5 Effective Ways to Retain Graduates to Grow Your Business

5 Effective Ways to Retain Graduates to Grow Your Business

With so much money and time invested in recruiting graduates, it’s no wonder that many companies find it highly demanding. To make things worse, retaining graduates appears to be an even bigger challenge. Almost 16% of employers say they lose between 51-100% of all grad hires within 24 months.

Yet, graduate programmes are a great way for you to amass young talent that can positively impact your bottom line. Thus, to benefit from that vast talent pool, tune in to what graduates expect from employers and retain them effectively!

#1. Onboarding

It’s more than likely that graduate candidates you hire will begin their professional careers with you. Having little to no work experience, they will likely be uncertain about what you expect from them and how to manoeuvre in the workplace.

To ensure their initial confusion doesn’t turn into dissatisfaction, you need to provide young talent with a solid onboarding from day one. Not only is it a smart move on your part, but it also aligns with graduates’ expectations.

According to a Workforce Institute report, junior employees expect:

  • Hands-on training (44%)
  • Day-one orientation (43%)
  • Getting to know all details about the job upfront (33%)

On average, it takes around six months for a junior hire to start having a meaningful impact on your business. Therefore, there’s no need to try to speed up the process. Use that time to give graduate employees a good understanding of how your business works, what their daily tasks will look like, and what you expect from them.

That way, your fresh talent will feel better prepared and taken care of. And, as a result, you’ll retain graduates more easily long-term.

#2. Communication

A healthy employee-boss relationship cannot exist without good communication. Time and time again, we hear about employees quitting for communication-related issues, as reported by 62% of people.

The narrative seems to be similar among young talent. Looking at a report, a strong preference for a good communication flow is generally present.

  • 25% want regular check-ins with a manager during the first month at the job
  • 43% prefer receiving feedback in real-time rather than during a performance review
  • 75% prefer getting feedback in person rather than through e-mail or phone

Although younger generations are digital natives, it’s overwhelmingly apparent that the value of the good, old face-to-face interaction was not lost on the way. Make sure you openly express your opinions, provide advice, and don’t forget about the importance of constructive feedback.

Where’s the benefit for you in that? 32% of Gen Zers, your primary graduate audience in the nearest future, say they’re motivated to stay longer and work harder at a company when they have a supportive manager.

Thus, delivering on that crucial need expressed by young people helps you retain graduates and boosts their performance!

#3. Flexibility

To successfully convince employees to stay with you, they need to enjoy your workplace rules. And while older generations are used to clocking in and out at the same time every day, it’s not the case with the younger workforce.

To retain graduates, you need to offer them flexibility regarding when they should carry out their tasks. 33% of the polled Gen Zers responded that they’d never tolerate an employer fully imposing their work schedule on them.

Instead of the classic nine-to-five, let graduates regulate their work time – as long as they keep the deadlines. It gives them a sense of freedom they seek and helps them maintain a healthy work-life balance.

If you want graduate employees to be even more satisfied with you, go a step further and allow remote work – a perk that’s become highly appreciated in the past two years.

Based on a UK survey, 40% of current students admit they expect to work from home after graduation. Considering how many employers offer working from home at the moment, you risk losing potentially valuable talent that won’t shy away from pursuing companies that align with their needs.

#4. Discuss & Provide Development Opportunities

Graduates want to develop. They didn’t sacrifice years of their life on getting a degree to walk into a job without a future. Young talent is dead-set on advancing their careers – and they expect you to help them with that.

What is your target talent pool expecting from you?

How can you satisfy their needs?

  • Openly talk about promotion opportunities and how they can earn them (based on hard work!) – challenge them rather than force
  • Use performance reviews to let them know how they’re doing, what can be improved and where they’re shining – they’ll see you value them as a team member
  • Be open about giving graduates a chance to change a career path within your organisation if they (and you) think they’d perform better in a different position – it’s all about finding the right path for them!
  • Support their development by offering courses to improve or learn new skills

To retain graduates (all employees, in fact), you need to show them they’re important to your organisation. The best way of doing that is by giving them chances to grow professionally – with you.

After all, if your employer believes in you ‘making it’, why would you leave?

#5. Offer More Than Money

Money is usually a deciding factor when taking a job, but it’s no longer the only one that matters. Think about it. A salary is what every employee has to offer, whether it’s a local grocery store or Apple.

And although an extra amount on a monthly paycheck can be tempting, sometimes it’s the things you offer in addition to the money that may be the difference between keeping or losing young talent to the competition.

So, what benefits can help you retain graduates?

The trend is apparent. Money is no longer your strongest currency in retaining valuable employees. Especially considering that 51% of Gen Zers say that it’s doing what they love that motivates them the most.

If you’d like to learn about recruitment methods that help you put the right candidates in the right positions to ensure they enjoy the work they do – give it a read!

Retain Graduates Like a Pro!

In times when recruiters report having skill shortages, any source of talent can be your lifeboat. Graduate programmes can be your way of securing a skilled workforce before the competition catches on.

But to do that, you need to make sure you not only attract and hire the best young talent but also convince them to stay long-term. Luckily, there’s enough data on what young people expect from employers that you can use to create a solid action plan. So, tune in to their needs and retain graduates like a pro!

5 Recruitment Strategies to Attract Graduates

5 Recruitment Strategies to Attract Graduates

During the times many refer to as a ‘talent shortage’, it’s imperative that companies broaden their horizons and look for candidates in different places. Many companies, as much as 76% in fact, try to attract graduates, for they see them as an excellent source of talent.

Graduate candidates, however, are not quick to decide where to apply. On average, a young job seeker will look at 25 different positions and take up to two days to thoroughly research a potential employer.

That short time window is your chance to impress a candidate and convince them to prioritise your company in a sea of employers offering graduate positions.

But how can you attract them successfully?

1. Build Your Social Media Presence

Graduating generations are digital natives and will be so even more going forward. According to statistics, Gen Z-ers spend 8+ hours a day online – basically an entire workday of screen time. And considering our lifestyles, the numbers are unlikely to go down.

