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College Recruitment Insights & News

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May 2022

We've decided to make a change to how we publish our newsletter and will now publish via LinkedIn. That's where our campus recruiting audience is along with the many professionals who have a general interest in the segment.

To view the latest monthly campus recruiting update you can register for free at (as well as unsubscribe at any time).



April 2022

Students Swamped by Job Openings

Campus job postings have gone through the roof. Michigan State University alone reports +75% growth. It’s driven by employers of all sizes scrambling to get talent.


To broaden their reach many employers have said they will recruit students from any discipline. That’s in addition to increasing the number of schools they target. One employer cited nearly an eight fold increase in the number of schools they recruit from compared to pre-pandemic times.

The downside is that students are swamped by the number of job postings. That’s led to many feeling overwhelmed and simply shutting down to defer the job search process. In turn that means employers face fewer applications from traditional sources.

The alternative for employers is to open up sourcing more broadly. Whether that’s additional schools, third-party sources or advertising. While that can increase applications it creates a different challenge of having the capacity to properly review and assess more resumes.


Market Predictors
As a pre-cursor to what employers can face this fall we’ve taken a look at the Australian campus recruitment market. It bares many similarities to the US. Australian employers are already into the first two months of recruitment campaigns aimed at graduating students.

The number of student applications is down, significantly down. Some employers report up to 50% fewer applications compared to historical levels.

Employers there don’t have the luxury of opening up applications from more schools. With only 43 universities, they already accept applications from any school.

What they are doing is to take a hard look at how they assess applicants to make sure they’re not overlooking strong candidates. They’re also extending their campaigns and preparing to go back to market in (their) spring. We will know by June how they have fared. We will provide an update then.

Candidate Experience is the Focus

As we all know, competition for students is fierce. It will be one thing attracting students to apply in the first instance. Then candidate experience should take over as the priority.

Employers need to relook at their processes from the lens of the candidate, ahead of employer efficiency.

Recent research that suggests that virtual recruitment has lessened the connection students feel with employers. While employers have moved backed to a hybrid approach, the key is authentic communication throughout the process. That’s across everything from the work students will actually do, to what they should really expect in a hybrid work environment, through to how their career paths can develop.

In this market it will be hard enough getting the volume of candidates needed to offer stage. The last thing employers want is a renege because the candidate “just didn’t really feel a strong enough connection with the employer” compared to the one they went with.

Winners & Losers

When it comes to recruiting graduates and interns this year, there will inevitably be organizations who got it right and those who didn't.

Prior to Covid, campus recruitment loped along at a slow pace of change driven mostly by vendor innovation. Then along came Covid. It forced the virtualization of the recruitment process and sent everyone into an unknown world. Everyone experienced at least five years worth of change condensed into two.

Now we’ve returned to in-person events and activities with candidates. But what's the right balance between virtual and in-person processes? What are student expectations and how will they behave? Should employers embrace year-round recruitment compared to a traditional campaign?

No-one knows the right answers. But by the end of this recruitment season we will likely see winners and losers emerge based on the assumptions each employer has made.

What Exactly is GradSift?

We’re often asked is GradSift an ATS or another sourcing channel? The answer is NO to both.

GradSift is innovative technology that makes shortlisting of your applicants fast and easy.

How Does it Work?

Employers receive student applications via sourcing channels into their ATS. Instead of manually reviewing each resume or applying Boolean search, they invite students to complete a GradSift profile. It takes 10 minutes from drop-down selections. Students can also select role or location preferences, even record a short video.

GradSift's algorithm assesses a student’s academic background, types of work experiences and extra-curricular activities (and more). Just as an experienced campus recruiter would do. But all within seconds.

Now the employer can automatically screen and rank students for each different role.




GradSift recognizes preferred schools. But it also allows employers to identify the best students from unlisted schools, all without opening a resume.

What sets GradSift apart is its algorithm that uniquely recognizes the quality of students in addition to selection criteria set by the employer.

