Coronavirus / Job market

Student and graduate recruitment in the face of Covid 19

As we roll into week four of lockdown and the Easter bunny has been and gone, many employers are now firmly back in touch with us and looking ahead to the Summer and the reality facing them in terms of their graduate recruitment.  So what do things look like now? Doom and gloom or are there rainbows in the sky as well as in the windows?

Making new business connectionsMany employers may have had to cancel or reshape Easter vacation schemes, Spring weeks and work experience offers over the Easter break.  Recruiters have largely moved online for both interviews and assessments but also in the provision of support for students. But all in all – recruiters are beginning to work it out and its not all bad…

In fact its not really bad at all, just kinda different.

I manage the Employer Connect UK employer team within Student Opportunity.  We are the team that bring you all of the employer led careers events across your year – from careers fairs and job sector events to employer presentations and skills sessions.  Employer Connect build relationships with employers from across the globe, ranging from the largest graduate recruiters to the smallest companies, not for profits  and everyone in between.

Alternative and creative view of Sydney CitySo what does the future look like in terms of graduate and student recruitment?  Well in some ways  I wish there was a one sizes fits all answer, but with such a broad range of employers seeking to secure talent from Warwick that’s just not possible – which in itself is a positive!  The diversity and depth of our employer offering leaves you with plenty of options to explore.  Some may have been on your radar and others may inspire you to think differently.

What can we tell you?

The virtual phone line is ringing once again! Employers are working it out and the future may look a little different, but there are opportunities and solutions on the horizon (or in some cases immediately in-front of you).  Don’t forget to look at My Advantage for all of the listings available. Whilst Covid-19 has curtailed some opportunities it has also presented new ones so there are still plenty of roles available to help you boost your CV.

Graduate recruiters in general remain committed to recruiting graduates into both summer internships and graduate roles.  As we continue to weather the storm uncertainty may remain as to start dates. Remote working is a possibility with some employers, in some cases its even business as usual! These large organisations often see their graduates as business critical – they can’t function without you, it just may take a little flexibility from all sides to keep things moving.

There will however be those that are unable to proceed with opportunities at this stage and you may be offered reduced hours or compensation for rescinded offers if the lockdown remains.  Employers will reach out to you and communication with them will be vital. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are holding an offer and talk to staff in   Student Opportunity  for advice beforehand if you need. It’s worth keeping in mind, some of the answers will just not yet be known as we roll on through lockdown and the situation remains so fluid.

Recruitment processes for future positions are continuing apace and employers have been swift to switch to online assessments and interviews.  As time has passed we are now seeing the provision of virtual support being offered by employers to help you through this process.

Businesswoman in hijab having a video chat on laptopLook out for webinars, online skills sessions and videos from recruiters looking to guide you through this new landscape. Remember these resources will help you understand guiding principles that will cut across all of your applications.  Explore the online content we have available at Warwick – and keep checking back as employers pass through more content for us to share.

Not for profit employers and SMEs (small and medium size enterprises) may have to play the waiting game for a little while longer yet.  Whilst harsh economic realities may hit some employers, others may have the flexibility to adapt.  Our SME engagement team have developed webinar guidance for employers in relation to best practice when offering remote working.  We hope our advice and support to employers will in turn help retain valuable opportunities for you.

Esther de Perlaky (leading the International Employer Connect team) has shared feedback that certainty around China and Asia is slowly returning to some sort of normality.  China in particular is increasingly business as usual, with a number of companies hiring more graduates than they did last year to meet the business demands, post Covid-19.

Home desk all set for the webinar conferenceWhat is also certain is that international organisations are looking creatively as to how they support their summer student internship offers. Many are looking at virtual offerings and see it as an opportunity to innovate and enhance the internship experience for students.  Organisations are also working hard to avoid having to rescind on graduate offers by being flexible and moving start dates back, if necessary. The underlying sentiment from international organisations is very much one of supporting student and graduate talent.

I’m sure this growing optimism will continue as we begin to work free of the grip of the lockdown.  Student Opportunity are here to support you and Employer Connect will continue to keep you updated with news from employers and resources. And continuing to work with employers seeking to recruit Warwick students!








Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s