• Graduate Employability

    Graduate Employability

    Despite the increasing numbers of graduates looking for employment, companies are still finding it tough to find the right ones for their business. Employers are becoming increasingly frustrated by the lack of “employability skills” evident in the so-called graduate talent that is flooding the marketplace, so what can businesses do to alleviate this problem?

    Successful communication with prospective graduate employees should really begin long before graduation. Some kind of contact with students, either directly within university or through student and graduate focused media, provides the platform to educate them about what sort of skills are required within a business and help them to find ways of developing those skills.

    The University of Plymouth has enlisted the help of local businesses in order to introduce a new course, whereby students go on work experience and work on real-life projects throughout each year and create a skills portfolio to show prospective employers. Some businesses also provide work placements for those students who have a year in industry as part of their degree, which gives them the opportunity to develop skills in a working environment.

    In order to access those students who are unable to take a placement year it can be beneficial to offer part time work experience that can be fitted around study or alternatively summer placements, both of which enable students to learn from your employees and gain a real insight into your business as well as a general understanding of the world outside of academia.

    Giving students more information about a particular business or industry can help them to understand the ways in which they need to develop, so the sooner they get this information the better.

    • Do you offer work experience opportunities for undergraduates?
    • Can you see a difference between the graduates you employ who have got some formal work experience and those who haven't?

    Tell us what you think now!

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Finding the right candidates

    With more graduates than ever graduating from university and fewer jobs around than in previous years, it is natural that companies are receiving huge volumes of applications for advertised vacancies, which, on the surface, is great news. However, a large proportion of the applicants are likely to be unsuitable for the role they have applied for and the challenge lies in managing the applications successfully and efficiently.

    There is an ongoing sense of panic among job-hunters, which leads to them “blanket-applying” to a range of jobs that they are not suited for and actually may not be interested in. This presents a new problem for recruiting companies in that response management can become even more costly when the volume of applications is increased.

    In order to reduce the amount of sifting required if is helpful to use tools which encourage graduates to self-screen as much as possible. Ensuring that information about a role is readily available can aid in reducing the number of speculative applications from candidates who are actually just seeking more details.

    Company Profiles and Employer Videos are good ways of providing an insight into the culture and values of an organisation and can also be used to demonstrate potential negatives, such as early starts or a tough working environment, which may put off any less committed applicants who would not be right for the role.

    Pre-screening questions can help to identify the candidates who meet your minimum requirements at the very start of the applications process, so that jobseekers who for example do not have a driving licence, or the necessary academic qualifications or are looking for a job in a different location do not waste their own time or your time, in applying for a role for which they are not suitable.

    Last week Bill Boorman’s TruManchester unconference confirmed what we at gradplus.com have known for ages - that targeted emails are Gen Y’s preferred method of receiving jobs as they are easy to read on their mobiles. Specifically targeted emails have always been popular with candidates and provide an excellent way of getting a higher proportion of suitable candidates applying.

    Have your say -

    Do you receive too many applications to cope with?
    Are there criteria that your applicants must meet?
    Do you find that a large proportion of your applicants are unsuitable for the roles for which they have applied?
    How do you make it easier for candidates to self-screen?

    Full story

    Comments (0)

  • Should all degrees be of value to the economy?

    It has been said that there is a direct link between investment in a three-year degree course and national wealth, but the evidence for this relationship is hard to find. Switzerland has fewer graduates than the UK but a more impressive GDP. Poland has more graduates but a weaker economy.

    Following Tony Blair’s wish that 50 percent of school leavers would go on to study at university, institutions have made changes in order to attract more undergraduates and receive more funding. The creation of courses with unusual names and less traditional content has probably gone some way to attract higher numbers and a wider range of students.

    However, if university courses are to help our national economy there surely needs to be more thought surrounding the question of which courses will benefit most. A degree in “Surf Science and Technology” or “Equestrian Psychology” may be useful in specific fields but could be taught at college, rather than degree level. Does there need to be a more direct link between what universities offer and what the real world needs, so that graduates are not leaving university with high expectations of a graduate career that cannot be fulfilled?

    Have your say -

    Are there too many graduates now?

    Has the prestige been taken away from British degrees because so many people have them?

    Should an alternative form of higher education be available for non-academic courses that are valuable to society?

    Full story

    Comments (1)

<<<June 2020>>>

Email this page to a friend Facebook Twitter DZone It! Digg It! StumbleUpon Technorati Del.icio.us NewsVine Reddit Blinklist Add diigo bookmark