The graduate recruitment trends you should watch out for in 2018

Sean Talbot
Sean Talbot

New year, new ways to attract and retain the next generation of graduates.

Here are our predictions for the big graduate recruitment trends in 2018.

1. The SME-isation of employer branding

Research in the final quarter of 2017 revealed that Millennials increasingly want to work for SMEs more than large organisations. Why? Because they’re able to get their personality, ethos and unique culture across much easier in the attraction process – capturing the imagination of graduate job-seekers more effectively than corporations with over 250 employees.

2018 will be the year employers open up in order to scale up.

With this in mind, we predict larger and larger companies to take a ‘home made’ approach to their employer brand – downsizing and personalising how they come across to graduates.

With Instagram, Snapchat and other social media platforms making it easier than ever to offer a ‘real’ view into your company, 2018 will be the year employers open up in order to scale up.

2. A careers site boom, with a particular focus on mobile

Whether employers innovate and improve their own careers pages or enlist the help of more flexible and tech-driven external platforms, having an attractive and honest careers page will be this year’s must-have in talent attraction.

Graduate job seekers are natural researchers. Fresh out of university, they’re no strangers to digging deeper to find the answers they’re looking for – and what you’re actually like as an employer is their number one question.

No matter where they initially come across your job opening, expect graduates to then go to at least one other source to find out more about you. If you don’t have an up-to-scratch careers site that’s easy to find, you can expect this to get you a few mental downvotes from would-be applicants.

And don’t forget: 20% of Millennials are now mobile-only.

3. AI will find its feet and help boost diversity

Artificial intelligence began to creep into recruitment conversations in 2017, but it’s this year where we’ll start to see some real applications of AI (and VR) in recruitment processes.

Chatbots and automated messaging will guide candidates through application stages and free up time allowing employers to focus their efforts elsewhere, like setting up virtual reality tours of work spaces, improving and streamlining candidate experience massively – something graduates in particular are hungry for.

In LinkedIn’s Global Recruitment Trends report, 82% of recruiters said diversity is now their main focus, and with AI comes increased automation which will begin to chip away at unconscious bias and see an increase in diversity across every industry.

AI could also begin to play a part in onboarding, fulfilling timely administrative processes usually undertaken by HR professionals. But don’t worry – robots probably won’t be stealing your jobs just yet (or ever, actually).

4. Remote workers will be everywhere, with flexible perks being used to incentivise and attract new talent

60% of Millennials value flexible working opportunities from an employer – more than any other job perk. With an increasing need to create healthy work/life balances for all, not to mention the boom of trendy, shared work spaces from the likes of WeWork, 2018 will see a huge rise in remote workers.

Opening up your doors to remote workers enables you to access talent in other locations that otherwise wouldn’t have considered you. Perhaps all the best developers are in Bristol, but you’re based in Newcastle… flexible and remote working instantly expands your potential talent pool.

One CEO recently explained how hiring remote workers made his entire workforce more efficient, and with applications such as Slack and Google Hangouts that make someone on the other side of the country feel like they’re right next to you, a lot more employers will shift towards remote working this year.

5. Data will be every employer’s crypto-currency

Understanding your ROI and adapting where and how you advertise your roles will create a smarter recruitment landscape in 2018.

ATS-driven candidate data was a big topic in 2017, but this year it will become fundamental. Tracking not only every applicant, but every viewer of your job listings is now easily achievable with tech platforms like GradTouch, and employers will use big data on what kind of graduates are interacting with (and dropping out of) their recruitment processes to improve candidate experience at every stage.

Data had the potential to make hiring more cost-effective in 2017, but in 2018 we’ll see it in practice. (If you don’t have any ATS or tracking capabilities right now, you can book a free GradTouch demo here).

Featured Image: GradTouch / FreePik / Pixabay

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