Don’t forget diversity!
Despite all the talk of ‘Generation Crunch’, the lost generation of graduates, the most recent survey from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) revealed the positive news that the graduate market had a surprisingly buoyant 2009 compared to expectations. OK, so vacancies still dropped by 8.9%, but many feared this would be more like 25%.
Even so, that 9% squeeze has still had a dramatic impact on the number of applications per role – the fear factor has caused an increase in the number of jobs each graduate applies to. And that’s led to an increase in the number of rejection letters arriving in applicants’ mail boxes.
Does this have an impact on diversity? Are the first candidates to get those letters from diverse backgrounds? Whether educationally or ethnically diverse these candidates might be overlooked in the bad times as recruiters limit their focus to candidates from just one or two of the top (and perhaps less diverse) universities.
Here on the graduate team at FreshMinds Talent we’ve just done some research into our ratios for candidates we’ve been placing on graduate schemes over the last few months. We’ve calculated that around 30-40% of successful candidates on the biggest schemes we’ve been running have come from ethnically diverse backgrounds. It’s not a statistic that is often considered, but surely it’s worth shouting about that we’re doing our bit to end the ‘Inclusion Crunch’ – and hopefully other employers will strive to do the same, regardless of how quickly the market picks up.