Written by Jennifer Johansson, CEO, Placed App

With a record number of university applications this year – 43.9% of 18-year-olds in England according to UCAS, many young people could miss out on their desired course due to the high level of competition for places.

Along with those who decided not to apply to university in the first place, there is a pool of young talent that will now want to enter the job market.

This is a great time for employers to widen their search and include more school leavers and 18 to 25-year-olds without a degree in their interview processes.

Entry Level Employees

It is tempting for some employers to have a cookie cutter process for recruiting entry level employees. For some it is the first gatekeeper in the process. If the keyword degree is not present in the CV, the application may not even be looked at by a real person. In many of these cases, the pre-requisite of a degree should be dropped because the star candidate could be missed.

Recently we heard from a senior broker manager in the City of London who had first-hand experience of this in the competitive recruitment space of trading. Having looked through the shortlist of CVs that his staff had made, he wasn’t inspired by his choices. So he went through the rejected pile of CVs and found one that stood out immediately. Impressive performance, outstanding figures, clear examples of competence. Why was it rejected? No degree. Who got the job and completely excelled in the role? The initially rejected candidate who had opted to go straight into work after leaving school.

Innovative Employers

To attract the best candidates, employers need to think outside of the box and this is a trend that we are starting to see in many sectors. Innovative employers using Placed App to recruit staff have introduced fast-track to management schemes, apprenticeships and mentor schemes. This puts them on the radar of the go-getters who want to succeed. It also promotes loyalty to the companies and helps to retain staff long-term.

Recovery post lockdown

Certain sectors also need to raise awareness of the opportunities that are not always obvious to job seekers. The hospitality sector is one key example with a major staff shortage impacting recovery post lockdown. In a recent survey by Placed App, almost 60 percent of job seekers said there is a stigma attached to working in the industry due to pay, hours and lack of prospects. The sector is campaigning hard to change that view and promote the wonderful career opportunities including chefs, sommeliers and front of house teams.

As recruiters we have a responsibility to help rebuild the economy after the pandemic. We are proud to be part of this fight at Placed App.

About the author

Jennifer Johansson is the founder and CEO of Placed App, the mobile-first recruitment app that match-makes job seekers with vacancies. Live updates, accurate matches and no need for CVs.

By Lisa Baker, Senior Editor

Senior Editor Lisa Baker is the owner of Need to See it Publishing Group, providing contract news for business and news sites across the UK. Lisa is an experienced HR writer and commentator, editing HR publications for more than 5 years.