With horror stories of student loans and lack of prospects for students stealing the headlines for what seems like forever, there finally appears to be some good news on the horizon when it comes to graduate recruitment. Whilst in 2014 starting salaries for graduates are anticipated to remain pretty much unchanged, at an average of just under £30,000, the good news is that the experts are predicting that this sector is set to boom in the year ahead, and beyond.
With big employers like Google, BA, John Lewis, the police and the civil service reported as having great plans to take on graduates in the coming year, the sector is tipped to regain its pre-recession high. This is great news for graduates and for the recruitment sector alike. But with the cloud that has been hanging over students and their long suffering (and more often than not, paying) parents looking to give way to a brighter future, what does this mean for the recruitment sector?
What it means is that more and more employers are waking up and smelling the sweet smell of graduate recruitment. With well publicised and acknowledged skills shortages in specific sectors; particularly for candidates who have STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) degrees, together with a significant reduction in the number of quality applicants on the go in 2013, the employer mindset definitely seems set to revert to ‘grow your own’.
What this means from your point of view is that, thanks in particular to these skills shortages, your clients are highly likely to be changing strategy in the forthcoming months. What’s more, if we’re to believe respected projections, these shortages are set to continue for anywhere between 10 and 15 years, which could mean good long-term opportunities for you and your business in the graduate sector.
As a recruitment agency manager or owner, graduates mightn’t have been your main focus of attention over the past few years, but there may now be strong arguments for changing that focus in light of these recent developments. Developing a plan to attract top quality graduate opportunities together with sniffing out top quality graduates themselves could prove to be a real opportunity for your business in 2014 and beyond.
If you’re new to the graduate market, there’s no getting away from the fact that it does have its peculiarities and often calls for a greater need for candidate preparation. But there’s no doubt that the right efforts made now should show a significant return on investment in the short to medium-term. While many big employers work to attract graduates directly, without the need for an agency, this development means that there is likely to be a significant number of employers who neither have the in-house resources nor desire to plough through thousands of candidates to find their pot of gold at the end of the graduate rainbow. So no matter whether you decide to go full on and take up a presence on campus or work on a remote, networking basis, surely this sector is worthy of further consideration?