The future of graduate recruitment and what employers need to know

graduate recruitment

Ever wish that you could predict the future of the job market? In this blog, we will uncover new research about Year 12 and Year 13 students’ career aspirations and expectations, and how these will shape the graduate recruitment market in four to five years’ time.

In October, we canvassed the opinions of 468 students by adding questions to our omnibus survey, TSR Asks. The audience was made up of prospective undergraduates who were planning to go to university in 2022 or 2023. The responses give crucial insights into what graduate recruitment could look like from 2025 onwards, when these students will be taking their first steps onto the career ladder.

Students choose university subjects with employment outcomes in mind

Overall, 71% of 2022 and 2023 entry respondents said that they had a career in mind when they selected their current subjects. This suggests that early engagement with students will be key to successful recruitment outcomes.

(468 respondents, 2022 entry base: 274, 2023 entry base: 194)

Seeing that career aspirations are significantly shaping students’ subject choices, the onus is on employers to widen the talent pool by making students aware of different career options and which subjects are most desirable for each field or specialism.

It is also important to build brand awareness with students as early as Year 9, so that when they start making decisions about their futures your company will be firmly on their radar.

Students are generally optimistic about their career prospects

82% of students were quite or very confident that their chosen pathway (e.g. university degree) will secure them a job, while three-fifths were confident it would lead to their dream job:

(454 respondents to “job” question and 467 respondents to “dream job” question)

Most students are confident they will have achieved the skills they need to find employment by the time they enter the workplace. This also suggests an expectation that employers will highly prize their qualifications, training and skills when they come to apply.

There is strong demand for companies to provide higher and degree apprenticeships

Over half (56%) of students we surveyed said they would be interested to know more about higher and degree apprenticeships. Notably, the appetite from students for training provided by employers almost matched the demand for university-provided apprenticeship schemes:

(467 respondents to “top university” question and 464 respondents to “well-known company” question)

However, our research also revealed a lack of awareness amongst prospective student audiences about what options are available to them. 68% of respondents said that they don’t know much about higher and degree apprenticeships, and 47% said they don’t know where to find information about them.

Again, this signposts a huge opportunity for employers to acquire talent by boosting the prevalence and awareness of these schemes.

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TSR Asks
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TSR Asks Monthly Online survey of The Student Room community, data 4th October 2021

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