Graduate recruitment white paper March 2010

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Executive summary
The fraught economic conditions of the last eighteen months and the continued fragility of the economy have left no organisation, public or private, and no individual, executive or graduate, untouched from redundancies, cut backs, hire freezes and cuts in public spending. Nowhere has the impact been felt more deeply and profoundly than in talent management and recruitment. Not surprisingly, it is graduate recruitment that has been hardest hit, presenting enormous challenges for recruiter and graduate alike.

Income Data Service (IDS) has recently forecast that while there will be a 3.7% increase in total graduate jobs on the UK market this year, this follows a 10.9 % drop in 2009. The market for graduates is no longer candidate-led and with a new batch of graduates ready to enter the job market to add to those from previous years, there will be even more applicants chasing fewer jobs.

These conditions continue to put huge pressure on recruiters to both reach and identify the right calibre graduate candidates and those who will add value to their organisation in the short and long term.

This report looks to help recruiters navigate these waters, providing a wealth of insight into the minds of the UK’s most talented students to reveal what they want from their career, when they are making these important decisions, how they can be reached by employers and who influences their decisions.

Our research reveals how economic conditions are failing to dampen the career ambitions of the UK’s graduate population, who are demonstrating increasing focus, ambition and calculated career choices to reach their long-term career goals. They are making career choices earlier than ever before and are fiercely determined to do whatever it takes to realise their ambitions. As students are self-determining their own careers rather than relying on the conventional recruitment methods and influences, this is creating new challenges for recruiters looking to reach the best candidates.

The research was conducted among 1,010 users, including six formers, undergraduates and graduates, on The Student Room in March 2010.