Congratulations I want to offer you a job – no thanks!


Graduate recruitment offers

We’ve seen a marked increase in the number of Graduate job offers being declined this year, across all industry sectors. The AGR also recently reported that non-acceptance of offers stands at around 15%, with many employers now making more offers than they have vacancies, to mitigate the risk (and cost) of having to start the recruitment process all over again.

More Selective

We know there are a number of factors contributing to non-acceptance, as Graduates become more selective in their career choices, with the following areas all featuring:

  • Development and training on offer
  • Long term career pathways and opportunities
  • Exposure to different experiences / business areas / locations
  • Salary (perhaps due to the need to secure a role that will repay some of the pretty huge debts students are now leaving University with)
  • Total package on offer – including pension contributions and healthcare cover

What’s in it for me

In the past there was a tendency to accept the first Graduate job offer made, but not anymore, we’re seeing a real sway towards a ‘what’s in it for me’ attitude. And with this generation being highly connected and networked, they are comparing organisations against each other much more easily than ever before, making it vital that companies communicate a really clearly defined offering from the outset.

Graduate recruitment latest

Graduate career choices

We’re finding that Graduates are selective in their degree choices, and are certainly more savvy when it comes to decision making about their future careers than they might have been in the past. The UK Graduate Careers survey from High Fliers, suggests that 48% of 2015 Graduates, began researching their career options by the end of their first year of study. This is up 18% from 2010.

Impact of tuition fees

Reasons for this shift are plentiful, but as we see the early Graduate cohorts who have paid up to £9,000 per year tuition fees enter the workplace, certainly the debt associated is having an impact on which offers they are likely to accept. It’s been widely reported that a large proportion of these Graduates will still be repaying their fees well  into their 50’s so it’s perhaps unsurprising that they are querying the return on investment.

Careers advice

With careers advice coming predominantly from within schools alone, young people don’t fully understand the roles available to them, so is it a surprise that so many Graduates end up in non-Graduate roles? Often advice is misinterpreted, and employers really need to get into schools, colleges and universities early, to ensure students can direct their study path in the right direction to get the job they want.

This report from City & Guilds highlights some key issues

Parental influence

And perhaps because of the lack of clarity for graduates, we are seeing parental involvement in the career decisions of graduates, particularly around offer stage, grow dramatically.

All in all a much more complex world for graduate recruitment in the years ahead!


The best 2016 recruitment predictions (we think!):

There are all sorts of predictions about recruitment in 2016 about. These are 5 that seem realistic to us:

1) Expect counter-offers to grow.
Starting with graduates – “A noticeable rise in the number of graduates turning down or reneging on job offers”, but likely across all sectors as employment continues to grow, and wage growth is driven by competition for candidates.

2) Growth of employee referral schemes.
UKCES reported a 42% increase on vacancies last year compared to two years ago. As competition grows and talent becomes harder to find, quality employers will turn even more to their own employees to help them recruit. A process significantly aided by developments in technology (we will do a review of software later in year)

3) Wage inflation to continue.
Across all levels of roles salaries will rise. Impacted at the bottom end by the introduction of the Living Wage, and a compound annual growth rate of 7% across the European Football market at the top –!!

4) Demand for faster, easier application processes. 
Video will increase throughout the application process – moving beyond video interviews. There is still space for audio applications as well, and all of course needing to be highly configured for mobile.

5) Recruiting for values rather than skills will continue at a greater pace.
Both the competition for quality talent, and the proven success of values based recruitment means that we agree with FutureStep’s prediction that “companies may increasingly look beyond the skills and background workers offer. Instead, they may focus on hiring people with motivations and traits that indicate they will be good to train on-the-job.”

Do you agree with these predictions? What are you doing to address their impact if so? thoroughlyrecruitment would love to hear from you.


Posted by Will 3rd February 2016


What is Thoroughly Recruitment?

Tell most people you meet that you are ‘in recruitment’, and they almost all immediately think that you work for a traditional recruitment agency.

Shame for the recruitment brand experts, the occupational and organisation psychologists, the recruitment software experts, and the dedicated in-house recruitment professionals.

We believe that recruitment processes should be ‘thorough’! If all elements are done well, and then combined together effectively, a recruitment process should deliver outstanding talent for its host company.

To further a future where all recruitment is ‘thorough’, we have launched our blog to curate and gather together in one place as many elements of recruitment as we can.

So over the coming time, expect us to feature recruitment and employment reports, new developments in talent software, research on effective recruitment techniques, and talent success stories, amongst others.

And we are keen to hear from and feature your own ‘thorough’ recruitment stories – so please comment, email, or sign up to write a guest blog.

We hope you will enjoy recruitment – thoroughly!