Take the GradSift Challenge
Wondering if GradSift might work for your organization? The GradSift Challenge allows employers to share a mix of 20 resumes of your applicants (names removed). Some who were hired, some who got close and others rejected early. We process their details into GradSift and give you back the ranked results. You compare and decide.

It's free and a bit of fun.

By the way, to date we have a 100% success record with the GradSift Challenge.

Spending Too Much Time Reviewing Resumes?

Come to our “Campus Recruitment Shortlisting Made Easy” Webinar.




Due to employer interest we're hosting another 20 mins live webinar "Shortlisting Made Easy with GradSift".

We share how one of our clients transformed their shortlisting process to be simple and fast while achieving improved hiring and diversity outcomes.

It’s definitely not a sales pitch. But afterwards you may find yourself agreeing with others who have said it’s “one of the biggest innovations in campus recruitment”.

Friday, May 13 2022 3:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM PT

Invite you colleagues. Register in advance at

Hiring Campus Recruiters is Getting Harder

As with just about any role, it’s getting harder to find and hire campus recruiters. Especially recruiters with the experience to look beyond the standard requirements in a student resume.

Technology is one solution. A product like GradSift replicates manual resume reviews but built specifically for campus recruiting.

While it’s intuitive and easy to use GradSift also offers a “concierge service” to do the work for you.




GradSift to Exhibit at NACE 22

We will be exhibiting at the NACE conference for college careers and university relations professionals in Portland, June 7 to June 9.

Conference registrations are still open at


March 2022

Student Demand and Reneges Both Up

This WSJ article confirms demand for interns and students is hot and reneges are on the way up.

Some highlights from the article:

In order to encourage a sense of commitment to the company one employer "encourages accepted interns to post a company logo on social media to announce the new position. Incoming intern José Eduardo Reyes said he did so on LinkedIn and received a flurry of messages from other employers trying to poach him."

Hmm, sounds like a good move for José. Not so good for the employer. (The article did say José stayed with the company).

There are employers who are planning to over-hire, "betting that some percentage of interns will renege on offers before their summer jobs start."

"We’re seeing students saying, ‘I can change my mind at any point.’”

Candidate Experience and Why Candidates Withdraw

Great insights from the 2021 Talent Board’s Candidate Experience Benchmark Research Report. The data refers to recruitment at all levels but the insights are definitely applicable to student recruitment. Here are key takeaways.

The three most negative reasons candidates withdrew were:
• The recruiting process took too long
• Their time was disrespected during the recruiting process
• Salary didn’t meet expectations

Organizations that minimized candidates dropping out were consistently ahead of others in four key areas:

1. Setting expectations: Indicating to each candidate how many steps the recruitment process involves, what those steps are and the associated timeframes.
2. Accountability: Recruiters and hiring managers who keep their promises regarding progress, feedback, and next steps.
3. Fairness: Having and being seen to have a fair and impartial process is critical to the candidate experience.
4. Feedback: Candidates appreciate honest feedback about their background, interviewing skills and resume.

Did artificial intelligence play a part?

"The report also notes that “top companies are more likely to have implemented artificial intelligence recruiting technology to improve their sourcing capabilities, their communication with candidates and to support recruiters in their roles".

"Automation can free recruiters up to work more efficiently and effectively, improving candidate experience outcomes”.

Said another way, it shifts the work of recruiters away from transactional activities to those that genuinely add value to the candidate and the organization.

To read the report's executive summary go to


Technology that Assesses Student Quality


Wouldn’t it be wonderful to skip reviewing hundreds or even thousands of resumes to simply find the best students upfront? It’s what most of us in campus recruiting wish for.

It's the reason we developed GradSift. Technology that can assess the caliber of students. Think about that for a moment. It's more than just applying filters to selection criteria. It's saying "of the students who meet our criteria, how do they rank and who are the best?"

Imagine knowing upfront who are the top 20% of your students? It would transform the recruitment process and be a huge boost to recruiter productivity.

But it also leads to greater diversity. Students are screened blind. Employers can accept student applications or pipeline registrations from any school knowing they have the resources to shortlist the best in seconds, regardless of volume.

