Following yesterday’s successful launch event I thought I’d write up a summary of the points we covered and share them with you.

Topic: Bright but clueless! Why are some students and graduates so poorly prepared for the application process.

1. Understand your audience. We’ve all had a tough time during the pandemic. With campus closed and companies in survival mode, students opportunity to build their skillset has taken a knock. Many don’t feel work-ready. Confidence is at an all time low.

2. Adapt your process. Try and normalise inclusivity into every aspect of your selection process. Don’t ask candidates if they need adjustments, do it automatically. Educate your line managers to change mindsets and avoid bias. Even better, try and get board buy-in. Extroverts and introverts react differently. Help them access their best self. If someone is nervous at interview ask the question in another way or use open ended questions.

3. Advertise your work culture as much as possible. With everything online, it’s hard for students to feel like they belong without the in person contact, visiting your office, etc. so consider school and uni outreach programmes. Show diversity in your literature and share stats. Use social media to share office events, socials and news.

4. Over communicate. Demystify your recruitment process. Explain what they can expect without spoon feeding them. They still need to do their homework. Remind them at each stage that they have beaten many others to reach this point and that’s great in itself. Give feedback or sign post them to other job search resources. Give them the best possible candidate experience.

5. Universities are doing their bit but engagement is challenging. Careers Services up and down the country are doing what they can the minute students start by building employability into the curriculum. Students either feel no sense of urgency or are overwhelmed with the choice of information and don’t know where to start. Many are at least understanding that their academic skills are transferable eg managing upwards.