Employers are boosting student engagement and employability by sharing data with universities, explain Rachel Heyes at Nottingham Trent University and Lucy Everett at University of Edinburgh.
While universities are data-rich, it may come as a surprise to many employers that they have limited visibility of the roles that students apply for.
Employers that share recruitment data benefit from more work-ready students and enhanced attraction campaigns. Data sharing also sparks and enhances strategic alliances.
Sharing recruitment data
Universities can analyse views and click throughs on the thousands of jobs they advertise on vacancy platforms. However, a student’s recruitment journey can happen with minimal intervention from the careers and employability teams. We often don’t know where along the job-hunting journey our students struggle, are unsuccessful or drop out. And we don’t always know when they are successful and have landed their dream job.
The only way we know students secure a graduate role is 18 months after they graduate, and that’s if they choose to return the national Graduate Outcome Survey.
Each year several employers actively share their recruitment data with us. This enables us to start to build a picture of how our students are faring in the recruitment process, from the number of applicants through to successful hires.
The reports we receive are anything from a simple spreadsheet to glossy brochures complete with infographics.
Some reports will highlight where in the process our students all falling down, which students are applying, their courses and what types of roles they are being successful in securing.
Some employers will list their top performing universities as a league table – which is a great nudge for university teams with a friendly, yet competitive inclination. We love this data, and want more of it!
Why should employers share recruitment data?
Recruitment data helps keep careers and employability teams up-to-date with new and evolving applicant processes, and to target where interventions can make the most impact, such as offering practice psychometric testing.
Careers and employability teams use this intelligence to shape their delivery. They share the data in their sessions with students, bringing the recruitment journey to life and showcasing employers.
It demonstrates to students the need to develop their skills in preparation for a competitive recruitment process. This means better prepared students for the world of work.
The data is also used to enhance employer vacancy promotion. We can pull out data headlines to catch attention or showcase success, particularly in targeting key student groups or schools.
Data sharing in practice
There are lots of examples of good practice from employers, including FDM, Enterprise, NGDP, Leonard Cheshire Change 100 programme, Skyscanner, Ecometrica, 10,000 Interns Foundation, Teach First, Lloyds, NatWest and EY.
For example, with data from Newton Europe, University of Edinburgh could see how many students apply, how they perform in final interviews and the demographic of successful applicants.
This enabled benefits to both parties, building a more robust, long-term partnership. Newton Europe’s activity on campus has been more targeted and effective, with sponsorship of our flagship Discover Careers three-day event and pop up Careers & Coffee at key campuses.
At Nottingham Trent University, KPMG’s data revealed a significant number of students who received psychometric tests, didn’t submit them. This led us to develop a programme of psychometric testing, which built student confidence and improved engagement.
Longer term we think it might be beneficial to develop reports for our key employers, including the evaluation of job views, attendance at events, and even competitor analysis.
Being data-rich is one thing, being data-informed is another, and it often depends on the data in question. This data is powerful, helping us to support our students for success in the recruitment process is a win-win.
By looking at the long-term talent pipeline over the whole student lifecycle, from early years engagement through internships and into graduate roles, makes brand and attraction campaigns meaningful.
All of this also helps to build the foundations for effective university-employer partnerships.
Data sharing is one of the themes that will be explored at the ISE HE Conference taking place online 5-7 December 2023. Find out more information or register.
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