As part of a joint IES/CIHE research study into whether graduate recruitment is meeting UK business needs, an audit of corporate websites, drawn from The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers, has been conducted by IES. This provided a graduate perspective on how employers present themselves online and use their websites as part of their attraction and selection process, and complements the main research study into whether employers really are meeting their needs for graduates from the more diverse and larger pool.
This web audit shows that the majority of top graduate recruiters have streamlined their application processes to be exclusively online, with a single application deadline each year. Many also offer some sort of online pre-screening, or self-selection tool, aimed at reducing the volume of applications. Where this can be achieved, the costs of recruitment can be considerably reduced, and presumably the consistency raised.
Diversity is also increasingly expressed as being a business need: does online recruitment help? Whilst most employers have a balanced portrayal of gender and ethnicity, and support equal opportunities on their websites, their approach to inclusion varies. The public sector seems to be better at it than the private sector. Such approaches include the encouragement (or acceptance) of applicants from less traditional educational backgrounds. However, many continue to set traditional criteria – degree class and/or UCAS points – as entry requirements.
We will be covering the results of the research more fully in the June issue of Graduate Recruiter.
1. This web audit was a component of work still in progress, part of a wider study, jointly funded by IES and the CIHE, with further funding support from HEFCE, the Sutton Trust and LogicaCMG. In addition to the web audit, the wider study, also conducted by IES, has involved 40 interviews in 10 case study organisations, covering the perspectives from both strategic and operational viewpoints, from HR and a business management perspective in the case study organisations.
2. The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers is published annually by High Fliers Publications Ltd.