Their online activity opens the door for you to get their attention and persuade them to take a deeper interest in your brand. But as vast as the Internet is, you first need to know which social media platforms are the best access point to young talent.

Not only LinkedIn

Although LinkedIn remains the go-to for 44% of graduate job seekers, the tides are changing. During the pandemic, there was a 12% spike in the use of social media platforms (such as Instagram) among young people looking for employment – an opportunity not to be overlooked.  

In the US, this trend has already been noted. Across the Atlantic, 90% of HR professionals use social media to attract graduates and hire them. Moreover, they report an increase in the quality and quantity of applicants they recruited this way.

2. Attract Graduates with Your Values & Culture

Your primary graduate target audience as of now, Gen Z, is a generation that puts a heavy emphasis on their personal values and social matters. As reported by Deloitte, 77% of their respondents name these as necessary when deciding to join an organisation.

And indeed, almost 8 out of ten young people say that a company’s commitment to diversity would be a deciding factor when looking for jobs.

To win over graduate candidates, highlight your values and show you’re committed to them. If they’re aligned with the popular demand – even better so. Nonetheless, your ethics and authenticity are two of your strongest selling points.

Use social media to show your brand behind the curtain

Similarly, don’t feel intimidated by showing your culture from the inside. A healthy workplace environment can be your most crucial bargaining card, as 43% of respondents say that seeing unhappy employees would make them lose interest in working for a company.

Use social media to give a sneak peek into your work environment and how employees interact with each other. Don’t be just a brand – show your human face, as younger generations value this side of businesses more.

3. Fully Digital & Accessible Recruitment

A part of attracting graduates is ensuring your recruitment process lives up to their expectations. Do you know the #1 reason for graduates not completing an application form and process? It’s too long to complete. Graduates complain about too many open-ended questions and having to fill in the same details more than once – every applicant’s pet peeve.

For younger generations, a fully functioning digital recruitment process is a must. 43% of Gen Z-ers expect it to be easy to navigate, and 62% of them won’t even use an app or website that takes too long to load.

Failing to meet their needs may cost you potentially valuable talents, as many surely won’t hesitate and look for a better experience elsewhere.

Mobile-friendly application process

As younger workers are more likely to use their mobile phones, the application process needs to be optimised to work smoothly also on these devices. The data from Glassdoor research shows that mobile-friendly job openings can increase the number of applicants by 11.6%.

Yet, if the mobile experience isn’t positive, you risk losing up to 53% of the candidates who simply don’t finish the application process.

4. Attract Graduates with a Realistic Job Preview in an Engaging Form

First impressions matter not only to recruiters but also to candidates. That’s particularly important when you try to attract graduates with little to no experience in the real business world.

To begin with, look at your job postings to make sure they’re clear and present the job realistically. Almost 50% of polled graduates said that seeing jargon, buzzwords, and industry language makes them confused and unprepared. Thus, instead of attracting graduate candidates, you deter them.

Keep in mind that for candidates, understanding what the job really entails is of great importance. In fact, it’s equally important to you. If there’s a misunderstanding between your expectations and what candidates make out of your description, you risk losing time on unsuitable applications.

How to offer a realistic job preview?

One of your best bets is to present candidates with work samples. This screening method has been proven to be the best at predicting future job performance and gives a detailed insight into the tasks one can expect.

Why is that so? A work sample is a sample of a task that best represents what a candidate would face on the job. For example, if you’re looking for an accountant, ask them to show how they’d prepare a budget forecast based on your requirements. That way, not only will the candidate see what they should expect and lets them show their talent – something 25% of graduates think is impossible through resumé screening.

To attract graduates even more efficiently, consider including a video presentation of the job alongside the work sample. Information in a visual form is always more attractive, particularly for younger generations that have an attention span of only eight seconds. According to data, 71% of Gen Z-ers spend more than three hours watching online videos daily. It’s fair to say they’re more likely to watch a clip of an employee explaining the job rather than read a lengthy description!

5. Offer Flexibility

Older generations were used to the traditional 9-5 working schedule. However, your graduate candidates are not so likely to find that appealing. While 32% of Gen Z-ers consider themselves the hardest-working generation, they also value a healthy work-life balance more.

Thus, giving an option to regulate their worktime is a sure-fire way to attract graduates. Especially since 33% of young candidates say they wouldn’t work for an employer that doesn’t give them a say over their schedule.

Alongside allowing flexible worktime, consider also attracting graduates with the possibility to work from home. Students have gone through many struggles in the past two years, and it’s visible that their approach toward work has shifted. Based on a UK survey, 40% of current students admit they expect to work from home after graduation.

The expectations of those who are or will be your target audience for recruitment are clear. To increase chances of attracting graduates and successfully hiring young talent, it’s paramount for employers to understand what appeals to them – and deliver.

Attract Graduates in Innovative Ways

Graduates are undoubtedly a valuable source of talent, as portrayed by the number of companies that choose to hire them. Yet, younger generations’ expectations towards future employers have changed.

Employers need to adjust their approach to recruitment and talent attraction methods to grab graduates’ attention successfully. Focusing on social media, using screening tools that allow candidates to prove their skills, and creating a solid, authentic employer branding are just a few of them.

Are you ready to secure fresh talent?

How to Recruit Top Graduates: Your Innovative Approach

How to Recruit Top Graduates: Your Innovative Approach

Finding and recruiting bright individuals is essential for companies to stay afloat in the competitive market. Currently, 84% of recruiters say they have more jobs to fill than last year. Subsequently, more than 70% of them report having trouble finding enough good quality talent. For many employers, graduates are one of the most effective ways of identifying and capturing talent before the competition notices them. And while 76% of employers surveyed by Kaplan report looking for new talent through graduate programmes, the question remains – how to recruit top graduates efficiently?

1. Attract the Future Talent with Case Competitions

Generally, companies don’t complain about having too few candidates applying for graduate positions. According to Sky News, in 2021, employers offering jobs to young talent would receive an average of 91 applications per vacancy – a 17% increase compared to 2020.

