The Engineering sector has been and will continue to be affected by the recession to some degree, but Gradcracker, the specialist engineering graduate recruitment website, is finding that many companies are continuing to recruit graduates.
Whilst a few Gradcracker advertisers have already closed their Graduate intake for 2009, the majority are still actively recruiting for both graduates and placement students.
Many companies have recently committed to Gradcracker until August 2010. Some of the latest clients to sign up include Doosan Babcock, Faber Maunsell, Cummins and The Environment Agency.
Many employers, such as Tubelines and Triumph Motorcycles, have recently advertised new vacancies on Gradcracker, whilst others, including Mars and Network Rail, have opted for home page banners to highlight their graduate schemes.
Gradcracker strongly believes that it is crucial for companies to maintain recruitment levels, if at all possible, to avoid a shortage of skilled and trained staff in the future.
Gradcracker Director, Sean O’Connor, comments ‘Companies who are freezing, or greatly reducing, their graduate recruitment now may well face problems in the future. When the recession does end, these companies could find themselves starting to get busier, but not having the people in place to cope.
“This will lead to an urgent need to recruit, but by this point the best candidates may well have been snapped up by companies who have continued to recruit through the lean times.’
Meanwhile, many employers are insisting on ever higher standards from applicants.
Sir Anthony Cleaver, Chairman of the Engineering and Technology Board (ETB), said in the press recently ‘Companies are becoming more demanding of graduate engineer applicants. Employers are now looking for a broad skill set, they want more in terms of teamworking, communication skills, project management and entrepreneurship’.
It is Gradcracker’s belief that the recession will mean more and more companies advertise vacancies on industry specific, rather than general, websites.
Sean O’Connor said ‘Not surprisingly, many employers need the money they spend on recruitment to work harder than ever for them in the current economic downturn. Is advertising for Graduate Engineers on a general Graduate job site economically viable when only a relatively small percentage of visitors to the site are your target audience?
“The way forward is for companies to become more targeted and more specialised in their Graduate recruitment approach.’