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GradSift Insights & News - 2019


Diversity & Inclusion for Graduate Programs

December 2019

What constitutes diversity and inclusion varies by employer. For a small proportion it includes gender, disability, indigenous, cultural and LGBTQI. Some include socio-economic diversity. But more commonly, employers have policies in place addressing only one, two or maybe three areas.  

Listening to many employers, it is clear that the best programs are in organisations where there is CEO led commitment to diversity and inclusion. HR can try to lead but it can’t achieve the superior results without top-down support.


GradSift at the 2019 AAGE Conference

November 2019


How Employers Misuse Psychometric Testing in Graduate Screening 

November 2019

Testing providers cringe a little when they see how some of their clients use their products. But they say that’s up to the client.

In a classic Australian study two years ago, a leading testing provider found that 50% of applicants rejected by its clients at the screening stage, possessed the interpersonal skills those employers were desperately seeking. In other words, the tests were rejecting a very large pool of strong candidates. Because testing wasn’t being used as it was intended.

Read More 


Graduate Recruitment: Panning for Gold

October 2019

Graduate recruitment is a lot like panning for gold. Select a spot in a stream where there’s good water flow. Then slide the pan under the water into the alluvial gravel. Bring it out and carefully swirl and shake, discarding what you don’t want through the sieve slots - which happens to be most of what’s in your pan. Hopefully you find a small gold nugget. But a single nugget on its own isn’t enough. You need to go back and repeat the process, over and over, often moving to a different location in the stream for better luck.

It does sound like graduate recruitment doesn’t it?

Just as you select a good spot in the stream, you choose marketing channels, universities and campus activities that will help you find gold. And as you pull the pan out from the water, you know there’s only a very small proportion of its contents that you really want. But you sift with the pan, discard what you don’t want to find the gold. Like graduate recruitment that happens to be less than 3% of what you started with.

It’s inefficient and time consuming. You may have chosen a spot in the stream, which sits right beside a highly productive area with many nuggets. But you don’t know that. What’s missing is having the right data. Data that tells you which marketing, universities and campus activities give you the best results. So you know what part of the stream to work from.

And when you’re sifting with the pan, the less obvious, smaller pieces of gold get washed out back into the stream. It’s like using psychometric tests to screen. You know there are strong candidates you’ll reject. Up to 50%. But it’s accepted as just part of the process.

Or you can take a lot of time to very carefully work the pan, making sure you don’t miss a single piece of gold. But that takes an enormous amount of time. And expertise as well. Just like manually screening resumes.

So what happened to panning for gold? It was replaced by advancements in technology and data. Miners now use sophisticated screening plants and sluice boxes. Or hard rock mining, drilling directly into gold veins. They rely on geological data to find the best source of gold.

It seems like graduate recruitment could also benefit from new technology and data. How to efficiently screen candidates without rejecting the ones you really want. And using data to develop more effective marketing and campus plans. GradSift does both.


New "No Degree" Feature

September 2019

In response to employer demand, we’ve added a new feature that will allow employers to screen and rank applicants without a degree. Some employers have high volume recruitment programs where a degree is not mandatory. Yet they really like the ways GradSift assesses interpersonal skills, work and extra-curricular experiences. GradSift can now help employers screen and shortlist those applicants.


Innovative Ways to Shortlist Hard-to-Find Candidates

September 2019

 It's exciting when employers come up with innovative ways to use GradSift to find the candidates they really want. One example is an employer who wanted to broaden shortlisting of candidates beyond the traditional, leading universities. They wanted to achieve a better balance of students for socio-economic background. Many of those students don’t get to the top universities.

What the employer has been able to do is use GradSift’s Search Profiles to identify candidates from regional universities. GradSift automatically ranks those students in line with the employer's requirements. That makes it easy for the employer to review and select the best of those students and add to their final shortlist. 


Take the GradSift Challenge

August 2019

How does GradSift compare to cognitive testing for initial screen and shortlisting?

