6 Graduate Recruitment Trends for 2019

With the 2018 graduate recruitment year ending and preparation for 2019 commencing, it seemed an apt time to take heed and consider the recruiting year ahead.

Here are 6 areas I believe will have impact on the industry through 2019:

1. A clearly defined Learning Value Proposition (LVP)

Industry disruption, largely aided by new and developing technologies, is set to displace up to 40% of Australian jobs by 2025. This undoubtedly may cause some concern for new graduates.

Whilst the extent of change is largely unknown, it cannot be ignored. To help alleviate any concern, I see there being an increased need for organisations to accentuate their LVP, i.e. – their ongoing commitment to developing and re-skilling their employees.

How effective is your organisation in communicating its learning and development offering to potential graduate recruits?

2. Diversity in all its forms

Recruiting diverse talent remains a key priority for most (if not all companies) with strategies in place to attract under-represented groups to work at their organisations. It’s my prediction that the traditional definition of diversity will become more holistic to further include areas such as LGBT, ethnicity and social mobility.

Additionally, I see an increasing appetite from employers to broaden their traditional list of accepted degree subjects. This not only brings new perspectives to the table but indirectly may help to address other diversity challenges. For example, having greater access to female students who are more likely to study Arts, Humanities or Social Science subjects.

3. Dropping academic requirements

Many of the largest graduate employers in Banking and Professional Services have already dropped academic requirements, citing that they had found little to no correlation between academic attainment alone and future workplace performance.

With the increasing sophistication, favourable cost-point and high quality user experience of psychometric assessment, it’s likely employers will continue to place greater trust in these results over academic performance. Statistically, this assessment remains one of the most reliable predictors of performance (Schmit, Oh & Shaffer research, 2016). This only increases when it is combined with other assessments such as assessment centres or structured interviews.

4. The process will become faster

Research from People Management indicates that nearly three-quarters (71%) would abandon an application if the process takes more than 15 minutes. This highlights the need for efficiency and speed when managing high-volume recruitment campaigns where the average applicant applies for circa 10 + positions (AGS data).

Think, embedding video messages into candidate communications, chatbots and instantaneous feedback post assessment centre (aided by digital assessor technologies).

5. The rise of early engagement programmes

Early engagement programmes provide the perfect opportunity to engage with top and diverse talent ahead of the competitors.

Through 2019 I anticipate employers considering new ways they can engage with students even earlier in their university careers. In the UK and Americas market, the discovery day or week concept is increasingly popular and offers first year students an opportunity to gain some practical experience at organisations they may wish to work for in the future.

The benefits are two fold; firstly raising the awareness of your brand with top talent earlier in their careers. Secondly, through replicating all or part of your graduate recruitment process, you can easily convert interns onto your full-time graduate programme.

6. Direct sourcing

Particularly for organisations with smaller intakes, taking a proactive approach to sourcing talent (in a similar way to what may already happen with experienced hire recruitment) may become a favourable approach.

With the rise of LinkedIn usage in the student population (growing four-fold amongst Australian students in the last 2 years) directly approaching and engaging with hard to find applicants should only become a more accessible option.

For more information on our predictions and other trends in the graduate industry, contact:

Justin Fay