What's fresh

The AGR Conference and Summer Survey results July 2012

Here are my top 10 key takeaways from the AGR Summer survey results.

1. Graduate Vacancies have dropped 0.6%. Whilst a drop is never ideal, this is less than we thought which is positive. When we drill down per sector, vacancies increased in the sectors of Energy and Utilities, IT and Telecoms, Engineering and Industrial, Public Sector, Transport and Professional Services  and Accountancy. Accountancy made up 21.9% of the total vacancy pie.

2. The last 3 years have shown stagnation in salaries however in 2012 the increase in graduate salaries will be an overall 6% with the consulting, accountancy and FMCG sectors being the top movers.

3.  In 2010-2011, we experienced the 'scattergun' application approach with an average of 83.2 applications per vacancy. This has come down to 73.2 applications per vacancy. Jane Clark of Barclays said she has been pleased with 'a more targeted and focussed application approach from graduates resulting in higher quality applications'. The most competitive sectors such as Retail and Investment Banking receive the most applications per vacancy, as high as 150.

4. It seems that 76% of AGR members surveyed still look for a 2.1 degree as their entry standard criteria.

5. An interesting statistic about internships and placements, 73.9% of AGR members offer internships and this number is increasing. 52.8% offer sandwich and Industrial placements and 32.8% offer some sort of work placements. The expert panel mentioned that their internships are now open to graduates as well as undergraduates and the conversion ratios to the graduate programme remain for the majority between 21-40%. 

6. A general theme of the conference for me has been the increased emphasis on graduate development programmes. The survey concurred with 87.6% of AGR members running development programmes in their organisations with the majority lasting 1-2years.

7. Retention Figures were interesting with the average retention rate for graduates recruited a year ago being as high as 95.4% and 81.4% for those recruited 3 years ago. 

8. Salary progression is an interesting challenge for AGR members. Whilst salaries have stagnated for the more experienced employees and graduates, the starting salary for new graduates has risen this year. This poses a challenge for graduate recruiters on how to structure salary progression internally. 

9. 46% of AGR members are beginning to collate and monitor socio-economic data for their applicants around type of schooling and whether they are first generation graduates. 54% don’t monitor this information and have no intention to. Aaron Porter of CFE suggested that with the current government's focus on social mobility, this area is one to watch.

10. Finally, looking ahead....what can we expect....well, a combination of green shoots, ongoing Eurozone uncertainty, public sector cuts and perhaps a reduction in university applicants.

Graduate recruitment has never been more fascinating, fast-moving and ever-changing....watch this space for further AGR seminar summaries and news.

Please get in touch with FreshMinds if you would like any further insights on the above, we speak to our clients and candidates each day so are at the cutting edge of what's happening in the marketplace.

All in all, another fantastic AGR Conference to help us all 'get ahead of the game' in 2012 and beyond.