What do employers value? Martin Edmondson, CEO, Gradcore


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What do employers value? Martin Edmondson, CEO, Gradcore

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  • What do employers value? Martin Edmondson, CEO, Gradcore

    1. 1. What do employers value? Universities UK – Enhancing Postgraduate Employability Conference Martin Edmondson CEO - Gradcore
    2. 2. Outline • Introductions • Initial reflections • Review of employer perspectives • Analysis • Suggestions and questions for universities
    3. 3. About Gradcore Employability strategy and delivery Run regional jobsites Design and operate graduate schemes University capacity building Operate internship programmes University/business engagement Research and benchmarking/healthchecks
    4. 4. Initial reflections 20%20%20%
    6. 6. Audit of large graduate recruiters 10 large graduate recruiters from the Times top 100 reviewed. Organisations spread across public, private and third sector and most major industry groups (inc. Health, finance, retail, FMCG, engineering) • 4/10 mention postgraduate qualifications • 2/10 have some specific roles where a Postgraduate qualification may be an advantage • 1/10 of mention postgrad qualifications as an alternative to an undergrad degree • 1/10 incentivises postgraduates – bonus upon joining
    7. 7. Specific examples FAQ approach - “If you have an MBA, Masters or PhD degree, you are still eligible to apply for the graduate scheme” Reassurance - “Will take a 2:2 with a Masters” Niche - “Your Postgraduate qualification will only offer you additional benefits in these roles” Opaque - “We look for a strong technical qualification”
    8. 8. Not often in the graduate recruiter lexicon
    9. 9. City Graduate Scheme perspectives The award-winning City Graduate Scheme model delivers all aspects of a corporate graduate scheme, but for SMEs in a geographical area. First city we have delivered it in is Sheffield: • 4 cohorts since 2013 • 100+ graduate jobs in SMES • 2000 applicants from across the UK • Sponsored, and in partnership with, both universities and the council
    10. 10. City Graduate Scheme and Postgraduates Initial findings: • Postgraduate qualifications desirable in 10% of the vacancies, predominantly technical/engineering roles • Postgraduate qualifications essential in 2% of roles • Current (July 2014) 4th cohort – 1role requiring essential postgraduate qualification in translation • Some benefit to postgraduates through scorecard approach • Still fixing the broader disconnect between SMEs and graduates
    11. 11. Other Gradcore employer sources Yorkshire Graduates job board – tens of thousands of vacancies over the last 15 years of which 3% are specifically marked as ‘postgraduate jobs’ Gradcore Employability Healthchecks – hundreds of employers interviewed over the last 2 years to understand their perspectives on different universities, of which 12% cite postgraduate qualifications as essential or desirable
    13. 13. What do large employers value and rate in graduates?
    14. 14. What global employers value
    15. 15. What do SMEs value? University attended Degree result Work experience Other Degree subject Positive attitude 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% SME employers prioritise attitudes and skills for the role over degree grade and institution. Which of these things do you think is most important when recruiting a graduate? Source: SME survey 2012: 200+ SMEs from across the UK surveyed across 6 different regional graduate job boards
    16. 16. The value of graduates are well articulated • Graduates create productivity increases in businesses – 30% higher where all staff are graduates • Graduates create productivity increases in places – Every 1% growth in grads creates 0.5% growth in GDP • Graduates bring innovation – Innovative businesses have twice as many graduates • Source: BIS and community Innovation survey
    17. 17. Emerging themes • Postgraduates undervalued by employers, and not very prominent in the graduate recruitment lexicon • Between 5 and 10% of graduate employers placing a focus on postgraduates • Similar proportions in small and large organisations • Postgraduate qualifications strongly valued for niche skills by employers • Small employers more questioning of choice of postgraduate course than with undergraduates • Lack of understanding rather than hostility • Need for more evidence and effective employer comms
    18. 18. • Accidental recruitment • Experimental/Awakening • Sub for intermediate skills gaps • Technology transfer • Established capacity building • External requirement Employers are at different stages, which ones best fit postgraduates?
    19. 19. Employability challenges for postgraduates Passing the ‘so what?‘ and ‘why that course?’ tests Avoiding actual and perceived institutionalisaton Staying in touch with industryBuilding on undergraduate employability skills Articulating distinctiveness Being employable globally Leveraging their added value skills and competencies
    20. 20. Some questions and ideas for universities • How do you build employability into your postgraduate provision as an integral element of design and delivery? • How can you help your postgraduates pass the ‘so what’ and ‘why that course’ tests? • How can you better segment the employers you work with to maximise opportunities for postgraduates? • What more could you do to raise the awareness of the value of postgraduates to employers? • How might you integrate Postgraduate work experience and network building into your broader university employer engagement offer? • What do you deliver in your postgraduate provision which helps postgraduates to navigate the rest of the recruitment scorecard? • How might you make use of the flexibility of postgraduate provision to be more responsive to skills shortages? • What principles should you bring across from your undergraduate employability provision? • How do you plug your postgraduates into a global labour market?
    21. 21. @martinedmondson http://uk.linkedin.com/in/martinedmondson Thanks for listening
    22. 22. APPENDICES
    23. 23. Large graduate recruiter audit • PWC – 2:1 Any degree, no mention of PG • Barclays - If you have an MBA, Masters or PhD degree, you are still eligible to apply for the graduate scheme. Your post graduate qualifications will not qualify you for any additional benefits or responsibilities should you be offered a place on the scheme, unless you apply for one of the Associate or Quantitative Associate level vacancies. • Enterprise - A Bachelor’s degree is preferred; however, professional experience can be substituted if applicable. • P&G – entirely done through student placements and internships • Deloitte – 14 different market channels, 2 of which mention Master degrees (IT/Planning) as a requirement if you haven’t got the appropriate undergraduate degree • Grant Thornton – Strong academic performance is essential, but not the only part of you we look at. If you do sit below our old requirements you're going to have to show us how you've excelled in the other areas. It's up to you to demonstrate why you'd be a great addition to the culture here at Grant Thornton. In previous years we have had strict academic entry requirements of a 2.1, 300 UCAS points and Bs at GCSE English and Maths (or equivalents). We realise that if you've been busy doing amazing things in your personal or professional life you may have slightly missed out on our old criteria. • Civil Service Fast stream – 2:2 accepted and any degree except in some engineering and science roles, no mention of PG • NHS – At least a 2:2 or a postgraduate degree • Unilever – No specific Postgrad reuirement, although uses terms like ‘strong technical qualification’ and does offer a one-off bonus payment if you join with a masters or PHD, so they are incentivising this • Nestle – any degree subject and will take a 2:2 with a Masters
    24. 24. Useful Links and Reading • http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/highereducation/Docume nts/2014/Full%20HECSU%20report%20FINAL%20130514.p df • http://www.edge.co.uk/media/63412/employability_skills_ as_pdf_-_final_online_version.pdf • http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/4d7623e6#/4d7623e 6/14 • http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/bmaf/documents/pu blications/ijme/Vol8no2/IJME8no2Paper1.pdf • http://www.employment- studies.co.uk/pubs/summary.php?id=1417phys • https://www.ukcge.ac.uk/pdf/2013%2012%20bis-13-1319- exploring-student-demand-for-postgraduate-study.pdf