When those candidates don’t live up to the expectations recruiters set, the issue arises. Thus, your HR teams spend a lot of their precious time screening applications that may not yield satisfactory results.

How can you ensure you attract top talents from the get-go? Act before those bright talents actively start looking for employment and organise case competitions.

Case competitions are extracurricular events where students are challenged to come up with a solution to real-life business problems. As an organiser, you decide on what that problem is, so it’s pertinent to your business.

How are case competitions beneficial to your talent attraction efforts?

Building your future talent pipeline ahead of the competition

Building a solid talent pipeline is essential for all recruitment efforts, but even more so in the case of graduate recruitment. More and more companies realise the importance of securing hires among early talent, with 55% of them reporting increasing efforts in this department.

Organising case competitions is your way to proactively attract and identify top performers ahead of the competition and become a potential employer once they’re ready to find their first job.

Hack the Case, organised by Deloitte and Scotiabank, is an example of case competitions yielding profitable benefits to businesses. Mark Morreale, Senior Global Academic Program Manager, describes the competition as: “a great way for us to give graduates real-world experience and training using our software, while also helping our clients fill the talent pipeline that’s so critical to their ongoing success.”

The result? As reported in the article, Deloitte and Scotiabank are high on graduates’ list of prospective employers.

Case Competitions give students a chance to show their talent. As the tasks are usually highly challenging, you attract only the most motivated and top candidates – enriching your future talent pool early in the race.

Get fresh insights to inspire your strategies

The premises of a case competition are simple. You identify a problem either common in your industry or specific to the struggles you encounter. Then, students working in teams need to develop a practical, feasible solution that yields positive results.

On top of meeting many bright talents in one place, you also get to hear fresh insights from younger generations. It’s an excellent opportunity for you to learn about ideas you maybe wouldn’t think of otherwise.

Nancy Schoemann, Vice President of Operations at Optera, talked about this advantage in an interview for the University of Colorado. The company that organised a case competition focused on attracting and retaining diverse talent noticed that: “there is such a value to us in listening to and learning from the students.”

She then continued: “these are individuals who are going to be entering the job market in a few years—they’re looking at DEI from an angle we don’t necessarily see. Getting their insight and perspective is so helpful to us as we decide where to focus our time and resources.”

Indeed, she’s not the only one to see high potential in graduates. In fact, 60% of employers surveyed by Kaplan say they believe that every other graduate will become a leader within their business in the future. It’s up to you to spot that talent early on.

Strengthen your employer branding

Employer branding reflects on your ability to find and keep clients but also on attracting early talent, as agreed by 60% of recruiters.

Can case competitions help you strengthen your reputation? As it appears, yes. And even better so, you’re also not unlikely to benefit from the free promotion. Let’s look at the example of L’Oréal and their international case competition, Brandstorm. As reported by the Global Employer Branding Manager quoted in the paper, L’Oréal benefits from high media coverage throughout the competition. Moreover, as he points out, the brand organising a case competition gets more attention and free advertising on social media.

Although companies are increasing their efforts to hire young talent, many continue to focus on campus recruitment programmes and fairs. It’s therefore not surprising that brands organising case competitions, still not that common, get a lot of attention. The trend seems unlikely to change soon.

Considering that 75% of job seekers scrutinise a company’s reputation before applying for a job, solid employer branding is vital. Especially now when nearly everything can be found online within a few clicks, and younger generations are more than fluent at checking you thoroughly.  

Want to organise a Case Competition?

Now that you know how to attract top talents and broaden your future graduate talent pool, would you like to try case competitions? We can help with that.

Innoflow is a leading global provider of online case competitions, enabling companies to host local, regional, or even international events. We work closely with organisations such as RSM Star Case Competition and CBC Case Competition, helping students enrich their experience and give them a career boost. 

How do we make the whole process easy for you?

✅ We take care of a marketing plan promoting the event to educational institutions you select

✅ We provide you with a complete software solution, including a customised case – developed by us, approved by you

✅ Once the teams are presented with the case, they have 24-48 hours to submit a solution. Employees act as judges to ensure the selection of the solution most relevant to your organisation

If you’re interested in learning more about the process, our experts are happy to answer all your questions!

2. Recruit Top Graduates Successfully

Whether you choose to use case competitions to build a talent pipeline or not, you’ll still need a solid strategy on how to recruit graduates when the time comes. Is your HR team ready for that?

Resumé screening won’t work

If you’re one of the 52% of companies that still heavily rely on resumés in recruitment, you may need to change your approach to identify and recruit top graduates successfully.

Resumés are not the best method of finding talent for various reasons. However, the statement is perhaps the most relevant for the graduate market. Why? Because resumés generally focus on education and experience.

Graduates, by definition, have little to no experience. On top of that, there’s no correlation between one’s academic scores and job performance. In fact, neither education nor experience is good at predicting future job performance, as shown by the research we discussed in this blog post.

Thus, grades or diplomas cannot be considered valid factors in the selection process. Resumés fail to accurately reflect a graduate’s potential and competencies – the factors that secure a successful hire.

With the pandemic changing the recruitment dynamic, businesses need to find better ways of assessing candidates (regardless of whether they’re graduates or not). Luckily, there’s a convenient solution.

How to recruit top graduates: Innoflow x Graduate Acquisition

As much as 75% of employers find it difficult (very or moderately) to recruit top graduates. As discussed previously, two of the most common challenges are having too many candidates overall and not having enough many qualified ones.

The Innoflow Graduate Acquisition programme is divided into three stages that help solve these issues.

Step 1: High Volume Screening  

As graduate applications increased in 2021, companies hiring young talent need a way to sieve through larger piles of applications more efficiently. To do that, consider starting with a Situational Judgment Test. The test is a replacement for resumés and cover letters (for the reasons mentioned previously).

