Digital recruitment market opens doors – but businesses must guard against “Netpotism” 

A report from Handshake shows that half of businesses (49%) believe the ongoing shift towards online networks driven by the pandemic presents a chance to level the playing field, with lower barriers to directly reaching candidates.

However, key issues need to be addressed to avoid a new swathe of inclusion problems dubbed “netpotism” – or nepotism driven by online networks made up of existing contacts, family friends, former colleagues and those you went to school with. 

A significant proportion of HR decision makers admitted to leaning on networks of existing connections in the past year, with almost two-thirds (63%) saying they’re more reliant on LinkedIn connections due to COVID restrictions. Troublingly, most (57%) also say they’ve become more reliant on personal networks and word of mouth recommendations during the pandemic. 

Similarly, more than one in four (28%) say they prefer to hire grad/student candidates they already know as they’re less of a risk in the current environment, while 30% have asked colleagues to suggest grad/student candidates during the pandemic, or even turned to friends (24%) and family members (17%) for recommendations. 

All this has the potential to entrench existing privilege and exclude candidates from less well-connected backgrounds, unless more is done to directly link employers with a wider pool of candidates going forwards. And the problem won’t disappear along with the pandemic either – based on their experiences in the past year, 66% of businesses say they’ll conduct more of the recruitment process online going forward. 

As a result, a third of students and graduates (33%) think job applications and interviews are biased towards people who have existing connections, while 15% feel excluded from job opportunities due to their background. 

The research found that measures to support students and graduates in establishing Early Career Networks would help improve the digitized job hunting and application process. A third (32%) of respondents said they want to more often hear directly from employers that are looking for student and graduate candidates like them. 

And while 48% of students and recent grads score their experiences with university careers services 4 out of 5 or above, there is still room for improvement – one in five (18%) still feel their university doesn’t do enough to facilitate useful connections with employers. 

Meanwhile, student and graduates identified the need for more support and practice ahead of video interviews – one in four (24%) feel they haven’t had enough training in this area. 

These changes could also go some way to helping ease frustration with the applications process more generally. Overall, just one in five submitted applications (20%) lead to a response from an employer – whether positive or negative. Meanwhile 13 per cent of students and graduates say that none of the applications they’ve sent have been responded to in the past year. 

Dimitar Stanimiroff, General Manager EMEA at Handshake, comments on the findings:

“The increasing use of technology as part of the applications and hiring process has the potential to really help out both businesses and those starting out in their career. But it also presents a very real danger of supplementing one set of closed networks like overreliance on word of mouth, for another set, via online professional social networks that rely on existing connections. All of this means a less diverse pool of applicants to draw from. 

“At a particularly complicated time to be entering the jobs market, businesses, university careers services and tech providers need to be pulling together to make the hiring process as smart as possible. There’s a huge amount of talent out there that faces disproportionate barriers, which is why at Handshake we’re working with industry and academia to help create Early Careers Networks that intelligently connect those starting out on their career with the right opportunities and help solve overcome some of these boundaries.” 

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 2 hours 19 minutes ago

Is this the most technologically advanced...

Graduates Honoured with Holographic Commencement Speakers in #VR & In-person, Outdoor Celebration with Zoom attendees on video wall.Thunderbird...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 3 hours 18 minutes ago

Announcing vGHC EMEA

Join us for our first-ever Virtual Grace Hopper Celebration (vGHC) in the European, Middle Eastern, and African (EMEA) region, which will be our...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 3 hours 22 minutes ago

vGHC Closing

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page