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What do employers want from new recruits?

25 February 2013

Thursday 21st March 2013, Olympia 2, National Career Guidance Show

A light breakfast will be served from 8am. Seminar will begin at 8.30am prompt and will be followed by networking. There is also the opportunity to stay and explore the National Careers Guidance Show afterwards.

The third Prospects Interchange event, 'What do employers want from new recruits?' is to be held in London on 21st March and will be chaired by Deirdre Hughes, OBE, Associate Fellow at Warwick Institute for Employment Research, Chair of National Careers Council and Commissioner at UK Commission for Employment & Skills.

The leading speakers are Joe Billington, Director, National Careers Service; Mark Wakefield, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Manager, IBM; and Alison Heron, Head of Student Recruitment, KPMG.

The seminar will explore employers' expectations. While the speakers will say employers do not have a definitive checklist of key attributes and qualities, some young people may have different criteria in mind, when applying for entry level roles, from those required by recruiters.

Young people often believe qualifications are the deciding factor, but research suggests many companies value experience and attitude more highly. This is demonstrated by the fact that a third of graduate recruits have undertaken work experience with the company for which they eventually work. Access to internships and work experience is far from universal, and is often reliant on family connections and/or the ability to fund oneself through a period of unpaid work.

During the recession employers are demanding more experience and higher qualifications; many view 16–18 year old recruits as risky and a potential burden, and may have negative stereotypes about young people. Informal recruitment methods, such as workplace social networks, are increasingly being adopted.

The seminar will examine these issues in more depth and will share best practice in recruitment of young people from some of the UK’s top employers.

If you would like to attend the seminar, or have any contacts who might be interested in joining Prospects Interchange, please contact

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