12 stats of an ISE Christmas 2021

Dec 16, 2021 | Sector & policy

ISE researcher Nicola Thomas has dived into a year’s worth of ISE research to bring you the 12 stats of 2021 that you need to know.

This year we have enjoyed researching a wide range of important and topical themes in student recruitment, from the impact of Black heritage on early careers to virtual working for student hires.

Here we pull together 12 important ISE stats of Christmas 2021 to help you reflect on the year gone by.


1. Recruitment of student hires increased by 12%

After the challenges of the pandemic, the 2020/2021 recruitment season has seen a substantial bounce-back across all types of hires. Employers are currently predicting that this growth will continue into the 2021-2022 season.

Recruitment for all types of student hires increased by 12% in 2020/21 and is expected to increase by 19% in 2022. At the moment the market is working well for employers, although there are challenges for employers in filling some roles.


2. 64% of student hires now work hybrid remote and in person

At present, most employers (64%) reported that their student hires now work hybrid (a combination of face-to-face and remote working), a further 11% employers reported their student hires work mainly remotely.

Ten per cent of employers noted that the location of work is up to the of students to decide and they can work wherever the student prefers (flexible).

This is in comparison to a minority of employers (8.78%) who reported their student hires currently work in a mainly face-to-face environment.


3. 90% of employers agreed that young people from Black heritage backgrounds face additional challenges in the labour market

This finding builds on previous surveys that showed that 82% of ISE’s employer members felt that improving the diversity of their organisation in terms of race and ethnicity was a key priority for their organisation. And that race and ethnicity was the diversity strand that they were most likely to prioritise.


4. 87% of universities moved to virtual careers fairs

ISE educational members, and members that work with educational institutes, have pivoted their provision for students and employers since the Covid-19 pandemic, moving a lot of it online with 87% offering online careers fairs.


5. 65% of employers suspect some cheating in the recruitment process

The most common form of cheating was the sharing of interview questions or assessment centre tasks (46%), the sharing of model answers (30%) or someone other than the candidate taking the test (27%).


6. Over 35% of employers agree the number of reneges is unusually high

There is a mixed picture on reneges, with over 35% of employers detailing that the number of reneges is unusually high this recruitment season, yet 50% of employers have noted no change and do not agree that the number of reneges is unusually high.


7. 32% of the apprenticeship levy is being spent

Respondents are spending an average of 32% of their apprenticeship levy, suggesting that apprenticeship spending has stagnated from last year. A contributing factor to this stagnation was likely Covid-19 and reduction in resources devoted to develop apprentices.


8. 59% of employers rated problem solving as the most important skill for student hires

We asked employers to rank the most important skills for student hires to demonstrate in the recruitment process, 59% ranked problem solving as the most important, followed by resilience (58%) and learning agility (51%).


9. 86% of employers reported that they had a strategy to attract candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds in general

A majority (54%) reported that this included specific elements aimed at candidates from Black heritage backgrounds. However, once these candidates reached the selection phase, they were unlikely to get any dedicated support, with only 29% offering support for ethnic minority candidates and 25% offering specific support for candidates from Black heritage backgrounds.


10. 46% of employers thought student hire’s ability to cope had decreased since the pandemic

A sizeable number of participants thought that remote working had decreased student hire’s ability to cope with their role. This highlights the important mental health implications of remote working for student hires and puts emphasis on the need for adequate support and resources for student hires in a virtual environment.


11. 83% of employers expect the elements of their onboarding process to remain virtual

While all organisations in our sample run a form of onboarding, that averages at eight days long, the majority (88%) have moved their onboarding process online, and 83% of these employers expect that some of these virtual changes will remain permanently.


12. 93% of employers are taking a mostly virtual approach to student recruitment

We have seen a shift to virtual recruitment for student hires with the vast majority adopting a virtual first approach to recruitment and onboarding, with 13% not requiring students to live in the same city as the office, this signals a shift for early adopters to a virtual first way of working. Thank you for being part of our research activities this year, have a very merry, festive break ?❄️?

Read more ISE research 

Read more blogs from Nicola

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