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Latest Employer News from GradSift


January 2022

Student Attraction in 2022

We know graduate and intern recruitment is not going to be easy in 2022. (For background on why, read the encore article How to Increase Graduate Hires by 20%).

The first hurdle will be student attraction. Getting enough of the right students to apply. Advertising, career fairs, employer presentations and events, talent pipelines, society sponsorships, intern conversions, employee referrals etc. There are a lot of potential tools.

OK, so what should employers do?

First and foremost, listen to the experts at GradConnection and Prosple. They live and breathe student marketing. They see what works and what doesn't. Take their advice.

Secondly, make the effort to look critically at last year's attraction strategy. What elements delivered a positive return for the time and financial investment and what didn't? Importantly, how did you attract the students you hired (or would have hired)? Don't evaluate it just on volume of applications.

Everyone has a fixed budget so in this market you want to maximise its effectiveness.

We took a look at the US market to see what insights we could share. They face the same challenges of a candidate short market. Here are some take aways.
• Be authentic in communications and outreach. That's a key theme. A simple example is personalisation using the recruiter's name in communications, instead of a generic "the graduate team".
• Job ad and website content should enable students to genuinely determine their fit with the organisation and to gauge the appeal of what graduates/interns actually do.
• Best Employer awards are not nearly as influential among students as most employers assume.
• Ensure students can engage with employers one-on-one at virtual career fairs. Not providing that option is a major dissatisfier for students.
• Webinar content should be new and engaging, not information readily available on the company website. Students expect to learn something they don’t know.
• Use of student pipelines. In the US it's common for employers to build student pipelines. They don't limit themselves to the traditional advertising campaign window. When applications go live they reach out and invite those students to apply.

2021: A Year in Reflection

We thought we would share some GradSift highlights from last year.

Number of GradSift employer users

Average employer savings after switching from psychometric test screening

GradSift employers reporting greater diversity hires

9.1 days
Average recruiter time savings after switching from manual resume reviews

Finalist for Most Popular Supplier
AAGE 2021 Graduate Recruitment Industry Awards

Platform Upgrade
Unlimited role preferences made it easy for employers to manage multiple roles and student preferences from within a single database

Launched GradSift Talent Pools
For expressions of interest and talent communities

Cyber Security Audits
Successfully passed external systems penetration testing and security vulnerability testing


Talent Pools

We've talked before about talent pools or pipelines. In 2022 this could be the pivotal strategy to meet hiring numbers.

Talent pools are easy enough to create through an Expressions of Interest campaign. Students register their interest before or after the main application window.

For example, an employer who opens up applications during the month of April, may have an EOI running through to mid March. Then re-opens it from mid-May. If you don't make all of your hires from the first recruitment round, you have a talent pool ready to access.

You could use your applicant tracking system to manage the Expressions of Interest campaign. But it's not practical for graduate/intern positions. The tedious part is having to review so many applications.

EOI's are best managed separately. GradSift technology is ideal for expressions of interest as it automatically screens and ranks students when they register. The recruiter doesn't need to do anything.

When it's time to find strong candidates from the talent pool, the recruiter can view the ranked results by role/location, watch a candidate video and decide whether to progress the candidate. It makes it easy to reach out to those top students without opening a resume.

It potentially saves the significant cost and effort of going back to market a second time. If ever there was a time to invest in Expressions of Interest it has to be 2022.


New Internship Management Technology from the US

Symba, an all-female start-up has been kicking some big goals in the US with their internship/apprenticeship management platform. Its local competitor would be ScopeSuite (now rebranded Conveya).

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 visualisations. 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.


How to Increase Graduate Hires by 20%

Encore article! We're repeating this well-received article originally published in early January as many readers were still on vacation.

The biggest challenge graduate recruiters face in 2022 is making hiring numbers. It is going to be tough, really tough.

It's also an international problem. In the US, recruiters are already talking about going back to campus a second time to try and meet targets. They're also expanding the number of universities they recruit from. Australian employers don't have that luxury, already considering applications from any university.

But there is a potential solution that could increase hires by at least 20%. It starts by taking a much closer look at the students who already apply to your organisation.

Remember from a few years ago, an Australian psychometric assessment provider shared research that up to 45% of student applicants rejected on abilities testing, had the strong interpersonal skills employers craved but could not find. They recognised that culling on abilities alone was rejecting too many strong applicants.

When it comes to culling graduate applicants on psychometric assessment results, where do you draw the line? They’re not infallible and strong applicants do get rejected. But they are an efficient way to narrow the applicant funnel. So what’s the right trade-off between recruiter efficiency and making hires?

How many culled applicants would have been hired if they continued through the recruitment process? Most employers don’t know. So we’re sharing graduate program data we collected, which compares cognitive ability scores of hired applicants versus non-hires.

Overall, there wasn’t a significant variation of percentile scores between hires and non-hires. But what did stand out is that 67% of hires scored at the 70th percentile or above, compared to only 54% of non-hires.

Should we set a cut-off at the 70th percentile? Rejecting everyone below the 70th percentile, culls 43% of applicants. That helps with efficiency. But it also culls one in three applicants who would have been hired.

More commonly, cut-offs start at the 40th percentile. Culling applicants at that level only reduces total applicants by 26%. That doesn’t do much for recruiter efficiency or lowering the cost of subsequent assessments. Concerningly, it still rejects nearly one in five applicants who would otherwise have been hired.

Employers accept there’s “collateral damage” from any culling process. When there’s been a strong supply of student applications, it really hasn’t mattered. But now there is a real shortage of student talent. 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 graduates receive three times as many job offers than their predecessors.

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

It’s not just graduates. The AFR (January 5, 2022) reported “a new survey of 400 Australian chief executives, directors and business heavyweights by KPMG revealed that almost 70 per cent say acquiring and retaining talent is their key worry.” How will they respond? You can see this coming – let’s hire more graduates!

It’s time to take a different approach.

There’s that famous Albert Einstein quote: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Continuing to cull graduate applicants on psychometric assessment scores will not increase hires. What is does is depress your hiring potential. Hires will end up 20% less than what they should be.

In 2022, collateral damage, i.e. culling candidates who should be hired, will no longer be an acceptable trade-off for recruiter efficiency.

Here’s the thing:
Choosing not to cull applicants on psychometric assessment scores should lead to at least 20% more hires.
It’s not saying stop psychometric testing. Just don’t use the results on their own to cull.
So how do you identify all of those strong applicants who are sitting in your applicant tracking system?

You could screen manually. Or you could put applicants through multiple assessments (testing, video, behavioural interviews) before making a decision. Neither are efficient.

There are other proven assessment technologies. GradSift is purpose-built for initial screening. It's time efficient and highly effective with employers delighted to report greater hiring diversity. Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Federal Police, Energy Queensland, Viva Energy, Mirvac, Laing O’Rourke and Schneider-Electric are just some of the employers achieving superior hiring outcomes.

Reflect on Einstein's quote again.

It is time to take a different approach.



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