September poll: virtual careers events and services still dominate

Oct 21, 2021 | Attraction & marketing

Virtual provision continues to dominate careers events and services, reports ISE’s researcher Nicola Thomas.

Every month the ISE polls its members on key issues in student employment. In September we polled ISE educational members and suppliers who work with educational institutions.

We looked at how career events and services are being offered to students this academic year, and asked if employers will return to campus.

Digital and hybrid events take the lead

We asked universities, colleges, schools and suppliers that work with these members if career fairs and activities will move back to being in person this academic year.

Responses suggest that these members are prioritising online career services more than in person provisions. In fact, the vast majority (87%) will offer online careers fairs, compared to only 29% who will offer in person careers fairs.

Preparation for virtual recruitment

Educational institutes are continuing to pivot the services they are offering in order to best prepare their students for virtual recruitment.

Universities, schools and colleges are offering tailored skill development for virtual recruitment processes. The majority is running mock assessment centres online (57%). Only 25% are running in person mock assessment centers.

What provisions are being offered online and in person this academic year?

Most universities, schools and colleges are offering video interview coaching (67%), with some offering preparation for online/home working (33%).

Time and reputation biggest barriers to employer engagement

We asked our educational members what barriers they are facing when engaging with employers. Unsurprisingly given high workloads throughout the pandemic, the main barrier facing educations institutes was a lack of time to invest in relationship building with employers.

This is followed by reputational barriers (37%), for example employers may not prioritise their institution.

Confidence may be dipping

Over the last four months we have been tracking the confidence of the ISE membership in the current state of the student employment market. We have done this by asking whether they agree or disagree with the following four statements:

  1. My organisation will grow over the next three years.
  2. The worst of the Covid crisis is over.
  3. There are sufficient opportunities available for young people who are leaving education or have recently left education.
  4. The worst of the economic crisis is over.

This month only the educators and suppliers responded which may account for variation in the changes in confidence. When considering the economic crisis and Covid-19 more generally, respondents were more pessimistic than in previous months. There was a reduction in confidence that the economic crises and that covid-19 is over. Given the high levels of covid-19 across the UK at the moment, this dip in confidence is not surprising.

Compared to previous months, respondents were less certain their own organisation would grow over the next three years. Yet, levels of confidence in the student employment market have slightly improved this month. Members polled this month were optimistic that there are enough opportunities for young people.

Read the September poll

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