Thursday, 26 November 2009

Graduate recruitment strategy rethink on the cards

I was interested to read about the rethink of graduate recruitment strategies.

The Higher Education Careers Services Unit has found that the UK's top students are selecting their higher education providers based on different factors than those of their predecessors. One of the outcomes of the research is that employers are advised to modify their graduate recruitment strategies to accommodate changes in behaviour.

The HECSU's study surveyed around 50,000 students and found that historic selection factors such as the history and reputation of a university were becoming less important to prospective students. Institutions such as Cambridge, Oxford, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow (Russell Group Institutions) are not always the first choice for high achieving students. Rather it is course reputation, rather than university reputation, that can steer a student's choice.

The impact on graduate employers could be profound if they don't react to this news. Simply put, the talent may not be exclusively found within that Russell Group. The cost of studying full-time is becoming more and more apparent in university choice. As more students opt to stay at home and attend a commutable university, they naturally have their options limited.

The benefit of understanding the findings could be overshadowed by a greater problem- that of determining a more up-to-date and effective system for attracting and managing entrants to corporate graduate jobs. While employers may be temporarily diverted by more immediate recession related problems, there are those with a shrewd eye to the future.

Casting the net wider in terms of the "ideal" graduate employee may be much harder than it sounds, and it may also have long-term repercussions for the credibility of some long standing educational establishments.

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