 Screens for well-rounded candidates (the ones you actually want to hire)
 Huge cost savings: $5 to $7 versus $25 for a single test 
 Analytics included for marketing, campus and assessment effectiveness
 Flexibility, supporting diversity hires 
 Increases your shortlist of quality candidates


Data: The Biggest Challenge in Graduate Recruitment

July 2019

What’s the biggest challenge faced by graduate employers in Australia and New Zealand? The answer is access to data. That may not be the response provided in a recent survey of 110 graduate employers but it is the root cause.

In the Australian Association of Graduate Employers survey the top two challenges nominated by employers were their struggle to meet diversity hiring targets and to successfully compete for quality graduates. That’s a function of sourcing strategy and assessment practices. Read More



GradSift in the News

July 2019

            Graduate screening start-up grows client base. Graduate screening platform Gradsift has recently signed Mirvac and Schneider Electric as clients, while also launching a return on investment feature, says founder Peter Pychtin.

Established June last year, the company is seeing strong interest from employers in sectors such as government, financial services and accounting, as companies seek ways to reduce manual screening processes for high volume graduate programs, he says.
Historically, graduate employers have used grade point average (GPA) cut-offs as a means to reduce the applications they receive, but Pychtin says most employers "have no data to correlate GPA scores with success within the organisation". Today, a wider variety of information is necessary to build a more detailed picture of a graduate candidate, such as extracurricular activities, interpersonal skills and leadership qualities, he says.

Gradsift has recently introduced an analytics tool to allow employers to understand the effectiveness of their recruitment marketing and sourcing channels, such as job boards, campus events and career fairs.
It will also measure the effectiveness of assessment activities to present insights into the typical candidate profile of successful graduate hires, Pychtin says." Reported in Shortlist Talent June 20, 2019.


Graduate Program Analytics

June 2019

One thing is true in graduate recruitment. Accessing the right data to make good decisions is hard. Recruiters are left to a best guess of where to spend the marketing budget, which university events make sense to attend, or even if an assessment activity adds value. GradSift analytics changes all that.

  • Real cost savings by eliminating ineffective marketing, university events and assessment activities
  • Successfully competing for in-demand graduates, filling all roles the first time
  • Meeting diversity hiring objectives
  • Process efficiencies that give time back to hiring managers and graduate recruiters.

Graduate program analytics is unique to GradSift. Even if you don't use GradSift to screen, you can still use Analytics.


The Student Experience - Graduate Recruitment

June 2019

For many employers, graduate recruitment will wrap up in June. That represents an opportunity for a welcome sigh of relief as you’ve successfully met the hiring needs of your internal customers. But spare a moment for students. They’re your other “customers”. How has the graduate recruitment process treated them?

"Thankfully, I've received an offer I'm happy with but I know the feeling of investing 20 hours into an application and attending a full day assessment centre only to be rejected at the last stage with nothing really to show for it. Grad applications are hard”.

“Got an email this afternoon saying I’m invited to go for an assessment centre and individual interview. The date is right before my exams so idk [I don’t know] if this will be worth going into”  Read More


Hiring Managers Using GradSift

May 2019

By Kurt LowensteinBy Kurt Lowenstein"Before GradSift it would take me weeks to go through all these applications. Not being an engineer, I wasn’t even sure how to interpret some of their background data.

Now with GradSift I can sit down with hiring managers to agree search profiles. I run the profiles and review the results with the managers. Together we come up with a shortlist for the next stage. We can even download the GradSift resumes to help, if needed.

It really has made my life easier and the managers enjoy being involved. It’s given me credibility."




How Do Students Rate GradSift?

May 2019

We recently surveyed student users of GradSift and we were pleased that they rated GradSift 4.2 stars for its ease of use. They find it very intuitive with 84% not needing to refer to the detailed Student User Guide.

We also asked students what they thought of GradSift compared to traditional psychometric tests. 60% of students felt that GradSift was a fairer way to assess them. 28% were neutral, unable to say whether one was better than the other, which is understandable given the survey included interns who may have limited experience in program applications.


Graduate Recruitment Insights & Marketing Effectiveness

April 2019

The results of a major graduate employer survey were recently published. It was conducted in October 2018 and the majority of participating employers ran campus recruitment in the first half of the year.