Instead, you present your candidates with multiple-choice scenarios customised to your organisation and its needs. Thus, you get to check which graduate candidates have the knowledge necessary to succeed at your company.

This stage is fully digitalised, automated, and anonymous. The assessment is done automatically and saves your time, subsequently ensuring the bias-free selection.

Step 2: Low Volume Screening

Once you’ve narrowed down the pool, you can move on to competency evaluation. As we’ve mentioned, resumés don’t give the option to present one’s potential. And this sentiment is shared by 25% of graduates who expressed that the application process doesn’t let their skills show.

To get information on a graduate’s potential, use work samples instead. During this second stage, your candidates will receive a work sample mirroring the tasks they’d perform on the job. That’s your chance of assessing their skills and competencies in a way that’s been proven to predict future job performance effectively.

The solutions will again be entirely anonymous, but this time assessed manually.

Stage 3: Team-based Case

Now that you have a list of top graduates, it’s time to test two competencies that are the most desired among recruiters in graduate acquisition: communication (73%) and team player skills (61%).

In the last stage, the final selection of candidates will be asked to solve a case in small teams. The case’s purpose is to assess their collaboration skills in a work-related scenario. To facilitate your work further, we fully provide the tools to evaluate teams competently.

Would you like to hear more about the Innoflow Graduate Acquisition Programme and how we can help you recruit top graduates? Let us know!

Use Technology to Successfully Recruit Top Graduates

Recruiting graduates comes with challenges, but its benefits to your bottom line can be game-changing. Today’s companies have a unique chance to use technology to help them identify early talents, as admitted by 67% of employers who plan to increase their investment in talent acquisition tools next year.

Don’t let your business stay behind the competition, and try methods that will increase your chances of recruiting top graduates in a sure-fire way.

4 Most Common Challenges in Graduate Recruitment and How to Overcome Them

4 Most Common Challenges in Graduate Recruitment and How to Overcome Them

Every organisation’s primary goal is to recruit the brightest talents to help their teams thrive and succeed. It’s still the most common for recruiters to put their efforts into sourcing experienced talents. However, more and more focus on targeting the fresh ones – graduates. Targeting this group is highly beneficial as they bring new perspectives and skills. Nevertheless, graduate recruitment comes with its challenges. Luckily, you can overcome them with the right recruiting strategy.

According to a Kaplan survey, 76% of employers report continuing to search for new talents through graduate recruitment. During times of skills shortages, it’s especially important to use all accessible channels of sourcing employees.

Nevertheless, the same survey shows that 67% of the questioned employers find it moderately difficult to acquire the right graduates. 

Recruiting graduates, although beneficial, proves to be challenging. In this blog, we’ll discuss the four most common graduate recruitment challenges you can find on your way and how you can adjust your strategy to overcome them.

Challenge #1. High Number of Applications

For many large enterprises, it’s often the hardest to fill entry-level positions because of the increasingly fierce competition amongst graduates. They’re freshly out of university, with little or no experience, and landing the first job is their main goal. For that reason, graduate programmes and internships are very appealing to the young workforce. As mentioned by Nicholas Shekerdemian, many organisations experience having as many as 39 graduate candidates per vacant role. That leads to one of the biggest challenges in graduate recruitment – a high volume of applicants.

Financial Times reports that in 2021, graduate applications increased by 60% compared with the pre-pandemic 2019. High interest in your brand is a good thing as your talent pipeline expands. On the flip side, receiving tens or even hundreds of applications make your recruitment process more difficult.

Depending on your recruiting strategy, your HR professionals will most likely be forced to go through a pile of resumés and conduct plenty of interviews – many of which will yield fruitless. A suboptimal strategy will cost your organisation precious time and money. Hence it’s essential to adjust it by using recruitment tactics to efficiently narrow down the number of applications to the most relevant ones.

Consider implementing Situational Judgment Tests and Case-based Screening discussed in detail below to assure you only get applications from the most suitable candidates.

Challenge #2. Graduates Lack Required Experience

Recent graduates have little or no experience as they haven’t had many opportunities to develop skills relevant to the market. But did you know that 70% of recruiters still base their hiring decisions on the degree, and many won’t even hire a person without experience at all?

Repeating after Maggie Stilwell, EY Managing Partner for Talent, “there’s little link between previous success at university and future success in professional qualifications.”

Therefore, requiring 2-5 years of working experience for entry-level positions leaves fresh graduates without a chance. And shouldn’t entry-level jobs be meant to be precisely that – a way of entering the market?

Relying on recruiting methods that evaluate past experiences, i.e. checking references or resumés, is of little value in graduate recruitment where one’s career history is minimal. In the case of such candidates, CVs can’t accurately reflect their true potential. That’s reflected by candidate experience, too. 25% of graduate candidates surveyed by People Scout expressed that the application process didn’t let their skills shine. Therefore, recruiters should focus on alternative recruitment methods.

To amass the best talents out there, learn to look past resumés and apply forward-looking measures of potential rather than self-reported descriptions of the past. Personality, cognitive abilities, and real talent can’t be learned – nor can they be successfully identified through CVs or even interviews. Start recruiting and hiring for skills and potential by implementing the following in your graduate recruitment strategy:

  • Situational Judgment Tests (High Volume Screening) – replace CVs and cover letters entirely. Instead, present your candidates with multiple-choice case scenarios tailored for your organisation and its needs. That way, you can check if your candidate has the knowledge necessary to operate on the same wavelength as your business. This way, you can also reduce the number of eligible candidates.
  • Case-based Screening (Low Volume Screening) – once you’ve narrowed down the pool, you can move on to competency assessment. Here, candidates will be presented with a case (or: work sample) mirroring the task(s) they’d be responsible for if hired. That’s the stage where you can successfully assess one’s skills, as work samples are proved to be one of the most effective methods currently available when predicting future job performance.

Another strength of opting for these recruitment tactics is that you can administer them fully online. Considering how the past two years somewhat forced us to move recruitment online, and 72% of the surveyed organisations cancelled attending career fairs (one of the most critical sources of graduates), finding methods that can be sustainable over time is of value.

