A graduate recruitment campaign will attract degree-level qualified individuals into your organisation. Typically campaigns may run all year round, or they may run just once a year according to the academic year. It is normal for employers to receive and process applications from final year students prior to their graduation, and offer employment beginning once the student receives confirmation of their qualification.
A typical graduate recruitment scheme calendar is shown in the following image:
Developing a recruitment strategy that includes managing the campaign and application process is crucial to the success of the scheme because:
Organisations must recruit graduates who match their business needs and will contribute to the business at an early stage
With the number of graduates entering the entry-level job market increasing each year, there is greater competition for high calibre individuals - in essence, a talent war
With growing numbers of graduates from a broad range of disciplines going into more diverse careers paths, it can be easy to miss talented individuals by using outdated and inflexible recruitment methods
In High Fliers' latest report on the UK Graduate Recruitment Market, there were some interesting statistics on the current state of the market. In this report, 100 of the country’s leading graduate employers were surveyed across many different areas.
9% increase in the number of applications on average compared to the previous year (with 49% reporting an increase)
Recruiters at more than half the UK’s leading employers have had similar resources to attract and recruit universities during the 2016-2017 recruitment season, compared with last year
More than a quarter warned that they had insufficient resources in their graduate recruitment teams
Graduates turning down or reneging on job offers that they had previously accepted
meant that over 800 graduate positions were left unfilled last year, reducing the
graduate intake at over a quarter of the UK’s leading employers
As any recruiter of graduates knows, this marketplace is a constantly moving target. Using the right medium, the right message, and at the right time has become a fine art.
The amount of time spent looking for work has unfortunately been squeezed out of many students' and graduates' timetables, with many wanting to engage through an easy, efficient and welcoming process.
How can a graduate recruiter provide the experience levels that are demanded, all while being able to cope with a larger number of applications and limited people resources?
Enter the chatbot…
Based on the above typical graduate scheme calendar, for two-thirds of the year graduate recruiters are processing and dealing with applications. One month is dedicated to screening and filtering those applications. That’s one month to screen and filter 8 months of applications!! No wonder more than a quarter of the top 100 graduate employers said that they had insufficient resources in their teams. That’s a big ask for any recruitment team.
Now imagine life as a graduate recruiter, with the help of a chatbot. RoboRecruiter improves recruitment efficiency by handling the more repetitive and time-consuming activities like gathering initial data and pre-qualifying candidates. RoboRecruiter allows a recruiter to spend more time having worthwhile human-to-human interactions and being a more strategic partner to the wider business. A successful graduate recruiter should be given the time to speak with the most appropriate candidates, as an evangelist for their organisation. There should be no reason to miss talented graduates who are the perfect fit for your organisation, just because you receive a large number of applications.
For graduate recruiters, now is the time to start revisiting your recruitment processes. This years’ graduates will be part of ‘Generation Z’, a cohort that represents 25% of the U.S. population, born between 1995 and 2014). Gen Z is even larger than the Millennial generation and more diverse.
Gen Z is the first generation made up entirely of digital natives. These graduates have “chatted” with virtual math tutors on their school Chromebooks since 4th grade; smartphones and Wi-Fi are just normal life. For them, technology isn’t just for having friends – it’s how they interact with the world and get things done. They expect potential employers to have modern technology in the workplace, and that starts with a tech-enabled hiring process. Use recruitment technologies like chatbots to make hiring interactions a fast, simple and engaging experience.
Although Gen Z’s digital intuition can make employer branding and messaging easier, there are a couple of caveats to keep in mind. First of all, their average attention span is only eight seconds, even shorter than the 12 seconds attributed to millennials. They’re also far more visual in nature, having grown up in a post-newspaper, Netflix-ready world.
In other words, recruiters should avoid trying to reach Generation Z with lengthy job descriptions and application forms, while chatbots with concise and engaging conversations are more likely to get the message across and capture the information recruiters need.
The key to mastering the graduate recruitment process for Gen Z is to implement a chatbot strategy that:
Makes the application and pre-qualification process more efficient
Provides recruiters with more time to have meaningful human-to-human interactions
Engages with Gen Z in the way that they expect
Reduces the possibility of unfilled places
Are you recruiting or planning on recruiting for a graduate scheme? Get in touch with RoboRecruiter to find out how our chatbot solution can support you and your organisation. Have a chat with Robo on our homepage now, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Martyn Redstone is RoboRecruiter's Sales Director for the UK and Europe. He is a member of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals. For the past 15 years, he has been working with organisations to improve their recruitment processes. Martyn lives in London with his wife and two daughters, has a keen interest in current affairs, enjoys travelling the world and watching the latest films at the cinema.