GradSift is already in use by global and mid-market companies, even government organizations. Many describe GradSift as one of the biggest innovations in college recruitment.


Remote Internship Program Checklist


Like to see how your remote intern program stacks up against best practice? Our colleagues at Symba have put together a free checklist that does just that.

"After powering 5,000+ internships and working with leading internship programs at organizations such as Robinhood, ViacomCBS, and INROADS, Symba proudly presents our remote internship program checklist for early talent leaders. This checklist template can be leveraged to identify gaps in program resources, get leadership buy-in, and ultimately run a successful remote internship program."

GradSift to Exhibit at NACE 22

We will be exhibiting at the NACE conference for college careers and university relations professionals in Portland, June 7 to June 9.

There's an early expectation that the pent-up demand for in-person events will see this as an especially vibrant event. (Interpret that as lots of overdue socialization and networking). For those who will be attending, we look forward to meeting you in person.

Conference registrations are open at

GradSift Awards


We're pleased to share that late last year GradSift won two international awards.


• Leading Innovators in Graduate Recruitment Automation
• Finalist for Most Popular Campus Recruitment Supplier

While the external recognition is wonderful we're more excited by our employer feedback that GradSift helps them increase hiring diversity, results in positive hiring outcomes and streamlines their recruitment process.


February 2022


Market Updates
Here are some of the insights we're picking up from our employer connections.
• More and more employers are returning to campus a second time to cover the shortfall from their main recruitment campaign. Anecdotal reports indicate the quality of those later candidates/hires has improved.

• A leading engineering and property development company reported renege rates from their main recruitment campaign of 40%. Forced back to campus again, they experienced just a 5% renege rate on those offers.

• As companies experience higher levels of resignations at all levels and demand for talent intensifies, many are looking to back-fill at the entry-level. That only compounds the competition for students and graduates.

• As in-person career fairs open up, there will be many students who have never attended one before. Think back to the last two years. Any 1st or 2nd year student would not have had that opportunity. It will be interesting to see how they respond.

• Do higher renege rates translate to higher retention? This may just be wishful thinking but there are employers hoping this proves true. The rationale is that candidates who were never 100% committed chose not to join, instead of leaving within the first two years.

• Employers are embracing different talent pipelines to supplement recruitment from their target schools. But the challenge remains for smaller or less visible schools. How do they get their students in front of employers?

• It’s reported that more and more students are applying to companies directly, instead of via their careers services.


Does Virtual Recruitment Equate to Less Commitment?
Are virtual recruitment practices contributing to increased ghosting and reneges of job offers? It certainly seems the case in student and graduate recruitment. No-shows on the start date. Renege rates of up to 40%. Random drop outs throughout the recruitment process. Research says the most common reason is a better offer.

The fact that it's a candidate short market is obviously a contributor as candidates size up multiple offers. But how much is due to the shift to virtual recruitment practices? Or the lack of engagement with incoming employees ?

In a virtual process, there’s certainly less skin in the game for candidates and employers. On one hand the virtual world offers a greater opportunity to engage with each and every incoming student, no matter where they are located pre commencement date. But then there’s the risk that the virtual process can become a transactional one. It's easier for both employer and candidate to go through the motions without the personal commitment required in face-to-face meetings.

I know many employers who have done everything possible to provide a great candidate experience albeit virtually. But in the end maybe that doesn't cut it. You can point to the student and say it's a generational thing. But it really is up to employers to take the initiative on this one.


Future of Careers Services
Recently there has been animated discussion among college careers advisors to address decreased motivation among their students when it comes to pursuing careers. "How to put a rocket under them". There was no obvious solution identified other than to recognize that students and their career environment are changing and it’s time for careers services to adapt.

It’s recognized that technology platforms are gradually replacing the function of careers services. The “middle-man” has always been vulnerable in a digital world.

However, careers advisors cling to the belief that they will never be replaced by digitization of job search; that employers still need career services to assist with campus marketing; and that employers need them to identify pools of talent. While that may be true right now, the reality it's already begun to change.

