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Graduate Recruitment Insights & News

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September 2023

Generative AI and Student Recruitment

Of course the implications of generative AI continue to dominate discussion around the student/graduate recruitment process.

What are they? Anything in an application or assessment that is text based or relies on language learning models is at risk of manipulation. From resumes and cover letters, to the text responses from video interviews, even to psychometric assessments.

It's not just what will happen in the future. We’ve already heard from one employer who found more students “passing” a particular video interview assessment. When they looked at the student details, the results didn’t match up. The suspect? Chat GPT prompting the "correct" answers.  

On a scarier note, there's emerging technology that showed a video interviewee who looked steadily at the camera. Yet they were not looking at the camera at all. The technology made it appear so while they read out a generated response to the interview question. It was freaky.

Recruitment technology and assessment vendors are trying to catch up. It's recognised that written language assessments are highly susceptible to AI-generated responses and candidates may use LLMs (Language Learning Models) like ChatGPT to complete their assessments.  

What’s the solution? It may be a return to in-person assessments or where the assessment environment is strictly controlled.

How does it affect GradSift?

Unlike other assessment platforms that rely on text interpretation and language models, GradSift takes a fundamentally different and more secure approach. Our assessment system is designed to provide objective evaluations that are immune to manipulation or bias, preserving the integrity and fairness of the assessment process.

Employers can rest assured the assessment is objective.


August 2023

AI Enabled Student Sourcing

GradSift Talent: A ground-breaking AI enabled sourcing platform for employers. Target and efficiently connect with students and graduates based on the calibre of candidate you’re seeking.

Blanket email blasts are great for volume. But result in too many applicants who are simply the wrong fit!

No need to sift through hundreds or thousands of applications. Or pay for expensive psychometric and video assessments just to screen out the wrong applicants.

AI enabled sourcing.

  • Cost effective and efficient for employers.
  • A better candidate experience for students. 
  • A win-win for everyone.


July 2023

Free Empower Me AI tool for Students

GradSift launches free AI assessment tool, Empower Me for students.

Everyone likes constructive feedback. But for students that never comes if they’re rejected at the application stage. So we developed Empower Me, a free AI tool for students and recent graduates. It unlocks insights into how employers assess their background.

It's easy to use. Select a benchmark role eg. Accounting Intern and go!


June 2023

Learnings from US Graduate Recruitment

One of the interesting insights is how the graduate recruitment process differs between the US and Australia. Naturally both have the same objective. But achieve it in very different ways.

In the US, the typical assessment process is for recruiters to review applications followed by two rounds of behavioural interviews. Then an offer.

Typically, it takes two weeks from the first interview to offer.

Contrast that to the multiple assessments and stages that Australian employers put students through.
So what’s different about the US process? Employers start by marketing only to “quality” applicants. They do that by selectively choosing which universities they will recruit from, with the reputation of the university acting as a proxy for student quality. 

In turn, universities invest heavily in managing their brand reputation to attract leading employers and of course students who recognise the strong employment prospects associated with the university.
While the process is great for recruitment efficiency, the glaring downside is lack of diversity. Not every student gets to attend a top university. The consequence is that too many strong students are never considered in the first place. American employers understand it’s an issue but there’s still a long way to go.

Australian employers on the other hand recruit from any university. But then apply multiple assessments to filter and find the quality candidates. It’s a much more expensive and time-consuming process than their US counterparts. But it does open up applications to students from any university.

What can Australian employers learn from the US?

The US model demonstrates that if an employer identifies “quality” candidates upfront, two rounds of behavioural interviews is all that’s needed to make a hiring decision. One interview with a recruiter, the second with a hiring manager. 

US employers rarely use assessment centres, psychometric assessments or even video interviews.

It offers an opportunity to rethink the local recruitment process. Finding a way to identify quality candidates at the first assessment stage can simplify and shorten the whole process, as well as achieve substantial cost savings.

Graduate recruitment doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective. It sounds very much like GradSift.


May 2023

Gen Z Insights

Social Media Platforms

Here’s a great webinar presented by a US Gen Z early careers influencer, Jade Walters.

Interestingly, she says that if you only posted on two platforms, they should be LinkedIn and Tik Tok. The reason she recommends LinkedIn is because students use it to learn about careers, employers and career paths.

Instagram came in third because “it’s in decline”. Note – Facebook never even had a mention.

Gen Z Recruitment Process Compatibility

We know that Gen Z wants a simpler recruitment process, with fewer steps and less time commitment.

So it’s great to see some employers embracing that. We’ve recently seen employers do away with assessment steps like psychometric assessments, video interviews and assessment centres.

They have been replaced with less time intensive assessments and more interview time.

The old funnel process of "online application, multiple psychometric assessments and video interview" before any personal contact is starting to look outdated.


Mary Scott is a US graduate recruitment expert who conducts regular research into students and their recruitment experiences.

