Trends in graduate recruitment – what to expect in the next 5 years

Graduate recruitment is changing – and trends that emerge over the next five years will bring some big changes to practices that talent professionals use for new hires.
CVs will no longer be the first level of talent selection, and as employers focus far more on improving workplace diversity, there’s an emphasis on finding ways to keep demographic bias out of recruitment processes.
Here are the five emerging trends in the sector that I thought talent professionals will want to keep tabs on.

1. Graduates will come from a wider range of courses and places

First, new hires will come from a far more diverse range of courses and institutions.
Graduate recruitment in Australia is highly competitive across industries at present, with many organisations finding it harder and harder to compete for top talent from a small number of select universities. As a result, we already see some forward-thinking companies with large graduate intakes sourcing talent from non-traditional channels like regional universities and technical colleges, and hiring from non-traditional backgrounds, such as engineers and supply chain professionals.
Consumer goods giant Unilever has also announced that it has dramatically increased diversity and cost efficiency in its hiring process for entry-level employees by recruiting from a broad range of universities via LinkedIn, instead of sending representatives to elite universities to canvass potential hires.
There will be a growing recognition among employers that they need to move beyond the standard big-city universities to find recruits that will meet their requirements – and that this trend, of finding new hires from diverse sources – will become more common across the recruitment process.

2. Reducing ‘Quick Quits’ by recruiting the right person

Companies will focus even more strongly on ensuring that they get recruitment right – not just for immediate roles, but for the medium to long term. Recruiting for potential rather than ‘pedigree’ will become more important.
The drive to do this comes partly from the high attrition rate amongst graduates in the first year – what’s known as the ‘quick quits.’ While around 60 percent of graduates find employment within their first year of leaving tertiary education, around 40 percent of these will quit their initial role within the first year.
Recruiters will focus more on making sure the right person joins their company, and that they are placed in the right role, where they can be happy, productive and highly engaged. That means there will be more emphasis on finding people who have the temperament and attitudes that fit the organisation’s culture.

3. CVs won’t be part of the initial applications

Some graduate programs attract upwards of a thousand candidates for each graduate role available. Traditionally, talent teams make their first cull based on the CV that applicants submit – using keyword searches or taking just a couple of minutes to assess each candidate. But research has shown that a CV is the least reliable predictor of success in a new role, and may even lead to gender and ethnic bias.
Abandoning the CV in favour of online assessments of a candidate’s cognitive, behavioural and emotional traits is a far more efficient way to automate the first cull of applicants and to identify suitable candidates. This also allows talent teams to be more effective in the later stages of recruitment such as interviews and reference checks.

4. Recruitment will focus on ‘future workers’

The nature of every role today changes fairly quickly, with daily duties often changing over a period of two to five years.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report, nearly half the subject knowledge learned during the first year of a four-year technical degree will be outdated by the time a student graduates, with practical skill-sets also subject to increasing change and disruption.
Recruiters are likely to reduce their demand for traditional formal qualifications and ‘hard skills,’ instead focusing on ‘soft skills’: general traits and attributes like risk-taking, fairness, curiosity and problem-solving. These are difficult to assess in an interview, so employers will look to technology solutions that can indicate a candidate’s behavioural traits.

5. Online recruitment will be short, streamlined and impervious to bias

Graduates – in fact, most potential new hires – can be reluctant to spend hours attending a test centre to fill in questions for psychometric exams. Many will also second-guess the questions, trying to give the answers they think the employer wants to hear, rather than revealing their own thoughts. Many tests can also be susceptible to bias.
But these challenges can be overcome easily through the use of gamified assessments.
Unilever introduced digital recruitment in 2016 to remove the potential for unconscious bias in the recruitment process and streamline their graduate recruitment, which attracts around 250,000 applications each year. They have also incorporated gamified assessments to the process as well to improve candidate experience.
These trends mean companies have an opportunity to streamline their graduate recruitment process and find better suited candidates in the process. Gamified assessments are revolutionising the way we recruit Talent and they will have an important role to play in the future of hiring.
Cover image: Shutterstock

This article is contributed by pymetrics.

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