For example, technology is available that replicates the function of identifying the best students. It assesses academics, extra-curricular achievements, work experiences, leadership, interpersonal skills and career interests. Not just at one school but any school.

Technology will flip student job search on its head. It will enable employers to find and directly reach the best candidates regardless of school and by-passing careers services.

Career services professionals they know they face a process of change. The unanswered question is what does the end game look like and when will it be reached.

To read the careers services background article in full go to


College Recruitment Conferences
Upcoming College Recruitment Conferences

URx 22
Virtual, May 5 to May 6
For University Recruiters & Employer Partners. Join 300 plus early career talent recruiters.
Registrations are open

In-person and virtual
Portland June 7 to June 9
Virtual June 28 to June 29
Conference and expo for college careers services and university relations professionals.
Registrations are open


Chances are many readers would be aware of Symba. It's an all-female start-up that has been kicking some big goals with their internship/apprenticeship management platform.

I had a look at Symba and it’s impressive. Here are key features. 

1. Manage your entire program in one place.
Quickly onboard interns, assign and keep track of projects, and track performance all in one place.

2. Easily Track Insights and Measure Success.
Track the success of your program through beautiful graphs and visualizations. Need to know your interns’ start and end dates? Want to track how many projects are completed? You can now study the analytics of your program in real-time.

3. Foster Community and Engagement.
Bring your interns together through Symba. They can message other interns and managers seamlessly (even through Slack), search for skills to collaborate on projects, and much more.

This last feature is the one I liked the most. It empowers interns (and graduates) to develop relationships no matter where they're located, using the same technology they're used to.


New to GradSift?

If you’re new to GradSift, you’re not alone. GradSift is a technology platform enabling college recruiters to review thousands of student applications in seconds.

We started three years ago in Australia and we're really proud of the results achieved by our employer clients. All reported greater candidate diversity and positive hiring outcomes while befitting from substantial efficiency savings. That's across global and local companies and even government organizations.

But we’ve always had our US friends in mind. Because we know there’s a genuine passion to unlock the power of diversity by considering students beyond traditional schools. It’s fairer for students and increased diversity is a no-brainer for employers. That's where GradSift can help.

So GradSift is now available in the US.

Have a talent pipeline or hundreds or thousands of job applicants in your ATS? GradSift makes it easy and fast to find the best students. GradSift’s algorithm does the hard work. Customized selection criteria. No resume upload. Objective and compliant assessment. Bias removed with blind screening.

There's a lot more.


Interested to learn more?

Book Information Session

Watch Video




January 2022

The 2022 College Recruitment Challenge: Meeting Hiring Targets

The biggest challenge college recruiters face in 2022 and the foreseeable future is making hiring numbers. It is going to be tough, really tough. Recruiters are already talking about going back to campus in Spring to try and meet targets. 

Historically, employers have accepted that a focus on core and target schools overlooks many high caliber students. When there’s been a strong supply of student applications, it really hasn’t mattered. But now we're in a real shortage.

As we know, employers are rethinking campus recruitment. It’s no longer a one-off campaign. They are experiencing 30% job offer renege rates as students receive three times as many job offers than their predecessors.

Doubling down on target schools in a competitive market isn’t a viable solution. It's an efficient way to narrow the applicant funnel. But we all know it’s far from perfect. When it comes to considering students based on the schools they attend, where do you draw the line?  


Let’s agree, going into 2022 the biggest challenge for any graduate employer is hiring enough talent.

It’s not just students and graduates. It’s at every level as employers struggle to hire. How will CEOs respond? You can see this coming – let’s hire more entry-level graduates!

There’s that famous Albert Einstein quote: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

  • Continuing to rely on the same schools won’t deliver.
  • While the traditional resume review acts as a bottleneck to opening up applications more broadly.

It’s time to take a different approach.

We know there are great students at any school.

Here’s the thing:

• Opening up applications from any school will uncover top talent and really improve hiring diversity.
• It’s not saying stop the focus on core and target school. Just don’t rely exclusively on that strategy.


