It was the Graduate Fairs last week, with over 100 employers on our campus looking to hire graduate talent. To reflect our international profile of students, over the two days we made a point of exploring with a number of the exhibitors whether they were able and / or willing to hire international applicants. There were mixed responses as you would expect. These ranged from “I am not on the Register” or ” our starting salaries are too low” (which is expected) to “Yes, we are happy to sponsor if we meet the right applicant” (good news!)
However, there was also a mix of employers who were not necessarily familiar with the latest legislation and felt they could not sponsor, or simply did not sponosr “as company policy”. My colleague and I did our best to help some of the organisations get a better sense of the latest regulations (no-one tells employers) , and put them in touch with immigration support where needed – so let’s hope that it has enabled some of our international students to progress UK opportunities and offer their talent.
However, it also got us thinking about how employers come across online and how that can be confusing and is interpreted by our international students. Employers often have a statement on their website about diversity and welcoming talent, but often there is a lack of clarity about whether they are willing to sponsor. Some statements are interpreted in different ways too. To help us to guide employers better, therefore, we have decided to ask you what you think (and interpret) from employers’ standpoints.
If you could spare 2 minutes to complete our poll, we will share our findings with you on this blog. We will also include a summary of the employer perspectives we gained at the fair. We will also be sharing this with recruiters.
Amanda Conway is the Head of International Career Development at The University of Manchester. Amanda has been a career consultant at the University for over 15 years and also has a background in retail management and HR, psychometric testing and personality profiling.