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Graduate recruitment: only a third expect to stay in the next 5 years

Average salaries within the industry have increased since 2010, which is when the AGR last conducted a survey of this nature. In 2010 the average salary for a graduate recruitment officer was &pound27,000 and a manager with direct reports could earn an average of &pound43,300. These averages have risen by 21% and 9% respectively.

In 2015 benchmarks for entry-level salaries are around &pound30,000, similar to the next highest pay grade of officers/coordinators who are paid an average of &pound32,700. Managers with direct reports earn &pound47,300 compared to &pound43,900 for those without. Heads of department receive an average of &pound67,000, but with sector differences of more than &pound20,000. Manager salaries are highest in the finance and legal sectors (&pound54,400 and &pound53,600 respectively) and lowest in the FMCG sector (&pound34,700). 58% of those surveyed are eligible for an annual bonus.

Employers could definitely be more strategic around developing their staff. Only 39% of individual recruiters and developers perceive that their organisation has a talent development strategy for HR professionals. There are also communication challenges around existing strategies, with 20% of respondents stating that they don’t know whether a strategy exists. Just over half of respondents (51%) received training in the last year at an average of only 4 days each.

Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the AGR, said, “As recruiters and developers we should apply equal attention to our own people as we do to the students we hire. With just 37% of individuals expecting to stay in our industry in the next 5 years, we need to be doing more to develop and retain the best recruiters and developers. With average salaries growing increasing faster than inflation, employers are competing to recruit and retain good people – just as they are with graduate hires.”

Team resourcing

The survey also explored challenges facing teams, and team resourcing. The top challenges predicted for the next two years are a lack of resources or budget (26% of respondents), followed by operating in a more competitive market (24%), and scaling up the volume of hires (14%) .

The average number of graduate and intern hires per recruiter is 39, with 80% of participating organisations recruiting interns or undergraduates. The industries with the highest numbers of hires per recruiter were the retail and IT/telecoms industries, with 60 and 58 graduate and intern hires for every team member respectively. The FMCG industry had the lowest number, at 20.

A third of respondents have international recruitment as part of their remit, suggesting that the search for the best entry level talent continues to stretch globally. 22% were recruiting international talent to UK vacancies, with Europe, Asia and the Middle East being the most popular source of talent. 43% of those who do the reverse – recruiting UK talent to international vacancies – recruit to Asia.


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