So how do you identify all of those strong applicants wanting to work for you?

You could screen their applications manually. Ugh. Or you could use psychometric assessments. But abilities testing can come with its own baggage.

There are other proven technologies. GradSift is purpose-built for college recruiters to screen and shortlist high volume student and MBA applications. It replicates a manual resume review. It’s super time efficient and highly effective.

Employers have been delighted with the hiring outcomes and the genuine increase in hiring diversity.

Reflect on Einstein's quote again. Repeating the same process won't achieve a better outcome.

It is time to take a different approach.


December 2021

Discover the Best Talent from Any School

As we come towards the end of the year, we thought it's OK to give readers a full-on promotion for GradSift. After all, it is by far the best way to shortlist for entry-level roles, regardless of school and this is a GradSift forum! So here we go.

College recruiters trust GradSift technology to reliably replicate manual resume reviews and assess thousands of applications in seconds.

It’s the simplest way to consider students beyond core and target schools.

GradSift is purpose built for college recruitment.

Its algorithm interprets student academic background, work experiences and extra-curriculars to assess leadership,  achievements, behavioral skills and the relevance of their experiences. Just like a manual resume review.

"GradSift screens applicants exactly the way we do" - top 5 global consulting firm.

A fairer outcome for students.

Student data is captured from drop-down fields. No resume upload. GradSift screens blind and removes the potential for bias. That's fairer for students.

GradSift is a compliant and objective assessment.

• Employers receive applications via their applicant tracking system.
• Students are directed to create a GradSift profile taking 10 minutes.
• Employers set selection criteria for each role, then view the results in seconds.

More than selection filters.

GradSift assesses each student’s achievements, role preferences and the relevance of their background to the position and the organization. The result is an easy to interpret ranking of students who meet your criteria. Search and filter by any school or groups of schools.

Discover the best students regardless of school. Promotes diversity. Fairer for students. 

Video included.

Opt-in to use GradSift’s recorded video where students present at their best, for (a human to) assess communication skills and career interests before finalizing shortlists.

Recommended by 100% of GradSift employers.

While we think that's pretty good, what's much more important is what employers say. Here is what they nominate as the top five benefits.

  • Recruiter productivity and cost savings
  • An objective assessment of candidates
  • Greater candidate diversity
  • Ease of use
  • The best support 

"GradSift has definitely increased efficiency and productivity in our entry level talent recruitment"



November 2021

Profile of the Best Australian Graduate Program for 2021

It's always interesting to learn from other markets. The Australian Association of Graduate Employers conducts an annual survey to find the best employer graduate program. It uses input from graduates working at their respective employers.

The 2021 winner was Sydney Water, a large utility company. From a presentation they made at the annual conference here is what we noted.

• Received 1,500 applications and hired 15.

• 3 year fixed term employment contract, with an expectation graduates will receive a permanent offer from the company within that time. Most do, early into their third year.

• Within the first two weeks of joining the graduate program, there is a leadership camp with team building.

• Graduates participate in the subsequent year’s graduate recruitment activities including assessment centers and pre-start buddy opportunities.

• The L&D Manager has overall responsibility for the graduates, not line managers. The L&D Manager meets with grads 3 to 4 times a year, discussing career goals and performance tracking. She also meets with supervisors twice a year.

• 3 rotations where graduates chose their placement regardless if they studied in that area. The exception is specialist technical roles. They acknowledged it does represent workforce planning challenges but that’s where career goal discussions can shape the final placements.

• Budgets for graduates are controlled centrally under the L&D Manager. Graduates are therefore “free” to line managers.


When we review it, there is nothing new and nothing particularly special. All of this has been around for decades. 

But we suspect what does make the difference is how well the program is executed. As the business axiom goes you can have the best strategy in the world but if you can’t deliver on it, it’s worthless. Clearly, Sydney Water does.


