’s a case of finding out a time that best suits your deadlines and theirs. It’s a difficult one to do, but we’ve simplified it in our engagement timetable below:

Found this useful? We’ve also mapped out the rest of the year, so you don’t have to. Get it here.

And, if you’re about to start your school leaver attraction campaign by visiting schools in your area, or indeed, across the country - check out our Top 10 Tips for Recruiters Visiting Schools.

Bringing it all together
I truly think there’s never been a better time to be in the industry; the apprenticeship levy has changed so much, and I do feel like it is for the better. The workload might be heavy now, but it will pay off in time - and we’ll start to reap the rewards in the upcoming years. Remember, graduate recruiters! - in the words of the comic book narrator (and probably someone a lot older and wiser…) with great power comes great responsibility.