The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown periods had huge impacts on many cohorts but, in particular, it has been incredibly tough for school leavers and university students.
A survey by Prospects on the impact of the pandemic on graduate recruitment)found that 28.2% of university students had their job offer deferred or cancelled and 26.1% had lost their work placement or internship.
Some firms, including the insurance firm Zurich UK, have acknowledged these challenges and are shaking up their approach to graduate hiring. The main reason for this is to cater for ‘generation Covid’ after two years of lockdown disrupted young peoples’ chances to gain work experience and get a foot in the door.
A lack of internships and work placements available during the pandemic left many graduates with less real-world experience than previous generations and statistics have also supported this. According to a 2022 study from Careerpass, around one-quarter of young people feel that they have been unable to gain the right employability skills throughout their studies.
How Zurich is achieving this
Ahead of opening applications for graduate opportunities in September, Zurich UK has tweaked its hiring process. Taking all of the above into account, the insurance company – which has its headquarters in Switzerland – has adapted its hiring process to ensure that job applicants aren’t penalised for having fewer life events to draw on in the assessment process, a move which can provide a fairer opportunity to prospective talent but also give the organisation access to a wider pool of talent.
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