Survey results are interesting because there is always an alternate way of looking at the data. Here are a few insights.

  • 39% of employers had unfilled graduate roles at the time of the survey
  • 63% of graduate applications (127,000) are rejected prior to the first round of selection
  • The top three most important skills employers seek are Communication (100%), Teamwork (97%) and Interpersonal (96%) skills
  • Of all the applications received by employers, just 3.3% resulted in job offers


Brain Maturity & Assessing Graduates

March 2019

Do you ever stop to consider why post-graduate students or dual degree holders tend to be more mature than undergraduates? Well the answer is, they are.

In this article Brain Maturity Extends Well Beyond Teen Years, it explains that the male brain is not fully finished developing until age 25. The female brain is more likely to be fully developed two years earlier.

The part of the brain that is slowest to fully develop is the prefrontal cortex. “That's the part of the brain that helps you to inhibit impulses and to plan and organize your behaviour to reach a goal”.

“Neuroscience has shown that a young person's cognitive development continues into this later stage and that their emotional maturity, self-image and judgement will be affected until the prefrontal cortex of the brain has fully developed”.

So should graduate recruiters assess a 21 year old graduate differently to a 25 year-old?


Future of Work: Graduate Recruitment

March 2019

What impact will automation technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics have on jobs? That’s a topic that gets plenty of press around the world. 

According to James Manyika*, Chair of the McKinsey Global Institute “60 percent of occupations have about a third of their activities that are easy to automate” That’s typically processing and sorting of data. So what does this mean for graduate recruitment? Read more


Top Graduate Employer Rankings - Why AAGE is the Best Measure

February 2019

A the start of each year, two "Top Graduate Employer" rankings are published. One by the AAGE and the other by the AFR/GradConnections. Both report very different results.  

The AAGE rankings are based on graduate employees anonymously completing a comprehensive survey of their experience working for their employer. The graduates have been on the job for at least 12 months at the time of the survey, so it's real data.

The AFR/GC are popularity rankings based on the number of university students that apply for positions observed on GradConnection in a given year. But there fundamental distortions in that approach.

1. The proportion of students by discipline. There are more Business students than other disciplines. So not surprisingly, the big four accounting firms with their large recruitment numbers and appeal to business students, rank among the highest. 

2. The frequency of ads placed on GradConnections in a year - the more ads, the more "observations". Contrast that to a graduate employer who needs to advertise once to meet their recruitment objectives. 

3. And of course not all students use GradConnections. 

My advice to employers is to pay attention to the AAGE rankings. The AFR/GradConnection rankings are OK, but more like a fun pop quiz.


Source of Hired/Offered Candidates

February 2019

What does the typical pool of graduate applicants look like? Based on years of graduate data, we find it resembles this.

The top 15% is where hires come from. We classify them as "Strong" and "Very Strong", with Very Strong making up 3% of total applicants and Strong 12%. Within that, Very Strong applicants account for 80% of hires/offers with Strong accounting for the balance.

15% of applicants are automatically rejected at the ATS filtering stage, because they don’t meet mandatory requirements such as working rights, or year of degree completion etc.

Then another 15% are rejected because they fall short on other minimum selection requirements set by the employer. That could be degree discipline, GPA, etc.

And that leaves the middle ground of “good, but not great” applicants. They make up more than half of the applicants. As the term says, they’re good, but not great and while there may be an outlier in there, in reality this group won’t produce hires. Yet employers end up spending considerable resources to screen them out along the way.

Imagine if you could start with the top 15%!


Women Make up 59% of Domestic Bachelor Graduates

January 2019

Australia produced 135,000 domestic Bachelor graduates in 2017. Of those 85,000 or 59.3% were women. Females made up the majority of graduates for all broad discipline groups including Business, Science and Law, with the exception of Engineering and IT. 

In Engineering the proportion of female graduates has progressed to 14% compared to 2009, when they made up only 11.7%. In IT though, there has been no change in the gender balance with females still accounting for 14%. For employers looking to hire female IT Bachelor graduates, there were just 526.

Read more on Graduate Statistics


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