According to a report, there are around 85 applicants for every graduate vacancy, whilst two of the UK’s largest retailers, Morrisons and John Lewis, have received over a thousand applications for positions at their new stores.
The report from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) also found that positions in retail are sought after, receiving around 130 applications on average for each vacancy.
HR Aspects Magazine spoke to Chris Keeling, managing director of e-recruitment software solutions provider, Jobtrain, who told us about how companies are handling applications of this scale. “Businesses are far more capable of managing higher numbers of applicants these days using Applicant Tracking Systems. Companies are focusing more on employer branding, delivering the right message, assessing candidates more carefully at each stage of the application process, and in engaging with applicants over a longer period of time. Many companies are still investing heavily in promoting themselves positively to candidates.”
Social media and smart phones starting point for job hopefuls.
Chris also told us about the ways in which younger people are beginning their job search. “We have seen that job seekers in the under 24 age group are far more likely to turn to social media as a starting point for their job search and for their own research into employers.
“This means that businesses have to respond to this rather than ignoring this trend as something irrelevant. With smart phones being such a heavily used accessory for many younger job seekers, companies need to be very careful about distancing themselves from a key talent pool by not adopting an appropriate presence in sites like Facebook and Twitter,” said Chris.
Chris continued to state “In addition to simply having a presence on social media sites, it is also crucial to ensure your own website content is matching the message that you want to give. Your site (particularly if you are asking people to apply online) should also be compatible with all the different kinds of browsers – Internet Explorer is still the most common, but with all the Apple products using Safari, and with Chrome and Firefox in wide usage, employers need to make sure that candidates can access, read and use their sites in each of the browser types.”