October 2021

11 Tips for Graduate Recruitment Productivity

Two key measures in recruitment are hiring outcomes and recruitment productivity. It’s one thing to have a successful hiring outcome. But how it’s achieved is just as important. No-one has unlimited resources - time or money. So let’s take a look at some ways to increase graduate recruitment productivity.

1. Video interview. Reduce the number of questions to the ones that really matter.

Does it really need to be 3, 4 or even 5 questions? How many times does the recruiter watch the full video response before making a decision? In our experience, what matters most in video is seeing candidate interest in your organization/roles; personality and cultural fit; examples of achievement or initiative; and of course verbal communication.

Ask one question: “Please introduce yourself, tell us what you’ve been studying, one or two key achievements and why you’d like a career with us”. All in sixty seconds.

2. Don’t waste time doing initial screening by video.

At least 80% of applicants will not be a “Yes”. Why go through the pain of watching every video? It’s no different to opening and reading every resume.

3. Use technology not manual resume reviews.

Technology designed specifically for graduate and intern recruitment saves up to 98% of a recruiter’s time. That time can surely be better spent on other priorities.

4. Process outsourcing or insourcing.

Recruitment process outsourcing doesn’t have to mean the entire process. Many employers outsource the parts where a vendor brings genuine expertise and added value. Or they bring a process in-house after they’ve learned how to do it after watching their RPO provider.

5. Technology instead of temporary help.

Temps consume more resources than you think.

• Finding/recruiting the temp (if you can)
• Onboarding and getting them up to speed with the organization, its culture and the roles
• Training in what to look for in graduates
• Overseeing for quality control to ensure they assess objectively and correctly.
• Plus there’s the normal down-time.
Technology can perform the same function more efficiently, reliably and bias free.

6. Choice of assessments that support productivity.

Assessments that measure a single attribute, eg. cognitive ability or a values test, aren’t that productive as they require further assessments to be useful for applicant decision-making. That’s more cost, more time and more steps in the process. Look for assessments that evaluate multiple in criteria in a single step.

7. Choose assessments that don’t reject strong candidates.

Cognitive ability for example, disadvantages lower socio-economic status candidates and rejects up to 50% of candidates with the strong interpersonal skills employers want. The right candidates have applied and are there in the ATS. Use the right tools to locate them.

8. Use the recruitment system to identify the right candidates.

Use technology at the start of the process to automate how candidates are assigned to roles/work streams/locations based on candidate preferences. Or how to easily find candidates by diversity background or previous employer in order to create balanced shortlists.

9. Automate management reporting.

Graduate recruiters say they spend up to 10 working days analyzing and preparing management reports on graduate and intern programs. Technology can do this automatically.

10. Self-service for hiring managers.

Give managers restricted system access to choose who to interview from candidates pre-qualified by HR.

11. Talent pools for year-round hiring.

Use talent pool technology that automatically screens and ranks candidates for each role. Login, select the role/function you're interested in and the ranked results are immediately visible without opening a resume. Ready to watch the candidate video.


These are just some of the ways to improve productivity, balancing recruiter and hiring manager time, assessment effectiveness, process time and costs.



September 2021

Academic Research Interest in GradSift

Over the past couple of months academic researchers from the UK and Australia have reached out to learn how GradSift works. They see GradSift’s ai technology as truly innovative and are impressed by the diversity results achieved by employers.

As one of the researchers said “traditional cognitive testing does measure the ability of a candidate to perform tasks. In a graduate role that accounts for 45% of their job. But the other 55% requires interpersonal skills, conscientiousness and motivation. That’s where GradSift adds value”.

Regarding diversity, the same researcher confirmed that “cognitive testing does discriminate against students from a lower socio-economic background”. That’s part of the explanation why employers are achieving greater hiring diversity using GradSift.

We are collaborating with both groups of researchers as they develop new insights into graduate and college recruitment.


Productivity for College Recruiters

August 2021

"Productivity a burning issue and a constant topic of conversation” at Gallup’s CHRO Roundtable. Which make us think about graduate recruitment. 

The typical graduate recruitment process is a waterfall with each step very mechanical.