Her most recent findings identify a key differentiator of graduate employers and their opportunities. It's how students are treated during their job search and recruitment process. She defined that as how effective the overall process was and the relationship (the impression) built between the student and employer.

When students were asked what made an employer both impressive and effective, the answer was “They made me believe they were interested in ME”.

The most impressive and effective employer was rated as high as 8.7 out of 10, while the low end scored 4.1.

While there are multiple factors that influence the rating, a key is the skill level of the front-line employer representatives (graduate recruiters, hiring managers etc).

For many people, being a relationship builder (meeting new people and quickly building rapport and trust) doesn't come naturally. They might be good at the transactional elements of the recruitment process. But do they have the relationship skills that students want to see?


April 2023

Chasing Up Applicants

Career fairs have just finished. Employers have invested considerable resources to attract, sell to and build relationships with students. In such a competitive market, the waiting game now makes for a tense time for employers. Will they attract enough of the strongest candidates? Has the expression of interest generated quality candidates? Will student enthusiasm wane for employers who don’t open applications until mid-year?

If there is one truth in this market, employers cannot afford to sit back and hope for the best. If a candidate has applied or registered their interest with your organisation, you need to follow up.

Students need to be prompted and reminded.

Last year we all witnessed students dropping out of the recruitment process at various stages. Remember the employer who lost 40% of their applicants because they didn’t want to complete a 90 minutes battery of psychometric assessments?

It’s no different this year. Already we’ve seen clients find 25% of their applicants started but did not complete the assessment process. But with multiple follow ups, a combination of automations and old-school email and text, that reduced to less than 5%. That’s an impressive result and is in line with the historical proportion of applicants who simply change their mind about an employer.

But the message is this. Be prepared to work hard and chase applicants to complete each assessment stage. Most will respond. It’s the generation we’re now dealing with.


March 2023

An Inconvenient Truth

Hiring managers are crying out for candidates for their graduate and intern roles. HR says we can’t find them. The likely truth is they’re already in the company’s system. 

When it comes to screening and shortlisting for high volume intern and graduate roles, we know it’s an imperfect process. So many applications, not enough resources and shortlisting tools with their own shortcomings. It’s inevitable that strong candidates get rejected. 

But does it need to be that way? We take a look at where potential student hires are slipping through the cracks. 

You can start with manual resume review skimming. That’s where a recruiter makes a quick reject decision on superficial data, without a full resume review. (The worst example is when it's based on the candidate's name).

There’s the risk of unconscious bias, especially with inexperienced recruiters who lack proper training. About 60% of student recruiters are new to their role. Often they’re adhering to a cookie-cutter screening format. A strong candidate falls outside that and they’re an immediate no. It carries over to phone screening interviews and video assessments.   

But there’s also the intentional bias used by employers. Some choose to target specific universities. Or reject applicants because of their grades without considering any other factors.

Psychometric assessments
Psychometric assessments do reject strong candidates. Of course they have their place in candidate evaluation but they’re far from perfect. Yet there are recruiters who justify their decision to reject applicants as if the assessment result is absolute and without consideration of any other candidate data.
Unfortunately, strong candidates who’ve previously been unsuccessful in psychometric assessment may self-select and opt-out altogether from applying to another employer using that assessment.

Using technology to search for key words in a resume or the transcript of a recorded video interview. Some students are coached in key word resume stuffing to beat the algorithm.

But what about those candidates who don’t play the game? Or those who are unaware that key words matter for some AI based interview assessments? Or whether the algorithm recognizes gender word preference? For example, two students both on the same leadership committee. One describes their role as a leadership role, the other a committee member.

The reality is that strong candidates are being missed.

Recorded video 
It does save time for a recruiter. But in student recruitment with hundreds of videos to watch, there is a really big temptation for short-cuts.

How to rationalize rejecting a candidate after only fifteen seconds of the video. 

  • An untidy room in the background
  • Low lighting
  • Their outfit isn’t interview appropriate
  • They’re reading from a script
  • They mess up the first question.

These are all real reasons given by graduate recruiters. All without knowing the circumstances of the candidate. Or without the benefit of an experienced recruiter rephrasing a question to help the candidate perform at their best.

You know if it was a real interview some of those candidates would make it through to meet the hiring manager and be offered a role.

Assessment criteria
Then there are the assessment and selection criteria used by recruiters to shortlist candidates. Yet at times hiring managers place little value on those assessments and would prefer to use alternative criteria they consider more relevant to their role.

For example,

  • An Australian tax partner from a global accounting firm was repeatedly frustrated with the shortlisted candidates he received from the internal recruiters. He resorted to personally reviewing resumes of candidates who were close but missed HR’s shortlist. It was from that group he selected candidates to interview and subsequently hire.
  • In another organization HR stopped using psychometric assessments to screen candidates. At the completion of their graduate campaign they found they hired 32% more candidates from their applicant pool. Managers subsequently told HR they never considered the psychometric assessment results in their hiring decisions. They valued other candidate data.
  • Or in the highly competitive market for technology students, an employer hired a remarkable 21% of their applicant pool. How? HR provided hiring managers with access to all of the candidate information. Each manager had the flexibility to decide which selection criteria was most important for their role and then choose who to interview. It was recognising that "one size" does not fit all.

