Why graduate recruitment needs to change

  January 11, 2017



Hiring graduate employees is a smart move for any business; research shows that on average, every £1 invested in a graduate employee reaps rewards of approximately £5 in revenue for the business. They are also smart, energetic and innovative thinkers, so from an an employer perspective hiring grads is a no brainer.

But those benefits only apply if you hire a grad who stays with your company, and who actively contributes to the outcomes of your business.  When you consider that 1 in 4 graduates leave their first job within a year it’s clear that effective graduate recruitment is hugely important. Get it wrong at recruitment stage and you'll be paying for it (literally and figuratively) for a long time to come.

Yet, despite this, many companies continue to fall into the same recruitment trap: you post a role on a job board, sift through anywhere from a couple of hundred to several thousands of applications, with nothing to go on except educational background, hobbies and, if you're lucky, some basic work experience. It's no wonder that many companies think graduates have nothing to offer. With such scant information it's nearly impossible to pick the good from the bad. But that's all you have, so those who best match the criteria may then be invited to an assessment centre where they'll be tested for behavioural competencies, numeracy and verbal reasoning, and interviewed about past experiences and why they’re the best fit for your business.

If you're lucky this process works exactly as it should and within several months of hard work you may have a cohort of graduate employees who are right for your company and the jobs they've applied for. But many businesses aren't that lucky, instead they get graduates who may test and interview extremely well but don't really have the attitude, behaviours or interest to succeed in their coveted role, and instead they jump to another one because it's just not right.  Research shows that for many graduates the average duration of their first job is a mere 18 months, and the reasons for this include not enjoying the culture of the business or feeling that they chose the wrong job in the first place.   Both of these issues arise because the current recruitment process for grads (and really most roles) is no longer fit for purpose.  The existing recruitment process by and large leads to people entering roles that they just aren’t suited for, and it’s only a matter of time before they start looking elsewhere.  

Graduate recruitment in its current form is a frustrating, expensive and time consuming process, and considering that according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters that at any one time a graduate employer will be on the look out for between 30 and 900 grads to hire each year, we think it's time for a change.

Our mission at Happywork is simple – to make people happy at work, and we do that by matching the right candidates with the right jobs from the start; saving both employers and applicants, time, money and effort. For us it's all about helping you find the right fit. When employers integrate our assessment into their application process, it cuts out the laborious task of sifting through identical CVs for days (or months) on end. You simply post your job, wait for graduates to apply, during which they'll take a short test based on your specified criteria for each role, and candidates that meet this criteria appear rank ordered in an easy to navigate list. Then you make contact and choose the right individuals for you.

By using an objective method of assessment such as the one we've created, instead of months to find the right candidate, you can make matches with just six minutes worth of work. We have worked hard to develop a tool that takes the guess work out of graduate recruitment, meaning you can hire the right people, for the right roles, without all the hassle, and in turn your new employees can get started in a career that's right for them.