in 2017 a new word was invented "youthquake", it refers to the significant cultural, political or social change from the actions and influence of young people. Last year there was a drop in number of graduates hired by the Times Top 100 Employers for the first time in 5 years.
Is it Brexit causing uncertainty? Is the Apprentice Levy shifting the focus of employers away from graduates? Perhaps, or maybe this generation has a different view of how they see a "career". After generation on generation of young people attending university to gain a degree focused on a vocation and frequently joining an established graduate programme from a top employer the mood seems to have shifted.
Is it this generation that different? One issue maybe that the employers have not kept in tune with the changing mindset and want to regurgitate the same old same old and not provide "current" programmes that capture the expectations of this generation. Some employers are constantly trying to change their selection process to adopt new ideas but this can spectacularly fail as I heard recently when one candidate was incensed that they had failed to proceed in the process as they burst a balloon! Testing risk may be a good idea but these new selection tools need to be mindful of the ridicule such things can generate on social media if they go wrong.
Another question is whether the large programmes are what this generation seek or do start ups and SME's provide a more suitable avenue for their expectations?
My recent post about people being over or underskilled would concur that there is something not quite right in the market today. More insight, more reflection and new thinking are perhaps required?
Some of the biggest recruiters still receive 30,000 to 60,000 applications each year, according to WCN and Universum research. So a decline in hires can’t be attributed solely to large corporates and grad schemes becoming fundamentally unappealing to today’s youth. A telling finding from the research is that the rates of candidates withdrawing, declining and reneging on offers are consistently high, suggesting the application process is also out of step with graduates’ demands. “Where organisations are struggling is that the application process is too slow so the best candidates get other offers and drop out during the application stage,” Hipps explains, advising firms to shorten the time between application and offer. For young people who have grown up with the immediacy of social media, applying for a graduate scheme in September to commence the following year can seem odd.