As 2019 begins here is a myth busting insight into the graduate recruitment market.
University of Leeds Careers Adviser Suzie Bullock summarises the keynote speech from the Institute of Student Employers conference delivered in December 2018, by:
Tristram Hooley, Chief Research Officer at the Institute of Student Employers, and Charlie Ball, Head of HE Intelligence at Graduate Prospects. For more information, see the full presentation: 10 things you should know about the graduate recruitment market
So, the UK graduate labour market, what should you know?
- It doesn’t exist.
Instead there is a series of discrete, usually urban regional labour markets that often influences the markets around them. Remember, most people in the UK are not graduates and most jobs are not at graduate level.
- It is quite stable.
The past is a fairly accurate guide to the future. Graduate jobs next year will probably be the same jobs as last year. Don’t expect radical changes. Graduates should see a steady salary increase.
- It doesn’t look too bad right now.
For graduates, the recession ended in 2013. There is low unemployment among graduates and the postgraduate career development loan system is working. But warning signs are showing.
- The B word.
A recession is looming and that, combined with Brexit, is likely to lead to economic vulnerability. Recruitment is slowing down but the impact on graduates is less.
- Place matters.
London is the biggest graduate job market in the country, followed by: Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds – around a third of all graduates started work in these four cities in 2017 . London is the least cost effective city to live in, Derby is the best, with Sheffield, Newcastle, Plymouth and Southampton close behind. Graduates are becoming concentrated in larger cities with local towns finding it hard to recruit graduates. The cost of living is making graduates less mobile – to live in London it is estimated that a starting salary of £29,000 would only just cover the cost of living. This is having an effect on employers and, for example, PwC is moving out of London to more regional centres as they recognised that only a third of graduates wanted to move to London.
- Employers are using a mix of approaches to recruitment selection.
While most employers say they rely more on a competency-based approach, 55% are combining approaches to include competency-based questions alongside strengths- based questions, technical questions and values-based questions. Employers continue to use different approaches to recruitment with 89% of Institute of Student Employers’ organisations reporting that they use assessment centres, 71% use psychometric tests, 71% use face to face interviews, 66% screen CVs, 58% screen by degree classification and 39% screen by phone interview.
- There is a significant shortage of graduates now.
There are severe shortages in these roles: nurses; programmers and software development professionals; HR and recruitment; medical practitioners; welfare and housing associate professionals; business sales executives; IT user support technicians; sales account and business development managers; marketing associate professionals; general and specialist engineers; managers and directors in retail and wholesale; design and development engineers; web design and development professionals; vets; chartered and certified accountants.
- Life isn’t fair.
Former public and independent school pupils dominate the UK labour market. But employers say they want to increase their intake of students from state schools and improve the diversity of their workforce so are trying out blind recruitment techniques and removing potential barriers, such as UCAS points.
- Graduate schemes aren’t everything.
Other options to consider are larger companies recruiting ‘direct to desk’; large companies that aren’t big enough to have a graduate scheme; SMEs; non-graduate roles; and self-employment. 30% of graduates went to work for companies with fewer than 250 employees.
- There is a lot we don’t know.
Most data comes from very early in a graduate’s career. Someone graduating in 2018 is likely to still be working in 2070. Based on those figures, someone retiring now, would have started work in 1966.
Remember, we are here to help you with all things career related; making choices or plans, supporting you with applications, interviews and more. See our Careers Centre website for details on how we can help you.
University of Leeds English & Philosophy graduate Annie Moss completed her degree studies in 2018, she now works for Xpertise Recruitment. Annie’s placement year in a recruitment consultancy helped her to understand that this fast paced challenging, rewarding profession was for her. Here she offers insight and advice on how it could be the right career for you.
How I got into Recruitment
I graduated in 2018 from Leeds University with an industrial degree in English and Philosophy, then I went straight into recruitment. Possibly not the most obvious choice considering my degree background, but definitely the right one for me.
I got into recruitment when I was researching industries for my placement year. I didn’t know anything about recruitment at this stage and was looking at roles in marketing, supply-chain, HR, (you name it, I applied for it)! Then I came across recruitment and after spending one day in the office to have a look round, I realised that it was a really good fit for me.
Why a career in recruitment?
Because recruitment is a fast-paced, lucrative, challenging profession. In the words of my manager, “if you want to progress in your career and achieve your financial goals quickly, then recruitment is a great industry to be in.”
Lucy Bolland graduated in 2017 in MA Advertising and Marketing from the University of Leeds. Currently an Outreach SEO & PR Specialist at Hub MDP she also has her own blog Life of Luce. Before moving to Leeds to study she completed a BA in Public Relations at the University of Sunderland.
