How are employers approaching resourcing and timing of early careers programmes in 2022?

Nov 7, 2022 | Sector & policy, You might have missed

Organisations approach the resourcing and timing of their graduate and school leaver programmes differently, yet ISE’s Student Recruitment Survey 2022 reveals some trends.

Recruitment is a key part of ISE members’ businesses. Our employer members recruit thousands of young people each year into graduate or school leaver programmes. Businesses require the right strategy, skills and resources to be able to successfully run the recruitment processes needed to recruit that number of young people each year.

Our annual Student Recruitment survey explores what resourcing organisations are allocating to their recruitment processes and examines the strategies they deployed over the last season.

How are programmes resourced?

Student recruitment teams can vary largely between organisation. This year our respondents reported team sizes of less than one full-time equivalent member of staff up to teams of 57 people. The average (mean) size for a student recruitment team is 13 people, but the more typical (median) size of a team is five people.

However, when we consider the resourcing required by organisations to recruit students it’s more useful to look at the ratio of recruiters pre hires, as the student recruitment teams will vary in size depending on the overall size of the student recruitment.

We calculated the recruiter to hire ratio of our respondents. On average, one member of a recruitment team is responsible for recruiting 21 (median) to 26 (mean) students.

What budget do organisations allocate for recruitment?

Apart from an organisation’s recruitment team, it’s also important that businesses allocate budget for their graduate and school leavers recruitment activities.

Annual budgets allocated for early careers focused recruitment are between £4,000 and £5,300,000. The average (mean) budget is around £588,600 while the typical (median) budget is £250,000. The average cost per hire is £4,758, which is down from £5,325 last year. Meanwhile the typical cost per hire is £2,449.

Resourcing costs vary by sector. This data is available on p.17 of the full report.

What is the timing of student recruitment campaigns?

The ability to attract students to an organisation is key to being able to engage the best early career. This year’s respondents to our annual survey also show that organisations are starting to change when they’re recruiting students to ensure they’re securing hires for key roles throughout the year.

This year we asked organisations if they are running continuous recruitment campaigns.

The fallout of the pandemic led to competition for graduates and school leavers increasing and as a result organisations are moving away from formal early career schemes. This year we have seen a significant shift with employers starting to recruit their talent across the year.

We found that 38% of respondents are now running continuous recruitment campaigns throughout the year.

When asked why, responses included, “Need to stay open for hard to fill roles” and “To secure talent as early as possible”. One responded also said, “This year, we saw candidates applying right up to the application deadline for some of our harder to fill vacancies. We also saw late in season target uplifts from some areas of the business, which resulted in all year round recruitment and campaigns”.

This year we also see a shift in when organisations ran their recruitment campaigns with school leaver campaigns running much earlier in the year.

Most campaigns opened at the start of the year, running between January and March (40%) and most offers were made between April and June (54%) and campaigns closed between July and September. Demonstrating the earlier start of school leaver campaigns, none of our respondents made any offers to school leavers between October-December.

Graduate recruitment campaigns still tended to follow the academic year, beginning in the autumn and closing in the spring/summer with the most offers made between January and March (36%).

For detailed information on the timing of recruitment for graduates and school leavers read p.39 of the report.

 Read more blogs on this year’s survey or download the report


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