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Latest Employer News from GradSift

November 2022



Feedback from the AAGE Conference


This was the first in-person AAGE conference in three years. Talk about pent-up demand!

The consistent theme from employers was recognition of the need for change to adapt to a candidate short market. The level of engagement by participants and interest in best practice and supplier solutions was huge.

Here's a recap of what we observed and what employers told us.



There were more than 500 delegates attending the conference.

It was striking the number of employers who accept they need to change their recruitment process. Many admitted their process is actually hurting their ability to make hires. What works in an employer-driven market doesn't necessarily work in a candidate short market.

Accepting the need for change is one thing. But getting approval from management is another matter. Graduate recruiters need constructive help and support from suppliers. They don’t suppliers preaching and telling them everything they’re doing is wrong.

Examples of employers using the wrong assessment for what they want. "I applied for this job because they said they wanted people with strong interpersonal and communication skills. My previous role was a flight attendant. I was put through a cognitive abilities assessment. I didn't make it. I later spoke to a hiring manager who said they were disappointed by the shortlisted candidates because most lacked the interpersonal skills they wanted".

The graduate recruitment sector is reactive to the external environment (no new news there). With Covid it was amazing to see how quickly the sector responded with virtual interviews and assessment centres. The candidate short market is now prompting a new round of change.

Graduate recruitment can be a grind. Here are some quotes we heard.
• "I’ll do the shortlisting this time but not again"
• "After the 60th resume my eyes start to glaze over"
• "Watching video interviews I try to rationalise how I can quickly reject a candidate – like a messy room. Do I know the person’s circumstances? No. But I don't have time"
• "The time from receiving applications in April to acceptances took months and months, way too long. In fact we still have placements we're working on! The whole process should take weeks instead".
• Where graduate recruitment is part of a person's job, it’s a total time killer. "Either everything else goes on hold or I'm just snowed under".
• "Government background checks slow down the whole job offer process". Is there a solution?
The mix of suppliers who exhibit at the conference has subtly changed over the past three years.
• RPO and assessment solution providers still make up about 50%.
• The number of learning & development and student support providers remained unchanged.
• Marketing solutions providers fell from 7 exhibiting in 2019 to just 4 in 2022. That's a big surprise given it's a candidate short market
• There's been a big increase in suppliers who offer platform solutions. Think Hirevue, GradSift, Paradox etc. Maybe the way of the future?
Some suppliers were nervous about an economic downturn in 2023 and how it might affect graduate recruitment. Others were very upbeat. The unemployment rate currently sits at 3.5%. It's projected to eventually hit 4.5%. But that’s still low and not at recessionary levels. If there is a pause (if any) in graduate recruitment, we think it may appear in the second half of 2023. Otherwise it's "full steam ahead".

For a detailed assessment read our article "Campus Recruitment Remains Strong Despite the Prospects of Recession" on LinkedIn. While it's pitched to the US market, it's very much relevant to Australia / NZ.

Everyone loves a koala. Our cute, furry give aways were as popular as ever.

Finally, there were reports of "spreading the love" at the conference. But it turned out to be the Covid version. Yours truly came back from Melbourne with it. But it was a small price to pay for a great conference.



Prosple's Six Must Know Trends for Graduate Recruiters

Prosple recently published one of the best articles I've read on graduate recruitment. It's what every recruiter should know about Gen Z.

For the full article go to



But here is a summary.
1. "If you want to recruit top Gen Z talent ... shift your efforts away from legacy platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn and towards the apps of the moment.
2. Follow the example of consumer brands and embrace short-form, user-generated video content.
3. Expand ... beyond the traditional two to three-month recruiting season. Graduate recruiting is now a year-round campaign.
4. Authenticity. The more honest you are, the more likely your marketing is to resonate — and the more likely you are to earn their trust.
5. Be transparent in your job advertising when it comes to salary. Gen Z recruits will just renege on your offer if the salary isn’t what they expected.
6. Gen Zers ... not just worn out by the lengthy screening processes typically required for entry into large graduate programs, but positively offended by it." It's best captured by a powerful candidate story shared by Prosple.

"I applied for the [large bank - name redacted] graduate program two weeks ago. As soon as I applied, they sent an email and it was like ‘here’s a link to a psychometric test that’s going to take 1 hour 45 minutes of your time. You have to complete this within 48 hours’.

And I was just like, I'm just not doing that.

Maybe it’s petty but the idea that you have these application processes spanning potentially three or four months. There are so many stages. So many of those stages have no human element. I would be investing so much of my time. Where am I getting this kind of respect back?

I'm not saying I need to be coddled every stage of the journey. It's just like, it's so impersonal. And it requires so much from you that like at this point I just can't make myself feel invested in it."


Well done to Prosple for such invaluable insights. 



Time to Flip Graduate Recruitment Marketing and Assessment Spend


The average employer spends 60% of their graduate recruitment budget on assessment and selection. The other 40% is for marketing and attraction. That's fine in an employer-driven market where application numbers are high and the challenge is whittling them down to a manageable level.

But we're in a candidate-short market. It's time to flip marketing and assessment spend around.


With competition so strong for students we all know doing more of the same won't work. One option is to spend more in student attraction. In fact it may not even be an option but a necessity given multiple or year-round campaigns.

But what do you do if there's nothing more in the budget? Shift money out of assessments and selection.


In a candidate short market, the recruitment process objective should be to create a positive applicant experience. We don't want students deterred from applying in the first place. Or dropping out when they figure their time commitment isn't worth it.

For an employer that means relooking at the number of assessment stages, the value from each assessment and the time commitment expected from the student.

Here are starting points to challenge the current process.

Do all applicants need to complete a lengthy application process just to apply? Especially when more than 90% of them won't be hired.

An assessment provider reported an employer experienced a massive 40% drop off of students who refused to complete an initial online assessment. Is that assessment vital to the selection process?

Is the psychometric test cut-off score a valid predictor for the employer? Most employers don't have that data and use an arbitrary cut-off. A GradSift client increased the number of graduate hires by 32% when they dropped the psychometric assessment.

Can a psychometric assessment be staged later in the process with fewer applicants?

How many video interview questions do you really need to ask? Should there be fewer applicants doing the video interview?

How many steps and how much time does it take for a graduate role compared to an experienced hire?

There's the long-held belief that candidates who are genuinely interested in the organisation will jump over any assessment hurdles put before them. As the Prosple report indicated, that doesn't apply to Gen Z.

You get the point. It's time to streamline the process to bring through more high quality applicants. In doing so reduce assessment spend and reallocate it to marketing.

Of course, employers can achieve any of this without using GradSift. But GradSift does make it much easier. A single platform to shortlist applicants with video included. That's a single step for students. For employers, it's less than half the cost of a single psychometric test.

How much could that shift into marketing?


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