Paul Redmond: 'Generation Crunch!' Careers, Employability, and the Credit Crunch – new concepts for old ideas.
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Paul Redmond: 'Generation Crunch!' Careers, Employability, and the Credit Crunch – new concepts for old ideas.



Paul Redmond: 'Generation Crunch!' Careers, Employability, and the Credit Crunch – new concepts for old ideas. Slides from the University of Liverpool Learning and Teaching Conference 2009.

Paul Redmond: 'Generation Crunch!' Careers, Employability, and the Credit Crunch – new concepts for old ideas. Slides from the University of Liverpool Learning and Teaching Conference 2009.

Due in part to the credit crunch, globalisation and the sweeping changes that are taking place in organisations, this year’s graduate recruitment market is in the forefront of a profound shift. Gone are the old certainties about ‘career’, ‘security’ and ‘graduate jobs’. In their place has come a new social and economic realism.
Though today’s students are at the forefront of these changes, few have any experience of economic recession, unemployment or falling standards of living. But as ‘Generation Y’ - the world’s first ‘digital natives’ - will this lack of knowledge and experience prove to be a help or a hindrance?
The aim of this presentation is to explore the current state of graduate recruitment in the UK, the conceptualmeanings attached to terms such as ‘employability’, ‘graduates’ and ‘employment’, what employers really want from graduates, and how higher education can best prepare students for a future that as yet does not exist.



