Engaging graduates is the future of IT

on 31 March 2015

According to a leading supplier of e-recruitment software, the two key elements essential for the recruitment of IT graduates are strong brand awareness and online engagement. An event held last month in London attracted over 70 attendees from top companies such as M&G Investments, JP Morgan, Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC. They all came together for one reason; to gain insight into IT graduate recruitment in the future.

Those in attendance were very much in agreement that there was an increasing sense of frustration amongst graduates with regards to doing online job searches and applying for roles. The core element of this is that many believe they possess skills which overlap into several sectors and thus cannot be pigeon-holed. The head of business development for the research firm spoke of research carried out in this area. He revealed at 47% of the so called 'Y Candidates', those born around the time of the early 90's,  had turned their back on the application form process altogether while 84% said that they would be more conscientious about filling in such a form if it actually made sense to them.

The research company carries out research on between 15,000-30,000 candidates every year across Europe. They stated that a strong theme was developing where candidates now felt that the application process for a job should be fun, not time consuming and confusing. He added that companies now need to bear the candidates in mind when it came to recruiting and cater their websites and ads towards the needs of their target audience.

Evidence of this new approach can be found on news sites and blogs offering case studies on new approaches to recruiting candidates, particularly for IT and digital roles.

For example, an investment management company had recently attempted to streamline their entire candidate experience. Three and a half years ago graduates tended to think the company were only about investment and didn't understand their entire career offering. They have changed this perception by streamlining their processes into 6 sectors of graduate employment across 72 global departments; analysis and risk, investment, client business, technology, corporate and advisory and strategy.

This has enabled them to create new, targeted applications which graduates can, and are, resonate with.  This had had a huge impact and for the first time people now actually understand what the company is all about. This in turn is allowing them to hire not only potential talent but also qualified talent, giving them a talent pool that is not only bigger but also much more diverse.

The evidence appears to have found that a much more virtual process is needed in the graduate recruitment process. This includes the likes of video interviewing, online interaction throughout the recruitment and webinars. Candidates today much are much more amenable to a virtual recruitment process than sitting for hours filling out forms.  In the example of the investment company pre-recorded interviews were now the biggest part of their recruiting process and candidates seemed to enjoy this as it allowed them to add colour to their CV's.


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