From education to employment

Half of 2022 graduates are worried that their lack of confidence will hold them back when trying to secure a graduate job.

Student and graduate career experts, Careerpass Network, have collated the results from their 2022 survey of 2,092 students and graduates to gain an in-depth look into the landscape of the current graduate recruitment market and offer employers and universities insights into how they can improve current processes and appeal more to early talent.

Currently, only 11% of those graduating in 2022 have secured a graduate job, with 41% of students and graduates not feeling confident about entering the workplace.

With 40% of students and graduates wanting to focus on their education before gaining work experience, this could be hindering their employability confidence, leaving just under half (48%) worried that their lack of confidence will hold them back while trying to secure a graduate job.

There are also further findings that demonstrate that students and graduates are currently struggling to navigate the post-pandemic job market, with 37% feeling that there have not been enough opportunities to engage with employers during their time at university. 20% of 2022 graduates said they did not find virtual career fairs beneficial, with a further majority missing out on the chance to attend mock assessment centres (52%) or mock interviews (42%), leading to 1 in 4 feeling that they’ve been unable to gain the right employability skills during their studies.

Despite these challenges, the research suggests a positive opportunity for employers with a wealth of graduate talent looking to be hired. Employers would be smart to take advantage of this year’s competitive hiring period to seek out high-quality candidates, who will give back to companies that are willing to invest time and training to build a strong future workforce.

This year, the majority of graduates are searching for jobs that will help them develop their skills and fast-track their career progression, with 61% looking for roles that offer paid training opportunities as a part of their compensation package.

When asked what attracts 2022 graduates most to a company or role, salary ranked as a top priority (72%), followed by location (65%), and flexible working (58%).

Graduates were most dissuaded from applying for roles by unclear job descriptions (64%), undisclosed salaries (44%), or the worry that they did not fulfil all the requirements for the role (37%). 

With these statistics in mind, employers are urged to be more transparent with their salaries and to consider integrating more flexible working practices into their roles to attract 2022 talent. The study also shows that students and graduates are more attracted to employers with a commitment to improving diversity, chosen as a top priority by 30% of males and 43% of females.

Speaking on the issue of gender disparities within the hiring process, Managing Director of Careerpass Network’s Advertising Solutions, Chris May, says: “Previous ISE research has indicated females are less likely than males to apply for a role if they don’t meet all the role requirements. Be clear about essential requirements and areas you are able to offer training. Consider using gender language decoders to neutralise bias in job descriptions.”

What’s also clear from the study is that students and graduates are keen for the job search to return with in-person opportunities, with over half (55%) of those graduating this year wanting employers to offer opportunities to engage with them face to face.

Utilising these key takeaways and using them to build a more transparent, talent-driven hiring process may be crucial in navigating the new challenges of the job market in 2022 – for both candidates and employers alike.

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