Onrec logo The Online Recruitment Resource

Missed call: Young people and recruiters not connecting

Students and graduates are not making the right work-place choices and employers are struggling to identify the right ‘fit’ for their businesses.

  • 73% of employers not reaching their potential young hires
  • 68% of graduates admit joining the wrong employer
  • 28% of graduates leave their employers within 12 months

Students and graduates are not making the right workplace choices and employers are struggling to identify the right ‘fit’ for their businesses. These are the stark findings of research1 conducted by Magnet. me, the online network for students, graduates and recruiters to discover and connect each other.

Analysis of the research suggests that businesses looking to recruit students and graduates are sending out generic, mass messages resulting into tonnes of irrelevant applications. This is leading to:

  • A suffocation of the hiring process as recruiters are not able to spend the time necessary to assess individual applications thoroughly
  • Higher costs for recruiters as a result of spending more time on processing applications
  • Blurred decision making in processing and hiring the right candidates
  • Negative impact on the employer brand as recruiters have to reject high numbers of applicants

Furthermore, the research indicates that students are aware of only 27% of graduate opportunities available to them, meaning 73% of their potential employers are failing to reach them.

Moreover, students and graduates (74%) are making universal job applications, whilst not really knowing what the company or role is like. This is possibly an effect of the generic, mass messaging from recruiters. Of those that get hired, it leaves a disaffected workforce (68% of graduates admit joining the wrong employer) and high churn rates (28% leave within 12 months).

Vincent Karremans, Founder of Magnet.me commented: “Today’s graduate recruitment market finds itself stuck in a terrible place. Young people are struggling to wade through generic company messaging to find their way to the right job while businesses are wasting millions chasing and eventually investing in high numbers of graduates who leave within the first year.”

“Looking at the research it feels as though young people and employers are on completely different planets. Both sides are essentially using an out-of-date scattergun approach that is not working. We are calling for a radical overhaul of this approach that refocuses the attention to the candidate“.

Magnet.me is calling for a “re-focus on young people” where employers lead on targeting select groups of candidates and engage them with better personal and authentic means. These measures should showcase their industry, their workplace, their culture and their people to potential hires.

“It’s time to move beyond having generic videos of businesses on social media to more of  authentic storytelling approach to your business if you want the right calibre of candidates coming to you who will impact your business and its culture” added Vincent Karremans.

Young people, on the whole, are buoyant of securing a job (69%) but highlight a lack of workplace skills (48%) and Brexit (47%) as the top reasons of that could prevent them securing employment in the next 12 months.

Magnet.me offers these tips for graduates and recruiters to enable them to navigate the recruitment process:

Tips for students:

  • Know what you want. Make a short list of what you want to get out of a job before you start your search. What would you like to have learned after a year on the job? Which industries excite you most? That makes it easier to find exciting positions and explain why you’ve applied during interviews.
  • Do your research. Don’t just apply based on recruitment campaign or poster, but actually find out what the company is like before you apply.
  • Get inspiration from other’s career paths. Check out the career paths of alumni at your university to see if there’s anything that you like or that inspires you to go in a similar direction.

Tips for recruiters:

  • Quality beats quantity. There’s no point in reaching out to everyone and anyone. Rather invest your time and money in fewer high-quality candidates and spend time in winning them over to your brand and workplace.
  • Do not SPAM students. They do not like it. Besides that email marketing is something of the 90s, very costly and hardly generates actual results (e.g. high-quality applications), it deteriorates your employer brand.
  • A picture says more than a 1,000 words. Show off your office and culture with photos and videos; candidates can better assess their fit before applying so you’ll hire fewer people that are disappointed with the workplace after you’ve hired them. It will also make winning over the right candidate a lot easier.


1 Results are from a Magnet.me user survey and focus groups of current students and 2016 graduates conducted during August - September 2016. 8,489 users responded to the survey conducted online, by e-mail and in-person interviews.