At Innoflow, we guarantee that all recruitment services we provide are fully anonymous to minimise the chances of any (un)conscious biases that could emerge during resumé screening or interviews.

Furthermore, they help your organisation increase the sought-after diversity. So far, 62.5% of Hiring Managers who opted for using Innoflow reported a significant increase in diversity and discovered talents they would have disregarded otherwise.

As said by Bjarne Lauritsen, Director of Operations at Bring Denmark, “With Innoflow, we are now able to find the talents we would have missed out on in a resumé screening.”

Adjust your recruitment strategies for those that allow you to hire for skills and potential rather than past experiences (or lack thereof). Focus on what truly matters: finding candidates with the right organisational fit, personality traits, and cognitive abilities – the rest can be learned.

Challenge #3. High Graduate Turnover

Graduation time is stressful and complicated. The young are about to step into adult life and are burning to begin their career path finally. That, however, also means that they feel pressured to enter the workforce and tend to accept any job that comes along.

It’s only once they’ve got a taste of their day-to-day responsibilities that many realise it doesn’t fit their needs. Or that the role is far from what they’ve expected. Although 56% of the graduates surveyed by Harver wish to stay 3+ years at the first job, the Telegraph reports that a quarter of fresh graduates quit their first job within the first year of employment.

One of the ways you can overcome this challenge in graduate recruitment is by eliminating false expectations about the job.

According to the study, 43% of new employees overall quit jobs shortly after being hired because their role didn’t turn out to be what they had been led to believe it would be. Getting your message about the role across is particularly crucial for graduates. If they’ve never had a full-time position before, they simply don’t know what the market looks like. As the research by graduate job specialist Milkround presents, jargon, buzzwords, and industry language leave your applicants (especially those entering the workforce) confused and underprepared – as admitted by almost 50% of polled graduates. In other words, they may simply not fully understand your expectations.

Whenever you craft a job posting, it’s hard to be entirely sure that everyone reading it will understand it exactly the way you intended it. Instead of talking about the job, we advocate for showing what the job looks like.

By changing your recruitment strategy and implementing, e.g. the previously mentioned work samples, you give your graduates a taste of what the role entails. At the same time, you get to see their skills in action.

Minimise any possible misconceptions that could lead to a turnover and maximise your chances of finding talents you wouldn’t notice otherwise.

Challenge #4. It’s Too Costly and Time-Consuming

Hiring is costly and far from risk-free in any case, and graduate recruitment is no exception. Hence no wonder that it’s one of the most commonly noted challenges in graduate recruitment reported by organisations.

On average, it takes between 12 weeks to 6 months to recruit a graduate. The process includes planning, advertising, assessment, and any other necessary steps. Businesses, especially those in high demand, typically interview several graduates per one vacant position. The average number, as reported by mthree is five, but 44% of employers claim to evaluate six or more applicants per role. The higher the number of the interested, the more costs – especially if your recruiters conduct more than one interviewing stage in the process.

Every leg of this lengthy process carries its costs with it, totalling even as much as $4.000, according to ANU. Now, these are the costs we usually have in mind, but there are plenty of other factors that make recruitment expensive.

Onboarding, while it’s always important, is particularly crucial in terms of graduates. They’re without much experience and need more guidance than employees who’ve been in the business for a while.

Based on the previously quoted mthree report, 45% of employers say they spend between £1,000 and £10,000. It can be a considerable expense, especially considering that it takes junior hires around six months to start making an impact on the team.  

The costs, however, will finally pay off as you’ll have a tailor-made employee at your hands. You’ll get a unique chance of teaching them how to function in your organisation specifically – as they have no ‘bad habits’ from previous jobs.

In order to achieve that, however, you need to make sure not only to hire the right graduates but also to retain them. And graduates are especially prone to high turnover. Financially, it poses another issue – additional costs related to starting your recruitment process from scratch. To learn more about the reasons behind your new hires walking away, check out one of the previous blog posts.

To minimise the costs of hiring and reduce the risks of graduate turnover, consider applying the following tactics:

  • Use assessment methods that help efficiently reduce the number of applicants to the most suitable ones (see: situational judgment tests). With the Innoflow process, you can save up on average 30% of the time spent on screening.
  • Consider whether multiple interview stages are necessary;
  • Pay attention to the cultural fit of your candidates. Nearly 30% of newly-hired graduates quit within their first year due to the culture being different to what they believed it to be;
  • Present the day-to-day duties as accurately as possible to avoid misunderstandings about the job. To give the best representation of the role, consider opting for work samples.

Ready to Review Your Graduate Recruiting Strategy?

Like any other recruitment, hiring graduates has its challenges. However, investing in the right talents will be a worthy venture in the long run. Your business gets to amass people with fresh ideas who understand the modern digital world. Moreover, you can mould them to fit your organisation’s needs specifically.

Challenges in graduate recruitment, although present, can be overcome. By applying the right recruiting tactics, you can not only save your time and money (with a highly efficient and fully digitalised process) but also give a chance for fresh candidates to enter the workforce and find talents you could easily overlook.

Disadvantages of Traditional Recruitment & Why Skill Shortage is Not Necessarily the Problem

Disadvantages of Traditional Recruitment & Why Skill Shortage is Not Necessarily the Problem

Are there any disadvantages of traditional recruitment that make finding talent challenging? A friend of mine was looking for a job recently. After sending over 200 CVs within three months, he got frustrated. The positions he applied for were all entry-level, and he only chose those he knew he could be good at (either having prior experience or competencies). Yet, no responses came.

Then, at a family dinner, he mentioned his struggles. His father, a previous director of a big company, and his sister, a recruiter, gave him two different pieces of advice.

His father told him he should reach out to several companies aligned with his predispositions and ask for a job. As he said, that’s how he hired his best employees in the past – all he needed was the right competencies and motivation to learn.

His sister ridiculed the idea. She said that to make it, he needs to tweak his CV to include the right keywords recruiters or ATS would filter for.