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Paul Redmond: 'Generation Crunch!' Careers, Employability, and the Credit Crunch – new concepts for old ideas. Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Generation Crunch! Careers, Employability, and the Credit Crunch – new concepts for old ideas? Dr Paul Redmond, Head of Careers and Employability
  • 2. • Jobs with top firms down by 17%. • Biggest losers: investment banking (- 47%), retail (-26%) and accountancy (-15%). • Microsoft – 5,000 applications for 25 jobs. • Applications to leading firms up by 30-50%. Overview plummet by 32% over past 2 years. • Media jobs • Still buoyant: public services (+51% in 2 years) and the armed services (+17%).
  • 3. But not all sectors face recession
  • 4. But not all sectors face recession “It’s business as usual. We are in it for the long term, and our graduate recruitment will continue so we can meet our goal, which is to have the right skills and capabilities in the organisation to meet the energy gap of the future.” Bob Athwal, RWE npower
  • 5. Not all are in recession “We are fortunate, as a business with very little exposure to the credit markets, to be relatively unaffected by the economic downturn. .. we are particularly attractive in a downturn … Previous years have seen double-digit growth. 2008 finished with an excess of 25% growth.” Dan Ronald, MD, Aldi.
  • 6. • 1991: last major recession (graduate vacancies down by 32%); • 1999: 34%: fall in vacancies linked to drop in manufacturing demand; • 2002-3: 6% fall, linked to dot com bubble. So what’s different now? We have been here before …
  • 7. More globalisation. More deregulation. More debt. More competition. More Internet.
  • 8. ‘The internet has created a global psyche. The web has mentally joined us at the hip, so we can no longer put our heads in the sand. If that sounds painfully contorted, it is because it is. Just as no country can decouple itself from the ailing global economy, none of us as individuals can decouple ourselves from the ailing global psyche ...’ Lucy Kellaway, FT, 01.02.09
  • 9. ‘… Through blogs, websites and e-mails the world’s economic ills are fed to us on a drip all day long. It is not just that we hear about bad things faster, we hear about more of them and in a more immediate way. My worries become yours, and yours become mine. On the internet, a trouble shared online is not a trouble halved. It is a trouble needlessly multiplied all over the world.’ Lucy Kellaway, FT, 01.02.09
  • 10. The “War for Talent?” “The recession has meant that the War for Talent has been won – by employers. From now on, it’s not the graduates who will be calling the shots, but us.” Times 100 graduate recruitment manager, Jan. 09.
  • 11. Weapons of mass rejection
  • 12. Percentage of employers using various selection techniques when selecting graduates. 1999 2009 Only accept on-line app’s 2% 76% Only accept paper app’s 98% 2% Telephone screening 10% 40% On-line exercises 2% 36% Personality tests 35% 64% Numeracy tests 25% 80% Verbal reasoning 23% 71% Assessment centres 21% 79%
  • 13. What do employers want?
  • 14. ‘According to a survey of 500 directors, when recruiting, 64% said graduates’ employability skills were more important to their firm than the specific occupational, technical or academic skills associated to a degree.’ Institute of Directors Skills Briefing, Dec. 2007, ‘Graduates employability skills’.
  • 15. Stephen Green, Group Chairman, HSBC, 14 Jan. 09 “We recruit up to 1,500 graduates on to one of our 70 graduate programmes around the world. For those jobs, globally, we receive around 100,000 applications. As 90% have a 2.2 or a 2.1 and will therefore meet our criteria, it takes something extra to stand out.”
  • 16. “Recent recruits include a graduate who taught English and Spanish in Guatemala; one who ran a restaurant; another who worked in the Beijing Paralympics; a Punjabi singer who’s been on TV. Another graduate from Cameroon had published a book and set up a small business selling second hand clothes from New York to Africa, before joining HSBC.”
  • 17. “Strong academic performance is a prerequisite ... but those with the employability edge will demonstrate experience and skills gained inside and outside of study.” Sonja Stockton, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
  • 18. the Employability Edge?
  • 19. Daily Mail : 10/12/08 ‘City law firms only ever interview Oxbridge graduates and, normally speaking, someone from Leeds would not get a look in. This isn't because firms look down on other universities – it is simply because they consider that Oxbridge fulfils their needs, so why bother to broaden the net?’
  • 20. “Unpaid internships are incredibly hard to get, and one does have to use every contact you have ever known,” says Geraldine Foster, who works at a management consultancy in London. “Being able to offer them is a currency that senior managers trade to help their friends and, in turn, their own children.” Sunday Times, 18/01/09
  • 21. Player or Purist?
  • 22. “The stereotype of Oxbridge Man is no longer the gold standard … The ‘gentlemen’ are losing out to female and male ‘players’ who combined elite credentials with other aspects, as employers look for ‘cosmopolitans’ rather than ‘locals’. Narrow experiences, even those of the upper classes, may now be discounted as lacking the flexibility to work in different social contexts’. Brown & Hesketh, ESRC, (2003).
  • 23. The Purist “It’s all about being you.” Views process as essentially objective.” “What’s it got to do with anyone what I do outside of University?” “If I don’t get in, it clearly wasn’t meant to be.”
  • 24. The Player “Recruitment? It’s a game, we’re the players.” Consciously seeks out new opportunities and challenges in which to shine. “If I don’t succeed, I’ll learn from the experience and try again.”
  • 25. Career Strategies
  • 26. 1.Financial flexibility • Flexibility is the key to surviving difficult economic conditions; • Try to avoid all unnecessary purchases (cars, houses, dogs!); • Access not ownership; • Take control of your finances before they take control of you.
  • 27. “Don’t own nothin’ if you can help it. If you can, rent your shoes.” Tom Peters
  • 28. 2. What’s so special about YOU? • What is your USP? What are you offering that others aren’t? What is it about your USP that employers should know about?
  • 29. 3. Focus on adding value • Not all organisations have vacancies, but all organisations have problems. • Your task is to find out what these are, then show how you can solve them.
  • 30. 4. Always have a Plan B. • Careers seldom run smooth. Everyone has to start somewhere – even if that ‘somewhere’ wasn’t on the original map. • Be ready to challenge your own assumptions. • McJobs needn’t remain McJobs. • Don’t judge organisations by their brand reputation.
  • 31. 5. Self-reliance • Don’t expect anyone to look after your career for you. Chances are, they won’t. • Your vision of where you want to be is your greatest asset. • Establish your goals, and review them regularly.
  • 32. 6.Quality not quantity • A few well-researched, well-presented applications always beat the scatter-gun approach. • It’s also a lot more time- efficient. • Avoid CV templates and anything that makes you appear standardised.
  • 33. 7. Do your homework • Employers expect you to be an expert researcher when it comes to doing your homework on their organisation. • When you’ve done the work, ensure that you demonstrate just how much you know.
  • 34. 8. Network • Most jobs still go to people with access to key networks. Who you know – and who knows you - is therefore vital. • Apply different job search strategies. • Tip: informational interviewing.
  • 35. 9. Internships • The value of work experience is greater than ever. • Placements – paid or unpaid – can set you aside from the competition. • Employers view work experience as a sign of commitment and motivation. • It can also give you a head start on new opportunities.
  • 36. 10. Formula for Crunchonomics Q + WE + S x C = Emp.
  • 37. Graduate Internship Programme
  • 38.