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“Generation Crunch_” Careers_ Employability_ and the Credit Crunch


									Generation Crunch! Careers,
Employability, and the Credit Crunch –
new concepts for old ideas?
Dr Paul Redmond, Head of Careers and Employability
• Jobs with top firms down by 17%.
• Biggest losers: investment banking (- 47%),
  retail (-26%) and accountancy (-15%).
• Microsoft – 5,000 applications for 25 jobs.
• Applications to leading firms up by 30-50%.
Overview plummet by 32% over past 2 years.
• Media jobs
• Still buoyant: public services (+51% in 2 years)
  and the armed services (+17%).
But not all sectors face recession
But not all sectors face recession

“It‟s business as usual. We are in it for the
long term, and our graduate recruitment will
continue so we can meet our goal, which is
to have the right skills and capabilities in the
organisation to meet the energy gap of the

Bob Athwal, RWE npower
Not all are in recession

“We are fortunate, as a business with very
little exposure to the credit markets, to be
relatively unaffected by the economic
downturn. .. we are particularly attractive
in a downturn … Previous years have
seen double-digit growth. 2008 finished
with an excess of 25% growth.”
Dan Ronald, MD, Aldi.
• 1991:   last major recession (graduate
          vacancies down by 32%);
• 1999:   34%: fall in vacancies linked to drop in
          manufacturing demand;
• 2002-3: 6% fall, linked to dot com bubble.

So what‟s different now?
We have been here before …
More globalisation.
More deregulation.
   More debt.
More competition.
  More Internet.
„The internet has created a global psyche.
The web has mentally joined us at the hip,
so we can no longer put our heads in the
sand. If that sounds painfully contorted, it
is because it is. Just as no country can
decouple itself from the ailing global
economy, none of us as individuals can
decouple ourselves from the ailing global
psyche ...‟
Lucy Kellaway, FT, 01.02.09
          The “War for Talent?”

“The recession has meant that the War
for Talent has been won – by
employers. From now on, it‟s not the
graduates who will be calling the shots,
but us.”

Times 100 graduate recruitment manager, Jan. 09.
Weapons of mass rejection
Percentage of employers using various selection
techniques when selecting graduates.

                              1999        2009

Only accept on-line app‟s     2%          76%
Only accept paper app‟s       98%         2%
Telephone screening           10%         40%
On-line exercises             2%          36%
Personality tests             35%         64%
Numeracy tests                25%         80%
Verbal reasoning              23%         71%
Assessment centres            21%         79%
What do employers
„According to a survey of 500
directors, when recruiting, 64% said
graduates‟ employability skills were
more important to their firm than the
specific occupational, technical or
academic skills associated to a

Institute of Directors Skills Briefing, Dec. 2007, „Graduates employability
Stephen Green, Group Chairman, HSBC, 14 Jan. 09

“We recruit up to 1,500 graduates on
to one of our 70 graduate
programmes around the world. For
those jobs, globally, we receive
around 100,000 applications. As 90%
have a 2.2 or a 2.1 and will therefore
meet our criteria, it takes something
extra to stand out.”
“Recent recruits include a graduate who
taught English and Spanish in Guatemala;
one who ran a restaurant; another who
worked in the Beijing Paralympics; a
Punjabi singer who‟s been on TV. Another
graduate from Cameroon had published a
book and set up a small business selling
second hand clothes from New York to
Africa, before joining HSBC.”
“Strong academic performance is
a prerequisite ... but those with
the employability edge will
demonstrate experience and
skills gained inside and outside of
Sonja Stockton, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
the Employability Edge?
Daily Mail : 10/12/08

  „City law firms only ever interview
 Oxbridge graduates and, normally
 speaking, someone from Leeds would
 not get a look in. This isn't because
 firms look down on other universities –
 it is simply because they consider that
 Oxbridge fulfils their needs, so why
 bother to broaden the net?‟
“Unpaid internships are incredibly hard to
get, and one does have to use every
contact you have ever known,” says
Geraldine Foster, who works at a
management consultancy in London.
“Being able to offer them is a currency
that senior managers trade to help
their friends and, in turn, their own
Sunday Times, 18/01/09
Player or Purist?
“The stereotype of Oxbridge Man is no
longer the gold standard … The
„gentlemen‟ are losing out to female and
male „players‟ who combined elite
credentials with other aspects, as
employers look for „cosmopolitans‟ rather
than „locals‟. Narrow experiences, even
those of the upper classes, may now be
discounted as lacking the flexibility to
work in different social contexts‟.
Brown & Hesketh, ESRC, (2003).
                       The Purist
“It‟s all about being you.”
Views process as
essentially objective.”
“What‟s it got to do with
anyone what I do outside
of University?”
“If I don‟t get in, it clearly
wasn‟t meant to be.”
                 The Player
“Recruitment? It’s a game,
we’re the players.”
Consciously seeks out
new opportunities and
challenges in which to
“If I don’t succeed, I’ll
learn from the experience
and try again.”
Career Strategies
1.Financial flexibility
• Flexibility is the key to
  surviving difficult
  economic conditions;
• Try to avoid all
  unnecessary purchases
  (cars, houses, dogs!);
• Access not ownership;
• Take control of your
  finances before they take
  control of you.
“Don‟t own nothin‟ if you can help
it. If you can, rent your shoes.”
Tom Peters
2. What’s so special about YOU?

• What is your USP?
  What are you offering
  that others aren’t?
  What is it about your
  USP that employers
  should know about?
3. Focus on adding value
• Not all organisations
  have vacancies, but all
  organisations have
• Your task is to find out
  what these are, then
  show how you can
  solve them.
4. Always have a Plan B.
• Careers seldom run
  smooth. Everyone has to
  start somewhere – even if
  that ‘somewhere’ wasn’t
  on the original map.
• Be ready to challenge your
  own assumptions.
• McJobs needn’t remain
• Don’t judge organisations
  by their brand reputation.
5. Self-reliance
• Don’t expect anyone
  to look after your
  career for you.
  Chances are, they
• Your vision of where
  you want to be is your
  greatest asset.
• Establish your goals,
  and review them
6.Quality not quantity
• A few well-researched,
  applications always beat
  the scatter-gun approach.
• It’s also a lot more time-
• Avoid CV templates and
  anything that makes you
  appear standardised.
7. Do your homework

• Employers expect you
  to be an expert
  researcher when it
  comes to doing your
  homework on their
• When you’ve done the
  work, ensure that you
  demonstrate just how
  much you know.
8. Network
• Most jobs still go to
  people with access to
  key networks. Who you
  know – and who knows
  you - is therefore vital.
• Apply different job
  search strategies.
• Tip: informational
9. Internships
• The value of work
  experience is greater than
• Placements – paid or
  unpaid – can set you aside
  from the competition.
• Employers view work
  experience as a sign of
  commitment and
• It can also give you a head
  start on new opportunities.
       10. Formula for Crunchonomics

Q + WE + S x C = Emp.
Graduate Internship Programme

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