Employers burning their bridges with graduates

May 25 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

As the graduate recruitment season moves into full swing, new research reveals that far too many British employers are damaging their reputations thanks to shockingly poor graduate recruitment practices.

Research by GTI Specialist Publishers has found that the majority of this year's graduates have had at least one bad experience when applying to companies, be they large or small.

Over two-thirds of students complained that they had been upset by the way they were treated by potential employers.

The treatment they received ranged from the lack of response to applications to no feedback following interviews. More than four out of 10 (44 per cent) claimed that employers had either not bothered to reply to their applications or taken weeks even months to respond.

One student claimed that the interviewer had yawned all the way through an interview
In addition, almost a third (31 per cent) were unimpressed by the impersonal way they were communicated with, often with generic email that referred to them as a candidate.

More seriously, there were many instances when there were mix ups over interviews and job offers.

A small number of students also claimed they had been victims of blatant race or sex discrimination. Some had had to endure interviews where they felt intimidated or largely ignored. One student claimed that the interviewer had yawned all the way through an interview.

Aggressive marketing , pushy recruitment executives and an abundance of email and leaflets where the chief marketing 'turn offs' that students complained about.

But companies which treat students poorly during recruitment are damaging their reputation, not only with the individuals concerned but with fellow students, friends and family.

Seven out of 10 of those who participated said that they had gone on to tell several people about their bad experiences and six out of 10 had been put off dealing with that employer in the future.

More than eight out of 10 also said that they were influenced by what their friends and family thought about prospective employers.

Yet as the research also revealed, graduates themselves are also bringing some damaging prejudices to their job hunts. In particular, fewer than one in 10 (9 per cent) said they would consider working for a smaller company where job opportunities and career prospects could potentially be greater.

Chris Phillips, Publishing Director at GTI Specialist Publishers said that companies were letting themselves down by poor recruitment practices.

"Companies spend a small fortune promoting their brand and attracting the best staff yet word-of-mouth about lack of professionalism or rudeness when talking to potential recruits is severely damaging their reputation."