A new report suggests that employers should be doing more to track the progress of their graduate intakes in order to evaluate their return on investment.
Entitled ‘Fishing for Talent in a Wider Pool', the report – from the Institute for Employment Studies with the backing of the Council for Industry and Higher Education – suggests that employers believe the quality of the graduates they took on last year to be high, in line with their business needs.
But the survey also revealed how few employers tracked their graduate intakes effectively, thus failing to gain meaningful feedback on their significant investments in recruitment, training and development.
For graduates taken on at local, rather than central (corporate) level, the picture was even worse, with an almost total lack of formal progress monitoring.
The survey also revealed that, while most employers paid lip service to equal opportunities, their success in delivering ‘true inclusivity' remained patchy in practice. In general, public-sector organisations were seen to be more effective in this respect than their private-sector counterparts. The potential of the internet to attract ‘a wider range of talent' was noted, and most employers saw this broadening of the available talent pool as an advantage rather than a disadvantage. The increasing use of online processes was seen to have both pluses and minuses. It was clear that the internet provided employers with more opportunity to market themselves as ‘employers of choice'. At the same time, some employers expressed a concern that the lack of ‘personal touch' in online selection processes, especially when outsourced, could risk alienating good candidates.