With many of the investment banks and others sectors reducing their graduate recruitment or not recruiting at all – other companies and sectors are clearly benefiting with increased, quality applications. (And who says undergraduates aren’t aware of what is going on in the world around them?!) But being the pessimistic culture we are, many are now talking about this only storing up retention issues for the future; the rationale being when the economy picks up again – as it inevitably will (and what will Robert Peston have to talk about then?!) – then all those graduates who joined ‘2nd choice’ sectors and companies will leave.
Instead I say see this as an opportunity, as a ‘2nd choice’ employer to become a permanent 1st choice employer. Do a great job with the graduates who you do hire in 2009 and then use their success stories in your recruitment in 2010, 2011 and beyond to become a permanent 1st choice employer! Get your graduates to be open and honest about what they had initially planned to do and then go on to show how much they have developed as a result of the company they joined.
There is always opportunity to be found as long as we are always looking for it!