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What the record number of vacancies means for graduates

An interesting development to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is the seemingly continuous increase in job vacancies. According to the Office for National Statistics, job vacancies in August to October 2021 continued to rise to a new record of 1,172,000, which is an increase of 388,000 from the pre-coronavirus rate.   

Although, a small percentage of workers were made redundant during this period, a large portion of people have simply left their jobs. This is being referred to as the great resignation. In this article, we explore the different aspects that played a role in this trend occurring and how it impacts graduates.  

What caused the great resignation?

Since the easing of restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been leaving their jobs in record numbers. Out of a 6000 person survey conducted by Randstad UK, 69% of workers were feeling confident about moving to a new job in the next couple of months, while only 16% were worried about trying to get a new job. To understand these statistics, it’s helpful to assess how people’s attitudes to work have changed because of the pandemic.

Early on in the pandemic, workers were more likely to stay in jobs that they weren’t necessarily content with. However, as restrictions lifted, job security became less of a concern, leading to more workers looking for a new opportunity, or even taking their career in a completely different direction. As well as young people staying in education for longer, a lot of the older workers who lost their jobs at the start of the pandemic have decided to leave the working world for good. Because of this, the size of the workforce has got smaller, resulting in fewer people applying for jobs.

How does the great resignation impact graduates?

Although, vacancies are being filled at a faster rate than ever, there still appears to be a labour shortage right across the job market. In theory, with more vacancies available, graduates should have a higher chance of acquiring their first job. However, there has still been a reasonable amount of competition for those who are applying for graduate schemes. The reason for this is that, this year’s graduates were in direct competition with those from 2020. 

There are some positives to take from the current landscape though. Even if it’s in more of a generalised sense, graduates should have a variety of opportunities to get their first step on the career ladder. This gives graduates more leverage in deciding which company they work for. For example, before accepting a job offer, graduates are now able to ensure their values and beliefs align with the company’s

As a result of the powerful sway employees now hold in the workplace, organisations are now finding it harder to attract, recruit and retain staff. To counter this difficulty, employers are being forced to become more creative in what they can offer their employees. Therefore, it isn’t necessarily just done by increasing salaries, but can be achieved by providing a working environment that makes employees feel valued. Also, with the pandemic changing the way we approach work, future employees will likely be accustomed to and expect the benefit of a flexible working structure.

If you are a recent graduate, make sure you contact Pareto to give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding within the current job market. 

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