Curious, my friend tried the second option. The result? Within a few weeks, he had three great interviews lined up – one at the company he had already applied to before.

What’s Going on With the Recruitment?

The pandemic undoubtedly caused a lot of disturbance in the labour market. Last year, the UN labour experts estimated that by the end of 2022, over 200 million people will be unemployed. Many of them, fair to say, with the qualifications and experience from the jobs they lost during the crisis. The lack of job seekers was far from the problem, too. In the UK, for example, at the peak of the pandemic, there were 506 applications for a single low-skilled position.

Even the people who had jobs were keen on finding new employment. The poll from August 2021 showed that 65% of the respondents were actively looking for another job.

And yet, a staggering 83% of SHRM respondents claim to have trouble finding suitable candidates.

My friend’s story, combined with the overall situation, sparked my interest. People are struggling to find jobs, and companies are struggling to find good candidates. Is the skill shortage entirely to blame across the board, or could it be that recruiters are unable to identify the available talent?

War for Talent VS Disadvantages of Traditional Recruitment

It’s undeniable that companies globally are having a hard time filling positions with the right people. Already back in 2015, 73% of Randstad respondents said that ‘war for talent’ was an accurate description of the business environment.

Fast-forward a few years, and the metaphor seems to remain accurate. In Denmark alone, 33% of all recruitments in 2021 were in vain. As of February 2022, the US had over 11 million job openings – and presumably no fitting individuals to take them.

Although 75% of HR professionals attribute their struggles to a skill shortage, there appears to be a disconnect between what recruiters want to find and what the methods they use show them.

Resumés And Talent Don’t Have Much to Do With Each Other

To keep pace with the ever-developing world, recruitment also undergoes changes. Nevertheless, these changes may not be substantial enough for the current demands. For 52% of hiring professionals, resumé screening, seen by some as a relic of the past, remains the 1st or 2nd most important evaluation method.

But can resumés be reliable when looking for talent? Or are they one of the disadvantages of traditional recruitment that stops candidates and companies from meeting their goals?

Does Talent Show on a Resumé?

Recruiters continue to claim they search for talent, yet 36% of them say that lack of experience is why they don’t find enough suitable candidates. Perhaps that’s because resumés don’t allow candidates to show talent – only past work experience and education.

Two elements that, paradoxically, aren’t even good predictors of future job performance, as proven by research. Yet that’s basically what resumés focus on.

Especially in the case of people looking for entry-level jobs, this method doesn’t seem valid at all. If the point of the first job is to gain experience, there simply won’t be any on their CV.

Even a candidate’s education shouldn’t be considered a strong or weak factor during recruitment in many cases. After all, people have various reasons for pursuing a specific degree. My friend from the story has a degree in religious studies and now is a high-scored employee of one of the world’s biggest IT companies.

We need to change the mindset and not let educational background determine whether a candidate has the right skills or competencies to succeed at a job. Mainly when nowadays people have endless options to gain skills without the help of university courses.

Shrinking Pool. Candidates Don’t Seem to Like Traditional Recruitment

When struggling to find suitable applicants, recruiters want to maximise their talent pool. Especially currently when companies don’t only wish to hire the best talent. They also want to align their efforts with corporate diversity goals. Sadly, that’s where another disadvantage of traditional recruitment enters the stage – it shrinks your talent pool.

As humans, we all have our preferences, and if something doesn’t live up to our expectations – we move on. When a product doesn’t satisfy your needs, you stop buying it. If you don’t like the service at a café, you find a new one. There are options, and we won’t hesitate to use them.

Recruitment is no different. If a candidate is not happy with your hiring process, you may never see them again.

A staggering 65% of candidates report that their most recent application process was frustrating. To make things worse, 30% of them decided to opt-out of the process for that reason.

And contrary to popular belief, it’s not the length of the process that irritates candidates the most. In fact, the Gartner report shows that the optimal time job seekers want to spend on an application is between 10-30 minutes.

The reason is that when a candidate is truly interested in a job, they want to prove their skills and competencies in the best way possible. Unfortunately, many feel that resumés don’t give them that option.

Over 50% of candidates name work samples as a form of skill assessment they’d like to see in the recruitment. Are companies good at satisfying that need? Not so much. According to Murray Resources, only 33% of surveyed employers say they use skill assessments when hiring.

Continuing to hold on to traditional recruitment can deter valuable talent from you and undermine your diversity goals. And it appears that some companies are becoming aware of the issue. 25% of respondents stated that the biggest challenge to recruiting more diverse people is the unwillingness among leadership to deviate from existing recruiting practices.

We now see a candidate-driven market where the voices of those you wish to hire should matter most. Failing to listen to those voices can cause serious problems for your bottom line, especially when competition isn’t slowing down.

Matching Skills Will Guarantee the Success – Right?

Recruiters want to hire people, yet they continue to assess them through the prism of a few paragraphs depicting a candidate’s past. Having the right skills is undoubtedly important, and if you manage to find a candidate who fulfils your requirements perfectly – great.

And yet, 11% of hires fail due to a lack of skills. Skills they were deemed to have to be hired in the first place. How could this be?

Most people look for a job out of necessity rather than pleasure. What happens when you become desperate? You may try to enhance your chances and tweak your resumé to look better.

In fact, it’s more common than we’d like to think. According to Zippia, 30% of the surveyed admitted to bending the truth or straight-up lying on their resumés to look more competent.

Every company wants to find a great candidate, and every candidate wants to find a good job. But if your recruitment doesn’t give fair chances to everyone to prove their talent, candidates may also not play fair with you.

When job seekers realise the only way to even get your attention is by giving you what you want to see (or what your ATS will look for), you risk ending up in a situation where you may not be getting exactly what you thought you were.

Moreover, over one-third of HR leaders report a general decrease in candidate quality. But what does it mean precisely? That fewer candidates have the required education? Or maybe instead of five years of experience, now more of them have only three?

