The ISE’s Latest Survey Reveals How Covid-19 is Affecting the Early Careers Market

Due to Covid-19, GSCE, AS and A level exams have been cancelled. There’s a lack of clarity about how final exams will be conducted in Higher Education and as such, considerable concerns raised by employers. Secondly, many of the traditional face-to-face attraction and selection tools cannot be used for an, as yet, unknown period of time. Consequently, ISE published a survey showing how companies are responding with their early career recruitment plans & strategies.

Summary findings

The immediate impact on this year’s hiring numbers are that about 40% say they’ll stay the same, while 35% remain unsure. A fifth of companies have made a slight reduction, just 5% have made a big decrease, and 5% a big increase.

Across a lot of sectors, internships and work placements are being cancelled, or employers are implementing digital delivery. 60% of companies are continuing mock assessment centres online, and 21% are delivering enterprise competitions online. Subsequently, it’s taking some time to work out how and if, recruitment measures should go digital. In addition, 71% are moving their face-to-face interviews into an online or telephone format.

What you’re telling us

In our conversations with employers, we’ve discovered they’re looking to deliver some form of internship with candidates already offered places. This avoids disengaging talent, negatively impacting the brand, and means they can continue to build their graduate pipeline for 2021 and beyond.

The risk of losing good candidates is higher, as start dates for roles are pushed out and assessment centres move online. Furthermore, unless interventions are put in place, it’s likely we will start seeing an increase in cost per hire.

How to negate the impact

  • Move Face to Face Events Online

We’ve all had to think fast to ensure we can deliver, and one such example from MKF is our newly launched series of webinars. Therefore, to help you navigate the current situation, we’re now working hard to also move our client’s face-to-face events online. Just last week, we digitised our event for BDO, and thus maintained the engagement of their apprentice talent candidates.

  • Utilise Online Challenges

In the past week alone we have seen a 127% increase in our Connectr platform users, with schools and colleges making the most of the online activities for their students. Why not move your competitions to a virtual platform?

  • Protect the Talent Pipeline and Move Assessment Days Online

We are currently helping clients to shape and execute online digital assessment days. For example, to help manage spend you could re-allocate budget from face-to-face events and assessment centres, to digital. This would help to ensure you don’t lose your talent pipeline over the next few months.

  • Offer Candidate Security

It’s understandable that early talent candidates are now anxious and concerned about their futures. However, we’ve been delighted to see that businesses are able to use tech (including our own Connectr) to reassure candidates, invest in their learning, build their engagement, and minimise the risk of drop outs.

  • Move Learning and Development Programmes Online

Most employers are seeking to find ways to maintain their learning and development programmes for entry-level hires, with blended learning coming to the fore. Roughly 40% are finding new ways to deliver programmes, with 10% delaying the start, and only 1% cancelling. Certainly, retaining candidate engagement is possible with online learning modules, and enables them to gain new skills during an uncertain time.

And so…

Whilst there are a lot of challenges to be handled right now, we know that an agile approach is working. Importantly, early talent are using digital alternatives, as we saw with a huge uplift in our online engagement platform Connectr last week. We know we have the tools for you to get through with minimal risk, and optimum support. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you.