The Graduate Market is the Most Buoyant it's Been Since 2010
The graduate employment market has spiked in recent months, with more opportunities for young recruits than at any time in the past decade. What’s driving this growth, and how can recruiters make the most of it?
Graduate employment is in the midst of a purple patch, as the market has regained its strength after the instability of the 2008-9 period, finally returning to pre-recession levels. Indeed, large numbers of university-leavers are finding jobs within The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers. Recruitment organisations will be keen to sustain these trends over the coming years.
Employers are recruiting more graduates than ever across various industries. An updated version of this January 2015 report from High Fliers Research shows that, entry level vacancies will grow by up to 8.1% this year, making 2015 the third consecutive year in which graduate employment opportunities have increased.
Recruitment efforts have gradually grown since 2010, with the largest increase in the past two years. This year there are, on average, 200 graduate vacancies per employer available at The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers.
The sectors which have experienced the most job growth are consulting, finance and banking, engineering and industrial, and the public sector. While the majority of companies have embraced the growth period, however, a third of companies actually reduced graduate recruitment this year.
As welcome news to many, the improvements in graduate job opportunities reflect a renewed faith in the economy and its growth prospects across most industries. While recruiters were hesitant to invest heavily on new hires when their financial future was unsure, the rebounded economy has made them confident in increased expansion.
The 2008 recession had a profoundly negative impact on the graduate employment market, particularly in light of the two year recruitment boom that directly preceded it. Between 2008 and 2009, graduate vacancies crashed by 23.3%.
During this time, only the public sector witnessed an increase in graduate vacancies. This was enabled in no small part by Teach First. The organisation, which works towards equality in education, grew dramatically, making very much the exception to the rule.
In fact, entry level positions in 13 of the 14 most desirable sectors were cut during the recession period. The post-recession recovery has been a slow and measured process, only worsening matters, and it saw a pronounced dip in 2012. Thankfully, the 2015 graduate employment market has shaken off the setbacks of the recession, and the forecast looks bright.
As we move towards 2016, and as the jobs market improves, many employers now see competition from rivals as their main hiring challenge. While vacancies for graduates have increased, filling these vacancies effectively requires targeted efforts. Recruiters must work hand in hand with organisations to ensure that their quotas for university-leavers are filled by applicants that are a strong fit for the company.
And to this end, employers must look to new and varied technologies to cast their branding message across as wide a pool as possible. For the first time in years, industry leaders can now safely take a breath of fresh air and look toward future expansion.
Click here to find out how technology can help you attract the best grads.
(Main image credit: RichTea/WikiCommons)