Covid – Graduate recruitment volumes are down everywhere

Covid-19 is having a profound and damaging impact on the global economy. Many countries are reporting dramatic rises in levels of unemployment. There is concern that these changes are having a disproportionate impact on young people. This report explores how these economic changes are impacting on graduate recruitment in 21 countries.
Findings are based on responses to an international call for evidence about the graduate labour market under Covid-19. Respondents to the call were typically CEOs or heads of research from employer associations, senior higher education careers professionals or employers. All are offering a subjective, but informed, opinion on the situation. The key trends that emerged are as follows:
• Covid-19 matters everywhere and it matters to everyone. Even in countries like Australia and New Zealand which have, so far, successfully managed the outbreak and in other countries where there have been relatively few cases of Covid-19, employers have had to lockdown some of their activities in the short term and have concerns about the longer term impacts.
• The graduate market mirrors problems in the wider economy. While graduates often escape the worst impacts of recessions, the size and health of the graduate labour market is tied up with the wider economy. The magnitude of the current crisis means that it is impacting on workers of all skill levels and is likely to be particularly difficult for those entering the labour market for the first time and those working in the sectors which are feeling the worst effects.
• Graduate recruitment volumes are down everywhere. During 2020 many employers have taken the decision to delay or reduce the number of graduates that they are recruiting. This has led to overall numbers of jobs in the formal graduate labour market going into decline in all 21 countries that participated in this research.
• The graduate market will not recover straight away. Looking forward to next year 15 countries expect the volume of graduates recruited to continue to decline. Only 3 countries expect that the market will stabilise (Canada, South Africa and New Zealand) and only three more anticipate growth (Belgium, Poland and the UAE).
• Uncertainty is the only thing that people are certain of. Respondents report a loss of certainty in normal narrative about how graduate transitions work. This uncertainty is making planning difficult.
• Working practices and business processes are changing and moving online. Within the graduate recruitment field this means that both attraction (on campus activities) and selection (interviews and assessment centres) are either moving wholly online or into a blended format combining online and face-to-face approaches.
• Young people may prolong their time in education. Because of problems in the labour market many students may prolong their time in education through postgraduate study.


Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ COVID-19: global impacts on graduate recruitment


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