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Graduating Without Honour

student celebrating

For many blue chip companies across the UK, our Universities are their own personal talent pool, however, many are becoming frustrated with increased unreliability.

Old school recruitment

The process of scouring top tier universities in order to secure next year’s low salary new starters is as traditional as the old school tie.  Many of the UK’s movers and shakers were sourced by corporations whilst still completing their studies in a practice which was always seen as the most sure-fire way to beat the competition by landing the freshest new talent.  However, of late, it seems that the practice of skimming the cream of the crop is turning sour for many UK firms.

Weighing up the options

In the past, students would be ecstatically grateful to have a signed contract before the ink is dry on their first exam but, new figures show that a growing number of students are now reneging on the contracts at the last minute.  A number of major corporations throughout Britain have reported that they have experienced many cases of headhunted students choosing not to begin their employment on completion of their exams.  There are a number of reasons stated for the no-shows including the student receiving a more attractive offer, a decision to relocate and the desire to take a gap year after graduation.

In an age of social media and almost limitless opportunities, graduates are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to making their next move after University.  Whereas fifty years ago, a graduating student’s priority would be to secure employment in order to get onto the career ladder, buy a home and start a family, for today’s graduates, the world is their oyster.

A hard lesson

Although this new found freedom may be good news for the graduates, it’s not so great for the employers waiting to welcome them on their first day.  As well as the frustration of needing to fill a vacancy that they thought was secured, having to rapidly source new employees to fill these gaps can be expensive and time-consuming.  Although many employers are still looking to recruit from Universities – indeed, a new report shows that companies throughout Europe see UK Universities as the ideal source for new employees – many are looking to other ways of obtaining talented staff.

Many leading corporations are now bolstering their workforce with apprentices instead of relying on student input.  Unlike the uncertainty of contracting a graduating student, hiring an apprentice means that companies are, essentially, gaining brand new staff who will be molded by and will grow with their company.  Not only is the hiring of an apprentice more reliable but, it is also more cost-effective and proactive.

As the tide turns in the recruiting of graduates, apprentice schemes pass the test in the provision of fresh and enthusiastic employees.