Antiquated resources and ineffective education establishments are killing graduate prospects

Let me start by saying that I’m no expert in Graduate recruitment, nor would I ever have the gumption to profess that I am. However, I like to think I know what I’m talking about when it comes to offering careers advice: I was the lead careers writer for Monster when they won the Best Employment Advice on the Internet award an unprecedented three consecutive years, and my articles have appeared across a range of media, including MSN, Men’s Health, Woman magazine, TotalJobs, and I was technical editor for the highly acclaimed Job Hunting and Career Change for Dummies. OK, credentials to speak on this matter over with, I find myself increasingly alarmed and concerned over this whole issue of graduate recruitment per se. Let me explain a little more of what I mean.

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Brand Aid: How to get your employer branding right in recruitment advertising

In today’s cut-throat job marketplace with employment at an all-time high, employers are competing with one another to attract the best candidates for their vacancies. The unimaginative identikit recruitment adverts that once dominated the job pages for years are being replaced by skilfully crafted and well designed formats aimed at maximising employer branding in the quest to be an ‘employer of choice.’

Matthew Jeffrey, global director of talent brand for Electronic Arts (EA), addressed members of The FIRM [Forum for In-house Recruitment Managers] at an event in London recently. He argued that brand was essentially linked to emotions – particularly when recruitment is concerned. Echoing findings  from the CIPD which have revealed that companies are still struggling to attract, recruit, engage and retain talent for their organisations. Yet, despite the success of employer branding as a concept, many companies are failing to measure its effectiveness and demonstrate a return-on-investment. So, how can you ensure that your recruitment advertising is communicating the right message to attract the candidates that you need?

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Making waves in the desert

Log onto any of the jobs sites for journalists and you will be awash with a plethora of recruitment adverts attempting to lure you away from the UK to ply your trade in the UAE, with the promise of creative freedom, ultra-modern surroundings and of course, tax-free income. But is it really all it’s cracked up to be, and can the likes of Dubai and Abu Dhabi really live up to the expectations of ambitious hacks?

Here we will look at the two regions in the UAE that are pulling out all the stops to seduce British journalists: Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  Read more of this post

Daily gripe: Graduates want to work, not train

The results of the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) bi-annual survey released yesterday highlight what many commentators have been saying for several months: there simply aren’t enough graduate jobs around. While the survey reveals that there are some 69 graduates applying for each position, this compounded by the fact that – like it or not – graduates are by-and-large simply ill-equipped with the skills needed to ‘make it’ in today’s working environment.

At risk of being shunned by my peers on this one, let me explain where I’m coming from.

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Don’t abandon your green policy when recession bites

Going green has steadily made its way to the top of the political agenda in recent years, with government’s throughout the world being forced to wake up to the realities of global warming and climate change. But while we’re all being encouraged to do our bit for the environment, it seems that some employers have shelved their green initiatives until the economic storm blows over in a bid to cut costs. Yet those who don’t abandon their green initiatives will not only help save the planet but save money in the long term too.

Suppose you could save your company £6,000 by doing something as simple as flicking the ‘off’ switch on all electrical equipment at the end of every working week, would you do it? That’s how much money the average company in Wales could save every year for minimum effort, according to the Carbon Trust.

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Schools ‘wasting’ £100m a year on recruitment costs – surely it hasn’t taken this long for Gershon to be proved right?

eteach, the UK’s leading education recruitment specialist, has hired a PR agency to inform its stakeholders that schools are wasting as much as £100m every year on recruitment costs – costs that could be drastically cut if employers streamlined their existing recruitment practices by migrating it online. While I agree that eteach is right to highlight this it astounds me is that schools are continuing to disregard the recommendations that were outlined in the Gershon Review in 2004.

Sir Peter Gershon was asked by the Government to identify ways in which public sector organisations could increase efficiency and make savings of £21bn over four years. And the streamlining of recruitment was one of the main areas highlighted.

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Cherry-picking employers will pay the price for being too choosy

Competition for jobs is at a 14-year high and employers have never had it so good. So good in fact that they can afford to be selective and cherry-pick their ideal candidate based on competency, enthusiasm and experience, according to a new report published today. But in their bid to recruit the best talent available in the market it seems that employers are being overtly-selective to the extent that their indecision to make an appointment is costing their organisations in the long term.

The cost and time-to-hire has been a major consideration for all recruiters since time and memorial. Yet despite a wealth of talent at their disposal only 23% of recruiters claim that it is easier to find suitable candidates. Yes there are more applicants per job and of course this means more time being spent sifting through applications.

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Unemployed hits 2.47m yet job seekers lack know-how to ‘sell’ themselves to employers

Yesterday’s figures reveal that the jobless total in the UK has now reached 2.57m – some 88,000 more than last month. Yet many employers report the lack of understanding and application needed to secure a new job among job seekers. Why is that?

With the number of applications grossly outnumbering the number of available jobs, candidates need to pull out all the stops and positions themselves as the employee of choice. Take the Wookey Hole Witch as an example. Back in the summer some 3,124 people applied for the £50k per annum job of Witch of Wookey Hole. But, how did the recruiters determine who was the right person for the job?

OK, admittedly this is an extreme example. However, competition for vacancies is fierce and job seekers must work hard to stand out from the crowd and make an employer see what they will get for their investment if they take a person on. Graduates are also finding it difficult, with just 1 job per 47 applicants. 

Although the odds may be stacked against them, job seekers can drastically reduce these odds by focusing on what really makes them different to everyone else applying for the same job. But first, they need to get the basics right.

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