Small firms nervous about the Hear, warns report

Some employers are nervous about incorporating the Higher Education Achievement Report into their graduate recruitment process, a report has found.

May 24, 2013

The “new and untested” method of measuring student achievement is putting smaller firms off, although larger companies are beginning to recognise the Hear, according to Graduate Success: The HEAR and Now.

Published today by the Association of Graduate Recruiters and the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, the research, funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, calls on the government to help raise awareness of the Hear, and urges employers to utilise it more often when making appointments.

It comes after the National Union of Students warned against the introduction in the UK of a US-style grade point average system because it could “baffle” employers who are still getting used to the Hear.

The report also raises concerns that some employers are unwittingly using recruitment methods that present barriers to graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Hiring on the basis of a graduate’s degree classification, and experience gained through unpaid internships, rather than assessing the candidates’ ability to do the job on an equal basis, are highlighted in the report as potential barriers for students from poorer backgrounds.

It adds that employers that operate a fair and transparent recruitment process are seeing clear business benefits, including an increased skills base and a staff body that more accurately reflects the diversity of their customers.

Universities and science minister David Willetts said he wanted companies to make the most of the UK’s “great wealth” of graduate talent. “To do that we must ensure that all graduates with the right skills have the same access to job opportunities, regardless of their background or choice of university,” he said.

“The challenge now is for businesses, recruiters and universities to consistently provide real opportunities for talented new graduates.”

Elsewhere, the report finds that many students leave higher education without clear career ideas, and says there is strong evidence that those with fewer social advantages are less likely to apply for graduate jobs and to participate in extra-curricular activities.

It calls on higher education institutions to embed career planning into the curriculum from the first year of a degree, and explore how work experience can be built into courses to ensure all students have access to workplace opportunities.

chris.parr@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

A group of flamingos and a Marabou stork

A right-wing philosopher in Texas tells John Gill how a minority of students can shut down debates and intimidate lecturers – and why he backs Trump

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands