Pitch early for student talent, employers told

Employers are being urged to target second-year undergraduates after
research shows that fewer final-year students hunt for jobs.

The study by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit shows that only 7
per cent of students look for a job at the start of their final year, and
nearly half claim they will leave it until midway through.

The survey of 1,200 students also finds that nearly a fifth plan to look for
a job in the summer after graduation and 11 per cent will leave it until they
return from travelling.

Mike Hill, chief executive of Careers Services Unit, urged employers to
develop work experience programmes for second-year students.

He said, "Through targeting second-year students, companies will beat
the final-year rush and give themselves a larger pool of talent to choose from.

"Also, by getting second-year undergraduates into work experience the
students have the advantage of finding out about the organisation and its
culture. If the employer is happy with the student it is able to beat its
rivals by offering a job."

The Careers Services Unit research was launched at the Association of
Graduate Recruiters annual conference in Wales last week and Hill urged
employers to form a closer relationship with university careers services.

"If careers services staff are aware of an organisation, it will help
the employer when students go to them for advice."

Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the AGR, said, "If the final-year
recruitment percentage is correct then employers will have to review their
recruitment processes.

"I am a great believer in student work experience. Undergraduates get
an insight into the world of work and it improves their future job prospects.
Employers get to promote their organisation to students and build up a
relationship with individuals.

By Paul Nelson

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