Ensuring you attract the best talent to meet the fast-moving business challenges ahead often requires taking another look at what “good” looks like for your organisation. With a tight labour market what strategy do you adopt to make sure you are reaching new pockets of talent ahead of the competition? Some candidates can be easily overlooked, so for this GRN Masterclass session we invited an expert to discuss social mobility and open up discussion on how graduate recruiters could unlock new potential.

Kindly hosted by ICAEW, London on 9th March, members were treated to insights from both Higher Education and industry experts, namely Lynne Hamilton-Gow from ICAEW and John Craven from UpReach. I was there to open and act as chairperson for the event and also welcoming for the second time our livestream viewers who are based outside of London and/or affected by coronavirus related self-isolation.

In attendance to hear these insights were senior HR managers from forward-thinking recruiters such as Accenture, BBC, Amazon, BDO, HSBC, John Lewis, PepsiCo and WeWork. After an engaging Q&A session, GRN members were enlightened with practical advice to go back to their teams and their next board meetings. So, what were some of the key takeaways?

1. Careers Fairs Bookings Down. According to an ICAEW poll of employers, they have found sharp decreases in bookings for Autumn careers fairs and instead a preference for curriculum lectures. The top reason being recruiters have a captive audience and it takes less resources to run.

2. Information Overload. Give more information, not less, to your new recruits on offer. Studies have shown that removing uncertainty about onboarding drastically reduces reneged offers. Graduates need plenty of reassurance having grown up with so much uncertainty with financial crises and political instability. They want to see more than just the employment contract. Describe the office environment, what to expect on day one, who their team are, their line manager and assign a buddy or mentor – ideally a graduate three years into the programme.

3. White Working-Class Boys: The Forgotten People. 70% of graduates on top graduate schemes were from private schools. UpReach are on a mission to level the playing field and remove the inequalities that stop people from lower socio-economic backgrounds getting into University and launching their career.

4. A Solution? Contextualised Recruitment. Using a clever algorithm that looks to “top-up” up to 24 extra UCAS points depending on 14 different criteria such as parents’ postcode, annual income and access to free school meals. This approach can enable those from disadvantaged backgrounds to have their real potential measured in a fairer way. 84% of HE Institutions currently use some form of contextualised formula for their student intake.

This GRN Masterclass was recorded for our seventh release in the GRN Masterclass Podcast series available now. This will give members who were unable to attend (and those based outside of London) an opportunity to benefit from these learnings. Do you have something to add to the debate? I’d love to hear examples of best practice to share with GRN members so do send me an email at d.hawes@grb.uk.com.

This is just a flavour of the topics covered during a typical GRN event. To join GRN please apply for membership and receive invites for future events. Our 2020 events calendar is as follows;

It’s free and a fantastic opportunity to develop as a professional graduate recruiter in your sector with a diverse range of graduate recruiters facing the same challenges.