  • Advertise
  • Receive & filter applications (ATS)
  • Cull numbers to a manageable level (psychometric testing)
  • Preliminary assessment of behavioral skills (video interview)
  • Detailed assessment of behaviors and team fit (assessment center)
  • Mutual candidate and employer assessment (one-on-one interview)

It’s effective but not that productive when you count up the cost of external solutions and recruiter and management time. It's a process with limited flexibility to easily reconsider applicants, manage student preferences or the changing needs of hiring managers.

When we speak with grad recruiters who use GradSift, productivity is a key benefit. They may describe it as "streamlining their process", "saving time and money" and "increasing diversity". But GradSift really is an intuitive productivity solution for graduate recruiters.

GradSift enables employers to evaluate student behaviors, academic background, work experiences, extra-curricular achievements, eligibility for more than one role, roles or locations preferred by students, current or previous employers, multiple diversity categories, recorded video and detailed student profiles. It's simple to manipulate any of the data to refresh the results, all within the one application.

Compare that to the traditional waterfall process.



What Employers Were Saying in July 2019

July 2021

  • Renege rates remain an issue. It seems no employer is immune. Even very high profile tech employers are on the receiving end.
  • 75% of employers don't read cover letters. So why bother with them?
  • Data Science and Cyber Security are hot disciplines. It didn't matter which employer sector - government, financial services, engineering, professional services etc, demand is outstripping supply for data scientists and cyber security graduates.
  • Most employers are happy with video interviews.
  • Artificial intelligence is gaining momentum.  Some employers are now using ai to screen from video interviews, although there's caution in how reliable that is.
  • Questions remain about screening graduates on values. The underlying issue is that 21 to 22 year olds are still maturing and that applies to their values. Values are shaped by the environment  (university, relationships and work experiences) and will continue to evolve under the direct influence of their new graduate employer. So should employers be screening based on a student’s current values?
  • Does gamified testing have inherent bias? This question was posed to testing providers, with the response that they have no data to indicate any bias. There were some murmurs around the audience based on anecdotal experiences and US research that suggested that gamification put action gamers, and more specifically male action gamers, at a significant advantage.


Australian Employer Feedback

June 2021

Application Numbers Are Down

Many employers report that application numbers for this year’s graduate recruitment are down on the prior year. The consensus from employers and university careers advisors puts it down to the many students who deferred course work during covid and fewer international students.

Virtual Career Fairs?

Virtual career fairs and events have been a disappointment. Probably the biggest concern is that virtual fairs don’t attract “passing traffic”. They’re the students who didn’t know about you until they stopped at your booth. In a virtual environment they just don’t stop to engage.

Exhibitors at virtual conferences have had the same experience. So it’s not just career fairs.


Which Assessment Best Predicts Hires?

A financial services group shared the results from a review of their graduate assessment process. They wanted to learn which assessments were the best predictors of their hires. They looked at the results from their past two graduate programs.

Their assessment process started with Pymetrics, followed by a series of psychometric tests and assessment centres. The latter included behavioural interviews.

What did they find?

The results from Pymetrics and psychometric testing had no bearing at all in predicting hires. Behavioural based interviews at the assessment centres stood out as the best predictor.


AI is on the Agenda

Employers report an increased uptake of ai solutions, especially among government.


HR Executives Want Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment

May 2021 

Interested to see how artificial intelligence will streamline entry-level recruitment? From many of our discussions, HR executives tell us they are.

Senior managers are really keen to see how ai can be applied in recruitment.

They see their peers moving ahead and they don't want to be left behind. But they also need to learn what's been successful in the market.

Entry-level recruitment has always been considered a testing ground for new technology. Unlike other ai solutions, GradSift is purpose-built for graduate and intern recruitment. For new users, a simple way to start is by trialing GradSift for an intern or work experience program. 

Why would you do that?

  1. Well, firstly it works (100% recommendation from employer users).
  2. It saves recruiter time (that has to be good, unless people like to binge on applicant videos)
  3. And it’s a 70% cost saving compared to testing.

