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Great expectations: Creating a new experience for the workforce of the future

Insights from the Accenture Strategy 2016 UK University Graduate Employment Study

Overview

For the second year in a row, the results of the Accenture Strategy UK University Graduate Employment Study highlight a significant difference between the expectations of new university graduates and the experiences of recent graduates.

The class of 2016 is entering the workforce with confidence in how they have been prepared and great expectations for their careers.

But our data also points to some bad news: reality is not matching those expectations. Employers are missing the opportunity to convert workforce passion and energy into purpose and long-term engagement. Business success over the next decade depends on attracting and retaining the best and the brightest of the workforce of the future.

DOWNLOAD GREAT EXPECTATIONS: REDESIGNING THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE FOR THE WORKFORCE OF THE FUTURE [PDF]

Only 1 in 4 graduates wants to work for a large company

Key Findings



University graduates are passionate, practical and prepared
Asked why they chose their area of study, 62 percent of 2016 UK graduates said it’s because they are passionate about it. At the same time, four in five graduates considered the availability of jobs before deciding on their degree course.

What do graduates want in return?
In return for their passion and commitment, university graduates are looking for interesting but also relevant work. 2016 graduates also expect an engaging, even fun culture.

Of particular concern to large companies: Many of this year’s UK graduates do not want to work for you. Only one in four want to work for a large corporation.

Companies are not delivering on employees’ “great expectations”
The proportion of recent graduates who feel underemployed—meaning they are in a job that doesn’t require their university
degree—increased to 69 percent this year, up nine percentage points over last year.

2016 Graduates

The Accenture Strategy 2016 UK University Graduate Employment Study highlights the disparity between new graduate expectations and the reality of the working world.


Getting ready for the workforce


DOWNLOAD UK GRADUATES OF 2016: DRIVEN BY PASSION, SHAPED BY AUSTERITY [PDF]

Recommendations

Here are some specific actions that can help organizations create a great employee experience:

Hyper-personalize your talent strategy. Tailor and implement a comprehensive talent strategy centered on an individualized approach.

Bridge the divide. The vast majority of graduates feel their skills are underutilized. Redesign entry-level jobs to make them more engaging.

Give students early experience of your organization. Provide opportunities for graduates to experience your organization first hand through internships, apprenticeships and on-campus programs.

Provide a small-team feel. Give your people the sense that they are part of a small team, not an impersonal conglomerate.

Re-imagine the learning experience. Employers need to provide relevant formal training. Beyond that, there needs to be ample room for informal and experiential learning.

Connect passion and purpose. Display corporate social responsibility and connect employees’ work interests to the purpose of the organization.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ACCENTURE STRATEGY


Authors

Payal Vasudeva

Payal Vasudeva
Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Talent & Organization, UK and Ireland Lead

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Diana Barea

Diana Barea
Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Talent & Organization

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