Application window
Finally, we can’t ignore an inflexible recruitment process. One that won’t consider strong candidates who for whatever reasons, missed the application closing date. More lost potential hires.

That's why there's a shift for employers to reopen applications after the main recruitment campaign closes.

The point is, which we all acknowledge under our breath:

There are really strong candidates managers would hire, if given the chance. 

Most times those candidates are already in the system. But they're rejected along the way.

It’s because of an historical recruitment process designed for a candidate-rich market, that trade-offs good hiring outcomes for process efficiency.

Some organisations have got it right. But for most it leaves their hiring managers (the internal customers of HR) still crying out for candidates to fill their roles.

They just need to look.


February 2023

Using a Talent Pool

The concept of graduate talent pools keeps popping up and seems to be a hot topic right now. It makes sense as going in to 2023, every employer is wondering, will we be able to make our hiring numbers.


Can employers make more hires using a talent pool? Definitely.

In a market where students now look at opportunities throughout the year, it's a must-have.

The premise behind any talent pool is to leverage the strength of the employer brand.

In graduate recruitment employers invest in multi-channel marketing campaigns - advertising, career fairs, campus events and campaigns, website content etc. Then there is word-of-mouth, referrals from past and current employees, even the posts on Whirlpool forums, which all contribute to building a graduate employer brand.

In general advertising we know the communication message can stay with a consumer well after an advertising campaign finishes. The same applies to graduate recruitment marketing. Marketing doesn't stop working when a graduate (or intern) program closes. The message stays with students.

So while some students may not apply to the program, a subsequent trigger event may prompt them to take a closer look. (A referral, an online post, organisation or sector news, a change in personal circumstance etc.)

Except if the program is closed and there's no opportunity to apply or register interest, the candidate is missed. The investment in the graduate employer brand has done its job to create interest. But if there's no mechanism to capture the candidate details, it hasn't been fully capitalised.

That's where talent pools play their part.

But it's not just collecting expressions of interest before a program opens. Many employers already do that and simply email registered applicants that the program is now open.

It's more important to open the talent pool after the program closes. In fact, immediately after. That's when the employer branding effort is still fresh in the minds of students. But keep it open right up until the time the new graduates or interns are ready to start.

Talent pools and expressions of interest do not commit the employer to formally assessing applications. They're positioned as "register your details and if a suitable role becomes available, we will contact you".

How many applicants could an employer be missing out on by not using some form of talent pool?

We think it could be another 20%.

For an employer receiving 1,000 direct applications to a program, there may be another 200 who would have applied outside the program open dates. Assuming a hire rate of 5% of applications, in this example it would mean another 10 hires.

Talent Pool Platforms
The applicant tracking system is the most common platform for talent pools. It's there, available and talent acquisition teams already use it as a generic talent pool.

In graduate recruitment the challenge for an employer is making a timely connection with a strong candidate. That means determining the quality of each applicant and where they could be a potential fit. But going through applications takes time.

Invite them to do a psychometric test? Maybe. But how many would complete it? For students it needs to be a simple process. So it’s understandable employers see it as becoming all too hard.

The best choice for a talent pool is the GradSift shortlisting platform.

Why? Employers instantly see the quality of an applicant without opening a resume. And that's by type of role, even location. That makes it easy to quickly respond to the best candidates.

For students it's ten minutes to complete a GradSift profile from drop-down fields with no resume upload.

For a recruiter it's spending 60 seconds once a week to view the latest candidates and choose whether to make contact. It's as simple as that.

Of course there’s a lot more employers can do with GradSift. Identify applicants by availability, previous employers, gender and diversity. Ask their own screening questions or ask applicants to upload a resume and record a short video. There's even a Hiring Manager View function where managers decide who to bring forward. 

GradSift makes a talent pool simple for recruiters and students. 


 ble for apprentice roles, entry-level roles, whole-of-government programs and merit pools. [new]

Do I really have to watch every video?
We know that's a huge pain. On other platforms, the answer is yes. But in GradSift candidates are already ranked according to your criteria. Have a life! There’s no need to sit through countless recorded video interviews.

We don't have internal resources to manage high-volume recruitment
No problem. GradSift provides outsourced recruitment services using the platform for you. [new] A big saving and faster compared to a traditional RPO.

Budget constraints
If you use psychometric assessments to screen applicants hold onto your seat. GradSift is priced from $4 per applicant. That includes the video function.

Interested in seeing how GradSift will save time, cost and help you deliver more quality candidates? Watch the video or email to schedule a walk-through demo.











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