I’m sure if any HR exec saw that in a proposal they would say "just do it".   


Don't Let Process Reject Strong Candidates

April 2021

Don't throw out the (graduate) baby with the bathwater.

That’s a saying that’s been around for a long-time. With competition for graduates heating up, the analogy is even more relevant today. It means graduate employers should urgently relook at how they cull and screen applicants.

• There will be strong applicants rejected because they fail to reach the current cut-off threshold of an abilities test.
• There will be strong applicants rejected because they don’t have a credit grade average.
• There will be strong applicants who withdraw because they decide they don’t want to spend an hour plus completing assessments.

Don't let the process cause you to reject strong candidates.


Employer Feedback from AAGE Round Tables

March 2021

  • Virtual assessment centres are here to stay. Cost, effectiveness and efficiency are the key benefits.
  • Females appear to perform better in virtual assessment centres.
  • While most employers are commencing grad program advertising in line with the past, some notable employers like Westpac and AMP are starting later.
  • Students are back on campus. But there’s a proportion who are continuing to attend classes online.
  • Employer attendance at in-person AAGE round tables is markedly down.
  • Career fairs. There was no consistent direction among employers. There’s a mix between in-person and virtual and the question of just how many fairs to participate in. There are some employer reports that virtual career fair technology isn’t that user-friendly.
  • The Australian Government Graduate Program starts advertising March 9. It means students complete a single application to be considered by most Federal Government agencies. Agencies are keen to see how that translates to the quality and quantity of the candidates they see.



Why Competition for Graduates in 2021 Will be a Lot Tougher

February 2021


For the past two years, the AAGE graduate employer survey has reported the top two challenges employers face as competition for graduates and achieving diversity targets.

In 2021, it’s likely that competition is going to get tougher. A lot tougher. Why? Fewer international students.

Net immigration (of all people) to Australia is forecast to be negative in 2021 by 72,000 people. That contrasts to the previous high inflow of 300,000. International students will be a significant part of that equation.

Not every employer hires students without permanent residency or citizenship. But a sizeable proportion do, including corporates, professional services firms, small businesses and even the NSW government.

Those employers will now need to increase sourcing from the local student market and that will drive up competition.

Competition for graduates will be greater, even more so for interns and work experience students.

So what can graduate employers do now in preparation?
1. Ensure that marketing plans (career fairs, advertising, online events, campus activities etc) have the reach to create broad awareness, with content stimulating excitement and interest in the organisation.
2. Make the candidate experience positive. That starts with the first interaction with an employer, through to the online application, assessment stages and job offer. The notion that an assessment process that’s time consuming, with too many stages, won’t deter students who are really keen on the organisation, will be tested this year.
3. When you do receive applications to your program, don’t throw out strong applicants because of the way you assess. This has to be the biggest opportunity for employers.

It’s like the panning for gold analogy. A miner may have one or two obvious gold nuggets in the pan. But smaller nuggets are harder to see when they’re mixed up in the gravel. The miner doesn’t have enough time to look that closely, so they’re missed and thrown back into the stream. But it was still gold, right there at the fingertips of the miner.


Workstream Preferences Made Easy

January 2021


Using GradSift, employers can now offer an unlimited number of roles or workstreams from which students can select their top three preferences.

There are different ways an employer can use this new feature.

For example, a consumer goods company may have roles in Sales, Marketing, Finance & Accounting, HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain and ICT. When their students register with GradSift profile they select their top three preferences. That makes it so much easier for the employer to manage and balance shortlists for each work stream.

But another way to use the feature is where roles are located in different geographic regions.

Take an engineering example in Queensland where there are Civil Engineering roles in regional locations as well as major cities. Preferences can be set for Civil - Rockhampton, Civil - Emerald, Civil - Gold Coast, Civil - Sunshine Coast and Civil - Brisbane metro. Naturally that can be replicated for other disciplines and locations.

An employer can receive all of their applications into one Gradsift program and then use student preferences (first, second or even third preference) to achieve the best matches to geographic locations. That has to make life easier!



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