The Trouble with Graduate Recruitment…and How Tech Solves It

The Trouble with Graduate Recruitment…and How Tech Solves It

Every year tens of thousands of positions are available for graduates, as firms seek young talent to develop and mold while benefitting from their innovative ideas and fresh perspectives. Yet according to a report on the UK graduate market for 2018-19, nearly half of businesses with graduate programmes (45%) stated they do not have enough resources to recruit graduates, with almost the same amount (43%) in need of a way to better identify talent among applicants (HighFliers, 2019).

In short, HR and recruitment teams today feel they need to do more with less. One common solution to this issue is an applicant tracking system (ATS), which implements a data-driven approach to candidate selection and can improve the quality of hires. However, 78% of HR professionals consider psychometric testing important as well, as they place emphasis on factors such as potential and attitude which are unlikely to be reflected in factual information given on a CV (HR Magazine, 2018).

Such psychometric testing is often implemented through assessments or questionnaires. In theory this provides firms a valuable peek into the mindset and emotional tendencies of their prospective hires, yet in practice applicants are very likely to view this strategically, giving answers they expect their recruiters want to hear.

This allows much opportunity for the assessment to be “gamed”, with given answers being skewed towards those which are seen as most “correct”, and away from candid and honest answers from the applicants. These assessments are also one-off occurrences, and so do not necessarily reveal insights into an applicant’s performance across a longer timespan.

Certainly no method can be expected to be perfect, but this does raise the question: how then do you get a genuine and meaningful impression of an applicant?

What cannot be so easily gamed is the one key performance indicator each graduate is, by definition, guaranteed to have: their marks from their degree programme. Indeed, a graduate’s marks can reveal a great deal about their potential as an employee; after all, a final mark encapsulates years of study and so is a reflection of their general long-term performance across years.

The problem with marks is that they’re not easily comparable nor transparent: different programmes teaching different subjects at different universities will of course all mark differently. Without enough context to tell the difference many recruiters rely on their own personal heuristic methods, which are often fraught with bias and based on an incomplete picture. Emerging recruitment technology provides many answers to such modern HR-related issues.

CASE in particular solves this by filling in knowledge gaps by taking into account grade distributions, university and subject-specific rankings, econometric data, and other relevant factors to give a clear picture of each candidate and put their most significant predictor into its proper context. It can also be seamlessly integrated into almost every available ATS system.

As each applicant is scored automatically this not only saves time, effort and costs for recruiters, it also makes the process fairer for applicants who may be effectively penalised from having been in tougher programmes (thus having lower marks) or from lesser-known universities (thus suffering from reputational disadvantages).

Simply put, CASE makes recruitment both easier and fairer - for everyone. We firmly believe top talent deserves the best opportunities regardless of where they come from, and this passion is reflected in our vision to continue transforming the candidate selection process.

Join us in ensuring everyone gets an equal chance, and we’ll give you the best candidate for the job. 

HighFliers report, “The Graduate Market in 2019”:
HR Magazine article, “Graduate Recruitment Trends for 2018”: