Our key takeouts from the 2021 AAGE Virtual Conference: 'Taking yourself off mute'! 

Posted by Kevin Morris


The overarching theme for this year’s conference was what the future of the graduate recruitment looks like in a post pandemic world, and how we can prepare ourselves for major shifts in the industry. As a new member of the GradConnection team this was also my first AAGE Conference! Here are some of the key takeouts I took from the three days of presentations -   

It’s a competitive market right now

Due to the 2020 and 2021 Covid-19 pandemic it’s the most competitive marketplace that we have seen in a long time, with multiple graduate positions and a limited number of graduates to fill them.

New ways to attract the best talent in the marketplace

Hirers should be focusing on the candidates themselves and personalising their recruitment approach, this may be through various non-traditional channels and by enhancing the overall candidate experience. Employers are creating the company graduates want to work for.

Knowing your target market

Employers who know their target market are finding success by creating value to attract graduate talent. Competition is increasing to find talent and as employers the design and engagement of programs must be spot on to resonate and engage with the next generation of future leaders.

Recruitment shake-up

Traditional programs need to change to allow for diverse hiring and inclusion, with graduates reporting this as a key requirement of their future workplaces. 

New engagement methods

Top programs are looking at ways to better build personal connections between the organisation and the new graduates. This can be achieved by designing engagement that promotes teamwork, networking, and better personal connections. For example, some of the new induction and graduate leadership conferences that employers are running to facilitate a strong culture in the graduate program.

By facilitating these employers are creating a high retention rate for graduates by keeping them engaged with the business even after the program has come to an end, allowing for a strong pipeline of talent. 

In summary

Companies need to be future thinking and innovative in the ways of working to offer flexibility, diversity, and inclusion in order to be competitive in this dynamic and changing landscape. 

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