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Is Understanding the Class of 2017 the Key to Organisational Success

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Organisational success depends on a robust recruitment pipeline for workers at every career stage, including recent graduates. The UK Graduate Careers Survey 2017, conducted by High Fliers Research compiles the attitudes of over 20,000 graduating students from 30 leading United Kingdom universities and sheds light on what senior leaders must understand about the class of 2017.

Brexit-Influenced Career Uncertainty

The recent vote to leave the European Union has dampened graduates’ confidence in entering professional life in the UK. Survey results show that almost three-quarters of graduating students are concerned about worsening job prospects in light of Brexit. Transparency in recruitment and improved retention strategies will be crucial for organisations seeking to foster graduate commitment through this period of instability.

A Diminished Hiring Pipeline

The increasing popularity of postgraduate studies may take some of the brightest applicants to graduate schemes out of the labour market. The High Fliers survey results report that over a quarter of this year’s graduates – the highest proportion in seven years – plan to remain at university for a postgraduate course rather than entering the labour market.

An Indebted Class of Graduates

Organisations should expect the class of 2017 to have an increased focus on compensation in the medium term. Survey respondents’ projected average debt at graduation is at an all-time-high level of nearly £38,000. Graduates are likely to have hopes for robust upward salary progression to service their debts; organisations must brace themselves for the challenges of retaining recent graduates with aggressive salary expectations.

Recruiting the right graduates from the class of 2017 will be challenging due to this group’s changing needs and expectations, but can be successful if organisations better understand their perspective.

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