COVID-19 Impact on Graduate Recruitment
Seniors at many UK Universities, now dubbed “the Corona class” by the Guardian, are experiencing an uncertain job market. According to a recent survey by the Institute of Student Employers (ISE), a quarter of employers have cut their graduate recruitment this year. However, that doesn’t mean things are entirely bleak for the Class of 2020. Many employers have moved their traditionally in-person recruiting efforts directly online and are continuing to offer job opportunities online. Many employers learned from the 2008 financial crisis where they either halted recruiting or any form of online job opportunities at their company. Halting hiring altogether can detrimentally impact a business from brand awareness to current employee morale, as many learned following the 2008 financial crisis.
A March 2020 survey conducted by the UK’s ISE reports that more than a quarter of businesses are reducing the number of graduate recruiting (roughly 27%). While that initially appears like bleak news for new jobseekers in the UK, a third of the firms surveyed by ISE plan to continue their recruiting plans by shifting interviews and assessments online. In this uncertain job market, how can career services staff help? Experts recommend that universities during this time have increased responsibility to actively get creative with their career services to ensure employability during the pandemic and beyond.
Even before the pandemic, jobs were moving towards AI and automated technology, leaving some students prepared for jobs that no longer exist. The pandemic has only heightened that trend and emphasized the need for transferable skills now more than ever. As the Guardian notes, “there has been growing recognition of the need to future-proof students’ skills for a changing world of work, as automation was already expected to alter jobs over the coming decades.” This means that career services staff and employers should provide workshops for students to develop “soft skills” such as flexibility, resilience, communication, problem solving, creativity, and patience. These skills “will likely become even more desirable” as Natalie Brett, pro vice-chancellor of the University of the Arts, London told the Guardian.
Using Symplicity’s CareerHub is perfect step colleges and career services staff can take to start developing student soft skills. Symplicity CareerHub is a careers development platform for highly complex and diverse institutions. Its highly configurable components and workflows help teams to effectively foster student development and provide a seamless student experience.