My first graduate job
In September 2017, roughly two hours after handing in my dissertation, I bagged myself a role as a Marketing Assistant at a designer ladieswear shop in Sheffield. I ultimately wanted to stay in Leeds, but with huge competition from other graduates and no real digital experience other than my own blog and social media channels, I began to realise how I may have to make personal sacrifices at this early point in my career.
In my first role since graduating from my masters, I discovered more about a website’s CMS (Content Management System). I’d very much recommend setting up a blog before graduating, as I already knew the basics of navigating a websites backend which really helped me with my first role. I also learnt the basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), which would then lead me into my next role.
This guest post was written by Jamie Costello, a Business & Communications student based in Manchester, drawing on experience working alongside Manchester solicitors and business law specialists Gorvins. As a freelance writer, Jamie writes on topics ranging from employment to strategy planning for entrepreneurs. Jamie can be found on Twitter at @Jamie88Costello.
Some new jobs will provide you with an employee handbook. The majority of the time it tends to be the larger businesses that publish these to their staff, but if you happen to be provided one, it’s good to know what you should be looking out for to protect yourself in your role. Here’s an outline of what you should be wary of.
Standard of Conduct
When you first step into a place of work, your main aim is to remain professional and conduct yourself appropriately. On occasion, some staff members can become laid back with their attitude within the working environment. For example, dress codes are provided as a guide on what attire is deemed appropriate in the workplace. In some cases your colleagues may adjust their attire for their own comfort, such as some staff choosing to wear all black trainers rather than shoes that would otherwise hurt their feet. If this is the case, you may be inclined to do the same, but be sure that the attire you choose is within reason. Read thoroughly through the rest of the conduct section so you’re aware of how you should conduct yourself at work, as this discusses disciplinary action and related policies. Serious breaches of conduct can escalate, with some cases becoming legal matters.
Rebecca Dilks graduated from Philosophy and Politics at the University of Leeds in 2014 and is nearing completion of her training contract with Gateley Plc. In this post she shares her experiences of pursuing law from a non-law undergraduate degree and her tips for other students seeking training contracts.
As any law student will know Training Contracts are like gold dust. A privileged few will be lucky enough to secure the dream of a training contract during their academic studies but for a non-law student this is not always possible as you may decide to embark on a career in law later or you may not be aware of the urgency of applying!
I studied a degree in Philosophy and Politics at the University of Leeds and graduated in 2014. I had decided that I wanted to be a lawyer after 2 weeks spent working at the Sheffield Combined Courts when I was 16 but had studied Philosophy and Politics to gain different experiences and develop broader skills beyond law. Continue reading
We’re constantly listening here in Student Careers, trying to make sure that what we offer to students is both what you want and what you need.
Recently we’ve had a lot of feedback about appointment availability from students. Every area seemed to be doing something different and some students were struggling to understand when to look for appointments and how frequently they had to look which was causing all sorts of confusion.
So we’ve changed it.
As of this Monday, 6th November, all of our appointments will be released either 1 or 2 weeks in advance, where every day at 12 noon a full day of new appointments will be released in the future for all appointment types.
What does this mean for our students?
It means that every day you will be able to log on to MyCareer and see new appointments becoming available. No longer will you have to wait a week for another chance at an appointment or have to balance different times for different types of appointments.
Hopefully, your life just got a little bit easier.
This has happened in line with the recent extension of our daily drop-in service which is now running from 1pm to 4pm every weekday, so now more than ever you should be able to get support as and when you need it.
Remember: new appointments every day, released at 12 noon.
You can use careers appointments for any career, work experience, or further study related enquiry. There are further details about support available to you on our website.
This week we have another SPARK business blog post. Leeds student Jumana talks about setting up her Retrasafe – an award winning ladder stabiliser business.
My Business Journey
I started my business with my partner two years ago after my first year at Leeds. This was my first business venture and so had no clue what to do. My partner had a problem trying to use his ladders safely in many places so we decided to tackle the problem that many others also struggled with. We had designed a retractable ladder stabiliser and set up Retrasafe to make and sell the stabiliser systems. We launched the product a year ago and the product has won British Safety Industry Federation Commended Award for Product Innovation in 2016 and was a finalist for Association for Project Safety Health and Safety Innovation Award 2016. We have done exhibitions both here and abroad and have got a lot of interest around the product from small and big companies. I also got to visit the House of Commons and meet the Duke of York when I won the Duke of York Young Entrepreneurs Award 2017. We have now got a couple of different products that we are marketing and selling.