ISE July poll: applications, reneges and confidence

Aug 10, 2021 | Sector & policy, You might have missed

Results of ISE’s July members poll are in! We share the highlights.

Every month the ISE polls its members on key issues in student employment. In July we looked at the quality of applications that students have been submitting this year, the status on reneges and the overall level of confidence in the student employment market.


Application quality appears stable

We asked employers whether they agreed that the quality of the applications that they were receiving this year was high and how they compared to pre-pandemic.

Responses suggest that very few employers are flagging major concerns about the quality of applications during the 2020/2021 recruitment cycle. In fact, the majority agreed that the quality had been high.

Further more, most employers neither agreed nor disagreed suggesting that they have not seen a big change in the quality of applications between the applications that they are receiving this year and those that they received pre-pandemic.


Blanket applications let students down

We asked all respondents (employers, suppliers and educators) for the main reasons that prevent students from getting the jobs that they apply for.

The most common reasons that stop students from getting the jobs that they apply for (232 responses).

There is a high degree of agreement amongst respondents about why students fail to get jobs. More than half of respondents agree that students are let down in their attempt to get a job by poorly tailored applications. More than a third agree that it is poor performance in tests, interviews or application forms that are the problem.

It is interesting that it is these transition skills and the poor performance in recruitment processes that hamper students employment prospects more often than a lack of skills (essential and desirable requirements) or work experience.


Mixed experiences of reneges

We asked employers whether they had seen a higher than usual number of students reneging on job offers. There appears to be a somewhat mixed picture here, with some employers strongly agreeing that the level of reneges is up, whilst others disagree.

Employers’ agreement that the number of reneges is unusually high (106 responses)

Confidence stable

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.

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

ISE member confidence in the student employment market

Levels of confidence in the student employment market have remained remarkably stable over the last four months. Respondents have been most positive about their own organisations chance of growth and this has continued to strengthen slightly this month.

On balance respondent believe that the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic is over, but they remain unsure about this. The level of agreement with this statement has declined again this month, perhaps after the recent spike following the European football championship and the decision to fully unlock society (‘freedom day’).

The average respondent believes that there are not enough opportunities for young people, but the level of agreement with this statement has increased, suggesting that people are getting less worried about this. This may be in response to a strengthening labour market.

Finally, respondents remain concerned about the economy with the average level of agreement going down again this month.

Read more ISE research

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