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Let’s talk about Grad Recruitment. Covid changed the way people work, and it probably will never go back to what it was. If you’re now considering your career, you should also consider what has changed. 💭  

Not all businesses went backwards due to Covid  

Demand for new talent will be industry-specific, but if your aspirations were toward airlines or hospitality – then perhaps in the short term think again. Industries like tech and healthcare are continuing to expand so if you want to increase your chances of landing a job quicker research accordingly.  

Industries not requiring storefronts, that can operate nearly entirely online, and whose workforce can work from home have advantages.  Think Fintech, E-commerce, Customer Service or even accounting, legal, publishing or media. 

Stay humble and hungry, learn each industry’s vernacular, do your research be eager and network hard and crystalise your soft and hard skills into digestible nuggets relevant to the roles appropriately. 🤩 

Offices are more “virtual”  

It’s unlikely that the number of people who work in an office will ever return to pre-2020 levels. More and more companies are looking for a hybrid or flexible models to focus more on deliverables and less on location. The new norm is enabling collaboration without dictating that people sit side by side.  

The implication for applicants is that they can broaden their search beyond geographic confines. Companies gain access to a greater deeper talent pool but the downside for recruits is that competition increases. If more people are applying for any given job posting, it makes it harder to stand out as an applicant. It also probably means that salaries will stagnate or even drop in real terms compared to previous years just from the basic rules of supply and demand. We also highly recommend taking our quiz. to learn about your personality traits – some are better suited to working from home than others, so take into account your preferences as you apply.   

Getting a job takes considerable time and effort. Unfortunately, it’s not good enough to just broadcast your CV out into the ether and hope for the best. Candidates need to generate bespoke CVs and covering letters for each and every application. It’s important to make sure the right keywords are included and salient to each job description.  

Brace yourself for a long-distance race, and certainly not a sprint. Save all your work, research and CVs. Having multiple base CVs to work from makes the job easier with time. One should also make sure you are in the right mindset.  Knowing it’s going to take time, make sure it is a sustainable process– in well-being and financially. It’s taxing. It may feel like a distraction but certainly, take on a temporary job or a freelance gig to help finance you till the right opportunity arises and make time for breaks or calls with family and friends.  


The Gig Economy Will Continue to Flourish   

Continual change leads to companies managing their risk over a shorter time frame. They have no wish to plan for 5 years out when the next 2 years are very uncertain. This is quickly reflected in recruiting. Budgets are not put in place for full-time employees – however, projects still happen and have to be delivered. As such, there is increased attention given to project-focused professionals.   

While grad recruitment is tiring, don’t stray away from temp work. Similar to most opportunities, temp work has its pros and cons. Focus on the positives – career collateral, experience, contacts, variety and some freedom. Note that freelancers or contractors who do a great job are nearly always retained if work can be found so don’t approach it haphazard – every gig has an opportunity.  

Further Automation of Recruitment 

Hiring teams are increasingly turning to automated systems to help them manage the influx of applications. That means more applicant tracking systems and chatbots to answer application FAQs, or ask basic screening questions, and schedule interviews. 

Technology is used to scan covering letters and CVs to extrapolate salient metadata – tone, keywords, Big5 traits – to assess or filter candidates against pre-determined wants. Which, as we flagged above, means candidates have to offer bespoke responses for every application. 

Same is true in the interview process, where there is increasing use of. pre-recorded interviews so everyone faces the same queries. Then comparisons can be made not only to the answers but also using AI responders’ “sentiment”, facial expressions, keyword usage and stress indicators.   

It is easy to see why this is occurring – lower costs, removal of many of the biases, audit trail and true comparisons versus gut-feel decisions. However, the lack of feedback and real human interaction makes for a less than stellar user experience.  

For applicants, it means more time in preparation. Do your research, practise your responses, integrate chosen keywords, feel confident in your due diligence and preparation and let it shine through on paper and video.  

The past year was unprecedented and there will be no return to “normal”.  Navigating grad recruitment will require you to look at things from a different angle. New expectations that will continue to persist. For those that can understand why change is happening and why businesses will operate differently are well placed to take advantage. Overall, Grad recruitment is constantly changing and can definitely be difficult to navigate.  Hopefully, we have given you some insights that will help make your job search a little bit easier. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. 🤩