This blog is designed to keep you up-to-date with Careers Education, Information and Guidance (CEIAG) available locally, nationally and through the school. I’ll be posting information about employment and training opportunities available locally as well as details of open days and useful websites. The world of education, employment and training opportunities is changing rapidly so keep checking in for the latest information.

Mr Cross

Sunday, 8 November 2015

What employers want

A major study of graduate recruitment practices was undertaken in 2014 by the Institute of Employment Studies and the Higher Education Careers Service Unit. They undertook in depth interviews with 76 employers of varying size and 30 stakeholders, including university careers services. Most employers said they had a huge number of applicants but often struggled to find the right people, with most large companies saying “They wanted fewer but better quality applicants”. A number of employers were giving much more attention to apprenticeships and ‘growing their own staff’ and there was a “blurring of jobs occupied by graduates and non-graduates”. 

Most recruitment activity is now online, this makes it more accessible but means that employers have a much higher number to sift through. Some employers are moving recruitment earlier to the start of the final year, with a few recruiting in the first and second year. Many employers used work experience to build relationships with students in their first and second year. Some used social media to attract and keep in touch with the type of student they want. Most large employers had specific links with some universities, with targeted institutions responsible for a large proportion of the graduates they hired. Work experience was, “Of high and growing interest to employers of all sizes and nearly all believed that work experience helps graduates develop the skills they require and so leads to improved performance both in selection and at work”.

Employers want to recruit graduates because “Of their perceived intellectual/analytical abilities, their ability to learn quickly and to bring fresh ideas”. The skills they look for can be summed up as; 
  • Intellectual ability, including the ability to solve problems quickly and learn quickly. 
  • Communication and people skills. 
  • Positive work and commercial attitudes. 
  • Flexibility and resilience in the face of change and adversity.

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