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The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted October 28, 2016 by

Oven-ready hires: The problem of matching available skills to our demands

Oven ready dishGuest writer Martin Edmondson, CEO and founder of Gradcore

It feels like there is an ever-growing consensus among employers that university graduates should emerge fully formed, perfectly skilled and immediately work ready. The phrase ‘oven ready’ graduates appears far too often for my liking. It oversimplifies what is ultimately a very complicated issue: How do you match the supply of skills and people with the demands of the economy, when both are moving targets? In other words, how much should employers compromise when searching for the ideal candidate? How much should they training should they assume?

 

This is such a significant issue in the UK that the government has created a ‘Teaching Excellence Framework’ for universities. One of its goals is to tackle “skill mismatches” in the economy. (Go figure that the same government is now limiting their own access to skilled talent via immigration clampdowns.)

Every employer presents unique circumstances. So it’s critical for employers to examine their fundamental approach to hiring with a few questions such as:

  • What characterizes the hires you make that are successful, and those that are not?
  • What is the most critical factor for fit with your organization – skills, values, attitude etc?
  • How recently did you evaluate what is really important in the people you hire?
  • If all the evidence says that those people are not available for that price in this place, which one of those variables are you prepared to change?

Here is the challenge: So many employers are seeking candidates with the skills that are in shortage areas. This is typically around digital and software roles where there is a major disconnect between employer requirements and the quality and quantity of graduates available. Employers (and policy makers who are trying to solve these problems) should try one of the following:

1. Grow your own

This is the long game, but often one of the most successful approaches if you have the time. Recruit graduates who have the core attributes or values that suit your organisation, but need to develop their skills further. Then put in place the structured training that will develop them. This could be in house training, or delivered under emerging models such as degree-apprenticeships.

2. Think differently

Stop looking at the really obvious candidates. This could be described as the Blue Ocean approach, getting away from where everyone else is fishing. Recently I saw a very interesting post from a company called Talla about mapping resumes using neural networks. This visual approach helps you to appreciate that people who superficially have seemingly different backgrounds are actually remarkably similar. Each of the dots below is a resume. This shows how different titles share characteristics:Point graph of title descriptions on resumes

 

 

 

 

 

3. Up the budget

Sometimes you simply need to either increase the budget in order to reach a wider audience, or increase salary to attract the necessary skills. While it’s never ideal, there are clearly certain economic realities that are hard to escape.

Underlying all of this is a bigger societal question, which will be answered differently in different countries:

Whose job is it to make a person employable?

Is it the role of the education system and teachers? Employers? Parents or the state? Or are we all solely responsible for our own development? All play a part, but the prevailing national answer to this question goes a long way to deciding the expectations employers have of graduates and vice versa.

 

Look forward to discussing this and lots of other topics around college recruiting at the College Recruiter Bootcamp in Washington DC on December 8.

martin-edmondsonMartin is the CEO and founder of Gradcore, a social enterprise focused on graduate employment and employability. Martin has more than 15 years of experience in graduate recruitment and Higher Education. He founded Gradcore, and over the last decade has led a wide range of graduate recruitment and employability projects. These include running global graduate schemes for a range of large employers, delivering employability performance improvement in universities, and chairing the UK and European Graduate Employment Conferences. Martin was a member of the steering group for the ‘graduate recruitment in SMEs’ report for the UK government and has written for a wide range of newspapers and websites. Connect with Martin on LinkedIn.

Posted March 26, 2015 by

How to Stop Technology From Robbing You of a Job

Adrian Cruce

Adrian Cruce

A 2014 Harris Poll of hiring managers and human resources professionals revealed that 20 percent of those surveyed had replaced employees with automated technology. For companies with more than 500 employees, the number jumped to nearly one-third. Similarly, Gartner predicts that one in three jobs will be replaced by robots or software by 2025. Numbers like these could make anyone nervous about job security. However, you are far from defenseless against technology’s mass usurpation of the workforce. Read on to find out how to protect your career from a robotic hijacking. (more…)

Posted September 11, 2014 by

College Students, Are You Considering Jobs and Other Factors When Studying Abroad?

If they decide to study abroad, college students may think about one day getting jobs internationally.  In addition, there are other factors to consider for this experience, which are discussed in the following post.

Studying abroad is once-in-a-lifetime experience and those amongst us lucky enough to have the chance to do it often have an incredible time and amazing stories to share. However, it is a huge step, and with any big step, there are a lot of things to think about. Although I’m sure you’ve been inundated with stuff

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Posted June 23, 2014 by

10 Attitudes College Graduates Should Have to Increase Their Hopes of Landing Jobs

College graduates looking to land jobs should adopt any of these 10 attitudes found in the following post.

Employers are looking for people with not just technical skills, but those with the attitude your co-workers, customers and vendors respect. So choosing the right attitude makes a huge difference to their business, and your chances of getting hired there. Here are 10 value-adding attitudes, what they look like, how they help you and employers, and some questions to

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Posted June 10, 2014 by

Overcoming the Odds: How College Grad Underdogs Can Beat the Economy

Some graduating classes luck out by entering a healthy job market, while others graduate as underdogs, having to come up with some big plays on their own to score a good position. This year’s class is entering a still-struggling economy, one in which employers are hesitant to start taking on new hires, or at least they are much more selective about who they ask to join their teams. (more…)

Posted August 07, 2013 by

Recent Graduates, Are You Job Ready?

Many recent graduates may believe they are ready to land entry level jobs, but do they really know what employers want?  The following video asks this question and talks about the importance of employability.