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The new year is here and you are probably reviewing and revamping your hiring strategies to get ready for the 2019 Global War for Talent. We all know the importance of getting closer to students, but do you really understand studentsā€™ job searching behavior and preference?


After a detailed analysis of nearly 100,000 active student/graduate users from 387 top business schools in 98 countries on the Highered Career Service Platform in 2018, we have gained valuable insights of global student job search behavior we want to share with you. We hope the findings will support the optimization of your campus recruitment strategy attracting top talent in 2019.Ā Ā In the first part, we look at the recruitment cycle and studentsā€™ job search behaviors.Ā 


Hiring Interns? Good timing in 1st Quarter. Still opportunities in 2nd Quarter.


Summarizing 1907 internship and part-time job advertisements posted on the Highered platform during 2018 with nearly 240,000 position views from students, we find that Quarter 1 (January to March) is peak season for companies posting job advertisements. Available job ads on the Highered platform is more than twice the amount of ads in Quarter 3 (September to November). Correspondingly, the first quarter also attracts most students to view positions.

Students are most actively searching for internship/part-time opportunities in March, followed by February and are most motivated to apply for positions in March, followed by April, indicated by the mean of position views and conversion rates.

Although a notable amount of job opportunities are posted during September and December, studentsā€™ engagement is relatively low. Yet between April and July, high conversion rates are observed – even though fewer jobs are posted, students are actively viewing the positions and sending applications. This provides a hiring opportunity for companies as overall less new jobs are posted during this period meaning there will be less risk of cannibalization from competitorsā€™ job ads, and also, as students show relatively high interest in job searching, a higher engagement rate is expected.Ā Therefore, we suggest companies that demand interns continue to focus on Q1 to increase their brand awareness while attracting more students to apply; and in the meantime, explore opportunities in Q2.


Hiring graduates? You are missing out with only one recruitment period.


Summarizing 3,612 graduate and full-time job advertisements posted on the Highered platform during 2018 with nearly 250,000 position views from students and alumni, we find that graduate jobs are available all year-round, with seasonal peaks around April – June and August – September. Q2 is the busiest season, following by Q3 – the two quarters count for 75% of all full-time job ads posted during the year.

Average conversion rates are relatively stable throughout the year. Students seem to be most actively looking for jobs in March and May – patiently browsing across different positions while a good number of new jobs are available on the Highered platform. Students are also aware of the Autumn recruitment season, showing increased effort in searching for jobs in October. Surprisingly, though few full-time job ads are posted in February, students show strong intention to apply for jobs. For companies with less rigid recruitment schemes, starting to recruit early may avoid intensive competitions during the peak seasons and present potential recruitment opportunities. Ā Ā Ā 

Therefore, we suggest companies elaborate on their recruitment timelines to match with studentsā€™ job-searching behaviors- starting earlier, taking advantage of the spring recruitment season,Ā and increasing engagement with students and alumni during autumn.

In soon to be published part two, we will discuss job search preferences.Ā Subscribe to our newsletter today and make sure to receive it as soon as it becomes available!Ā 


Highered is the strategic partner of EFMD, providing digital career services to over 500 schools globally to support your campus recruitment initiatives. To learn more aboutĀ Highered, reach out to or visit us atĀ