How ISE’s Student Recruitment survey can help employers manage performance and strategy

Aug 10, 2023 | Home Featured, Research, Sector & policy

The deadline to complete the ISE Student Recruitment survey is looming. ISE CEO Stephen Isherwood explains why you should take part.

A tight economy that might yet tip into recession will make organisations scrutinise their student recruitment strategies.

This puts pressure on early career teams to defend their budget, and, to use a phrase all budget holders will be familiar with, ‘do more with less’.

ISE’s annual Student Recruitment Survey can help employers benchmark their recruitment strategy and operations.

Common data requests

Three of the most common data requests we get at the moment are:

1. Budget levels: As many businesses assess the likelihood of economic growth over the next 12 months, many are challenging attraction and recruitment budget levels. Our overall budget and cost-per-hire benchmarks provide insights into how much an employer needs to spend to be competitive. Recruiters can find it difficult to protect budgets when cost constraints are in the air and headlines talk of graduates without jobs – but good candidates always have options.

2. Salary increases: Salary levels since the financial crash have increased, but not in line with inflation. Now that the cost-of-living crisis has hit, salaries have a greater impact on where students choose to work and whose offer they accept. You can view our current salary data on graduates and apprentices.

3. Renege rates: Increasing renege rates have become a less welcome feature of the student labour market over recent years. This has led many employers to give offers to more candidates than they have vacancies for. But this is a challenge as it may lead to an employer having more students accept then they have places for.

Student recruitment strategy

ISE’s Student Recruitment survey doesn’t just focus on operational metrics. Decisions on what selection methods to use, how to build a competitive attraction campaign, how to improve EDI through early career programmes, can all be informed through the survey.

This year, alongside important questions about the apprenticeship, school leaver and graduate labour markets, we are asking you to help us understand a couple of forces driving change within our market.

• How AI and ChatGPT are impacting recruitment practices

• How the world of hybrid working is affecting the ways we attract and assess

In 2022 less than 10% of employers used AI in recruitment and the bulk of selection took place online. We expect the data to show strategic shifts in approaches this year.

Take part in the ISE Student Recruitment Survey 2023

As many of you will know, this is one of the most important surveys we run each year. It allows us to provide you with an overview of the student labour market, plus insights into how recruitment practices are changing, provide you with core benchmark data by sector, as well as key Industry-wide trends we all want to know about.

And we need your help to deliver you the detailed insights you need. The ISE Student Recruitment Survey 2023 is now open for responses.
All ISE employer members have received an individual survey link via the survey tool SmartSurvey. This was sent to the main ISE contact on 18 July 18. Please do reach out to Terry Lai ( if you haven’t received your link yet.

The deadline for this year’s survey responses is Monday 14 August 2023.

With your help, we can provide insights that will help you benchmark yourselves against your sector and the wider Industry. We will also be able to help you shape your future activities and create the business case for continued investment in early careers.

Read the full range of ISE annual survey reports on the ISE website.

Learn how data can help you build your recruitment strategy in the Developing Dynamic Strategy chapter of the ISE Complete Guide to Student Recruitment and Development.

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