Yet again, if your recruitment goal is to find the best talent, then your methods should help you see it. At Innoflow, we argue that resumés are one of the disadvantages of traditional recruitment that limit your ability to see the potential and competencies of many candidates. So how to fix that?

Alternative Method That Lets You Uncover Talent. Unbiased

Recruitment as we know it has been with us for a long time, and changing habits is far from easy. Nonetheless, there are alternatives recruiters can use to satisfy candidates’ expectations and increase the level of competencies among the final candidates, as reported by over 33% of our customers.

The alternative recruitment method we propose is case-based screening. It’s a form of skill assessment that allows your candidates to prove whether they have what it takes to perform the required tasks.

How does it work? A case (work sample) is crafted to suit the position you’re trying to fill in. For instance, if you’re looking for a marketing designer, candidates could be asked to create a visual for a marketing campaign fully customised to your organisation’s needs and expectations.

How does it compare to the disadvantages of traditional recruitment?

✅ All candidates can showcase their skills and competencies, not worrying that their resumé won’t be enough

✅ You get to test-drive a candidate and see what their talent looks like in action without relying on the self-reported description of skills

✅ You open your talent pool to people from diverse backgrounds as they won’t feel intimidated by a vast list of requirements

✅ Your recruitment will be unbiased. The only thing you’ll evaluate candidates on is their case solution (no access to personal information)

Everybody has talent, and we stand by this statement wholeheartedly at Innoflow. We strive to perfect a recruitment method that gives everybody a fair and unbiased chance at getting a meaningful work-life regardless of their background.

Bring your recruitment to the 21st century and offer candidates something very few other companies do. Be a breath of fresh air challenging the status quo of traditional recruitment and join on our journey to unleash the full potential of individuals and find the best talent for your team.

Should Recruitment Go Back to the Roots?

In the 1970s, slightly over 100 million people had post-secondary education. Now, it’s over 840 million. And while people are constantly raising their competencies, there’s a prevalent belief that we lack talented people to succeed in jobs. Perhaps the problem nowadays is that we put too much weight on proving skills with certificates and degrees, forgetting that talent and competencies don’t always show on paper.

It appears as if in the past it was easier to simply get a chance and make our way up. Now, to quote my friend from the introduction, recruiters almost force many candidates to fake it till they make it.

Jack Welch, the late CEO of General Electric, once said: ‘change before you have to’. Employers need to take this advice to heart and revise the disadvantages of traditional recruitment that can harm their position in the competitive market. Or miss out on talented individuals struggling to make you notice them.

Workforce Diversity Goals in 2022 & How Your Recruitment Methods Impact Them

Workforce Diversity Goals in 2022 & How Your Recruitment Methods Impact Them

Building a diverse workforce has become a staple for many companies that realise the benefits it can bring to their bottom line. Hence, organisations now place a heavy emphasis on attracting candidates to reach their workforce diversity goals and improving the overall talent acquisition efforts.

However, many still struggle with translating their plans into action – with 45% of those surveyed by Robert Walters admitting their recruitment strategies aren’t efficient enough.

In this blog post, we’ll look at two recruitment methods used by organisations and see how they can impact your workforce diversity goals as we move into 2022 and onwards.

  1. Resumé screening – considered by 52% of the employers as the 1st or 2nd most important part of the hiring process
  2. Skill assessments – favoured by 33% of the Murray Resources respondents

1. Resumé Screening

Resumé screening has been with us for decades now, so it’s no surprise that it’s the most common recruitment method. It’s familiar and used to work pretty well in the past. But is it a valid tool for reaching diversity goals in 2022?

Workforce Diversity Goals & Resumés

Step one of reaching your workforce diversity goals is to attract diverse candidates to your brand. Step two is to recruit them successfully. If your hiring efforts fall short, perhaps it’s time to realise that relying heavily on resumés is the main contributing factor.

That’s because early on, one’s resumé is the sole determinant of whether a candidate moves forward in the hiring process or not. And how can you increase your diverse hires if the final candidates to choose from are seemingly all the same?

To avoid that problem, your recruitment should help you find applicants from various backgrounds representing many shades of diversity. And resumé screening seems to be an obstacle to that.

Bias Is in the Eye of the Résumé-Holder

Perhaps the reason for you not having a diverse pool of candidates is that resumés are prone to bias. In the recruitment context, bias occurs when you form an opinion about an applicant based on impressions, a lack of information, or pre-existing convictions.

Bias in resumé screening can take many forms. It can be related to one’s education, background, ethnicity, age, or even looks. People always tend to gravitate towards those similar to us because it makes cooperation easier.

But when trying to reach your workforce diversity goals, it’s an obstacle. 72% of the surveyed recruiters believe a human should be responsible for reviewing all resumés, so taking out that prone to bias human factor is difficult.

The result? Discrimination on many levels.

For instance, a study commissioned by the French government in 2016 found that companies were less likely to invite candidates with African-sounding names to interviews after receiving their CVs. And that’s regardless of their competencies being close to those of candidates with non-African names.

Similarly, bias can also pertain to age. In this poll, half of the people over 40 confessed they experienced age discrimination during the application process. 

Although it’s most common to hear about bias in the context of minorities, it can lead to discrimination against anyone else – even the groups that are seen as privileged.

This 2017 poll conducted in America shows some insightful data. 55% of the Caucasian people stated they too face discrimination, and 19% experienced it when applying for a job.

Even when it comes to gender discrimination, the data paints a problematic picture. While we usually hear about women having difficulty getting past the resumé screening stage, men also experience bias. The research by the University of North Carolina found that men were more likely to be overlooked by employers for white-collar jobs, an area in which women didn’t have the same problem.

Blinding resumés to increase diversity?

A staggering 96% of recruiters realise that unconscious bias has a negative impact on their hiring efforts. And while it’s virtually impossible to separate bias from our human nature, companies try to improve their strategy by tweaking the method – blinding resumés.

Blinding resumés is nothing else than removing personal information (name, age, etc) that could lead to bias. In theory, it should help. In practice? According to a Swedish study, anonymous resumés didn’t increase the rate of ethnic minorities being hired.

