Graduate recruitment season is upon us, the time when recruiters begin in earnest to try to uncover talent for this year’s intake.
But despite the urgent need for recruiters to change their approach in order to move with the times and keep up with an ever-evolving society and economy, too many still look to hire graduates based on a traditional recruitment process, which tends to focus solely on work experience as a marker of suitability.
Yet this eliminates the talented individuals who may have been unable to work alongside their degree. So what should recruiters be doing instead?
A CV is not a formality
A key point for recruiters is not to rely heavily on automated CV scanner software to vet candidates for entry-level positions. Despite being designed to make life easier, automated software will often miss the skills and digital knowledge that candidates possess due to its inability to pick up the smaller, well-thought-out elements of the CV — from its layout to its language.
Companies must also be aware that graduates won’t always list out the skills they have accrued. For example, with the rise in social media, many people have developed digital skills that might go overlooked. Generation Z can edit a TikTok video on their phone faster and potentially better than an in-house team could, but this doesn’t mean that they will have listed “video editing” as a skill on their CV.
Skills over experience
Many recruiters fail to identify or focus on the valuable skills that Gen Z have gained outside of work experience.
Through their degree, students will have developed a range of transferable skills and that set them up to succeed.
For instance, humanities students will have developed vital analytical research skills that are so often mirrored within many different career options, from data analytics to journalism.
Likewise, language students have a proven ability to adapt to new environments and cultures — an invaluable skill for future careers.
Recruiters must spot the key skills that a student’s degree has given them, and understand that these can be as valuable as any work experience.
Embrace the future
Recruiters should also focus on the entrepreneurial talents and skills that students may have gained during their time at university.
University offers so many different opportunities for students to develop themselves, from joining societies, volunteering for the union, representing the university through sport or music, or even starting their own business.
This experience highlights the drive, passion, and confidence to believe in ideas and push them forward. It also demonstrates key skills such as creativity, self-discipline and negotiation.
Recruiters must work harder to uncover the many talents that Gen Z candidates can bring to a company, and look beyond the key skills listed on a CV. Taking a more restrictive approach to vetting your next graduate intake could be detrimental to a business.
It’s also important for firms to note in the initial recruitment rounds that selecting the right graduate intake could save their company both time and money in the long run.
Even if Gen Z is not the recruiter’s target demographic right now, they will be. Gen Z is already a central driver for spending and taste in the economy.
In looking to hire Gen Z, your company is future-proofing itself, making sure that it understands the changing global economy, and bringing in fresh impetus, drive, and skills.
Gen Z are the game-changers of the future. Recruiters should embrace this, accept that old methods don’t apply anymore, and understand that Gen Z’s skills may lie outside of the traditional work experience bounds.
Main image credit: Getty
Georgios Chiotis is the brand and marketing director at Scape.