We keep informed through daily conversations with our candidates and clients from across the UK covering a broad spectrum of sectors. I also supplement our own intel with external sources giving me the latest information, news and research from trusted sources. Among many influential people in my network I also include newsfeeds from the FT, The Conference Board Leading Economic Index, CBI, IoD, ISE, FTSE100, REC and IES (that’s a lot of acronyms!). I looked for similar trends within the ISE, FT, LEI and REC research and thought I’d pass on a few snippets so you, as a fellow graduate recruiter, can benefit;
1. Since January recruitment has been buoyant with optimism running through the market with recruiters increasing headcount where strong candidates are available. ISE members recruited 17,667 graduates (an increase of 7% on 2017). REC report that demand was highest in the IT sector and lowest in Retail. Predictions for 2019 were sadly missing in this year’s ISE survey however the LEI and REC are suggesting a slowdown. To what extent we don’t know. REC reported the unemployment rate fell to 4% in the second quarter however LEI stated that this figure is a lagging indicator and suggested the number of people claiming unemployment benefit as a stronger early warning sign of a downturn.
2. Starting salaries are stagnant. The average graduate salary according to ISE is £28,250. Whilst both ISE and REC point to higher salaries when adjusted for inflation graduates are actually worse off than in 2008.
3. Cost per hire. Hiring graduates is an expensive and time-intensive activity. ISE reports that the highest cost is in the legal sector (£8,908) and the lowest in built environment (£1,129).
A recent article mentioned the LEI which track the economy on eight factors. Not all slowdowns lead to a recession but since 2017 the survey has started to decline. No one knows with any certainty the likely outcomes for 2019 post-BREXIT but we at least know from previous downturns investment in recruiting new people inevitably takes a hit so watch this space.
Do you use any other information sources to keep at the leading edge of graduate recruitment?