If screening resumés by humans reveals our inherent bias, could technology do it better?

ATS-aided screening

Many companies try to remove the human factor from the process by moving towards ATS-based screening. In fact, 95% of the Fortune 500 companies use them in their recruitment process.

Using software that sorts through applications undoubtedly makes the job faster, but its contribution to your diversity efforts can be questionable. Nearly nine out of ten company leaders surveyed by Harvard admitted that ATS they use prevents them from seeing good applicants.

The reason? That much automation makes it difficult for some applicants to stand out, narrowing your diverse talent pool. ATS-aided resumé screening turned the whole process of CV writing into complicated science. And a biased one, at that.

The software ranks candidates according to pre-determined criteria such as university degrees, deleting anyone who doesn’t fall into this category from the pool. Let alone that education and even work experience aren’t good at predicting future job performance.

By limiting your definition of talent to a list of keywords, you risk missing out on people who have the skills you need. A diverse workforce is a group of people from different backgrounds, including different experiences. A team full of people with a university degree in their resumé is hardly diverse.

Yet again, the data seems to prove the point – it’s not the way you handle resumés that undermines your workforce diversity goals (or hiring goals in general). It’s the resumés in the first place that are the problem. They shrink your candidate pool and limit it to those who fit your criteria that often aren’t diversity flexible. You’re missing out on skilled people, but perhaps their talent didn’t show on paper.

2. Skill Assessments – a Valuable Alternative?

Recruiters continue to report challenges finding qualified candidates. But perhaps the methods they are so accustomed to are the problem, not a lack of talented people.

Companies that want to remain relevant and win the fight for talent need to think creatively and accept alternative recruitment methods. One of them, case-based screening, helps you find the most suitable candidates. It also enables you to remove bias from recruitment and thus aid your workforce diversity goals.

Do candidates want conventional recruitment?

We’ve previously discussed the importance of candidate experience and its impact on your employer branding. If you wish to have more diverse candidates in your pool, you first need to attract them. An excellent way to do so is to stand out from other employers and give candidates the recruitment they want.

Candidates overall seem to be dissatisfied with many aspects of conventional recruitment methods (i.e. resumés & interviews).

☑️ Communication: Almost 40% of candidates state that responsiveness is essential in the hiring process. Sadly, 39% of them don’t get status updates throughout the process.

☑️ Feedback: 91% of candidates want feedback, yet 41% report never receiving any.

☑️ Frustrating application process: 65% of the job-seekers state that their most recent job application process was frustrating (too long, confusing, not optimal).

☑️ Interview scheduling: 43% of candidates globally admit to removing themselves from a recruitment process because it took too long to schedule an interview.

Clearly, there’s a disconnect between what candidates want from the recruitment process and what companies give them. Although an alternative method, work samples were mentioned by 50.2% of respondents as what they want from the perfect recruitment process.

Not only is it desired by your potential talents. It also successfully eliminates the candidate frustrations mentioned above and helps you amass a wider talent pool by strengthening your brand image.

What does case-based screening offer to your candidates?

The stages of the process are transparent

✅ All applicants always receive updates on where the process is at a given moment.

✅ Every applicant receives meaningful feedback based on their case solution.

Focus on skills without bias in sight

40% of C-level executives of large companies say they can’t find enough qualified and diverse talent. But does talent always show on a resumé? If you’re really looking for talent, use methods that allow candidates to prove their skills.

Case-based screening is based on work samples solved anonymously. How does that work?

When you’re trying to fill in a vacancy, a case is tailored to test the skills needed for that position within your organisation specifically. Do you need a designer for your marketing team? Ask them to prepare an advertisement. Perhaps a copywriter? Let them write a piece based on your company’s needs.

Your candidates will then upload their case solution without providing any data about themselves apart from their e-mail address. The judges appointed to evaluate the solutions won’t have access to personal details, so candidates will be judged fairly and without bias. The only thing you consider is one’s fit based on the skills they present.

This method helps you remove any bias that could emerge unconsciously or consciously during resumé screening. Does it reflect on your workforce diversity goals? Yes, and positively at that.

So far, the companies that used the Innoflow case-based screening report a 62.5% increase in diversity. They say that their final ten is more diverse than when using other recruitment methods, and they now find talents they’d have otherwise overlooked.

Are there any downsides to your workforce diversity goals?

We tend to think that the talent pool needs to be vast to reach workforce diversity goals. In a nutshell – the more candidates, the better. However, that approach won’t help much if the candidates you get are either seemingly all the same (because your list of requirements targets a very narrow group) or not qualified enough.

With case-based screening, you most likely won’t receive hundreds of applications. But the ones you get will come from people motivated enough to spend time on solving the case instead of copy-pasting a resumé.

So how can you get more diverse candidates if your pool won’t be that large? Because you open yourself up to people who would have otherwise clicked away after seeing they don’t fit your requirements.

Let’s look at an example. If you’re looking for a programmer with a respective degree and five years of experience, you may miss out on:

  • a recent graduate without experience
  • a self-taught programmer without a degree
  • a woman who may feel like her resumé will get lost in a sea of male applicants and fear rejection based on gender bias (women are also less likely to apply unless they meet 100% of requirements)

With anonymous work samples, all those candidates will feel encouraged to prove their skills. Thus, your applicant pool will have people diverse in terms of gender, age, experience, etc.

Reaching Workforce Diversity Goals Depends on Your Methods

It’s not easy to change your recruitment methods or to even accept they should change. But there’s just something not quite right with hiring if it doesn’t yield the results you’re hoping for.

The methods we’re accustomed to were sufficient for the goals in the past. Nowadays, however, they no longer are. Resisting change may cause your business to be left behind – without diversity and still struggling to find competent employees.

Whether your goal is to simply diversify your teams or to increase the quality of candidates you get, trying alternative recruitment methods may be necessary. Innoflow is here to assist you in the process and step up your hiring.