The 2017 GradConnection Returnee Report

Posted by Tony Ye

The 2017 GradConnection Returnee Report

GradConnection are pleased to share our 2017 Returnee Report. The aim of the report is to provide universities with insights into the hiring preferences of employers in Asia to improve the employability outcomes of their returning students.

It also provides invaluable benchmarking information for the Chinese and Hong Kong employers who completed the survey. This year, 124 organisations in China and Hong Kong participated in our 2017 Returnee Survey, an increase of 25% from 2016. Here is a summary of our main findings:

Employer Benchmarking

The results from our 2017 GradConnection Returnee Survey enable you to establish a benchmark for returnee student recruitment and provide insights into current graduate and intern recruitment trends. Kind findings are as follows:

  • Returnee students from the US (85%) and the UK (82%) are still most targeted by employers. Australia is next highest at (51%) – a large gap.
  • 28% of employers had more than 100 graduate vacancies.
  • The majority 23.4% of employers indicated that more than half of their graduate roles would go to returnee students. Almost the same number of employers (22.5%) indicated less than 5% of graduate roles would go to returnees.
  • Over 50% of employers expected an increase in their hiring numbers for 2018 recruitment.
  • The volume of applications received has increased on 2016 results. There was a notable jump in employers who received between 100-1,000 applications (a 40% increase). The number of employers who received under 100 applications decreased by more than 50%.

Why Employers Target Universities

It was interesting to learn the reasons why employers target / don’t target specific universities. Around 50% of employers stated they only target universities they are aware of because of their knowledge of returnee student numbers and demographics. When indicating the reasons why you don’t target specific universities, a lack of time (46%) and lack of awareness of international returnee numbers and study disciplines (54%) were primary reasons.

It’s no surprise that more than 80% of employers indicated you would target those universities you haven’t heard of if you knew they had a high number of returnee students. This presents an opportunity for international universities and Chinese and Hong Kong employers to establish and nurture stronger relationships and information sharing (which is what our team at GradConnection aim to help you with during our 2018 Returnee Summit).

Sharing the Report Findings

Thanks to all employers who responded to our 2017 Returnee Survey – the information you provide is invaluable in improving the employability prospects of international returnees upon completion of their study abroad.

We’ll again share these findings with the heads of services at Australia’s AAGE, the UK’s AGCAS, and with US delegates at the NACE Conference and Expo in March. If you’d like more information or to access the report, please contact Tony Ye.

2018 GradConnection Returnee Summits

We’re excited to announce we’ll be hosting our 2018 GradConnection Returnee Summits in China and Hong Kong later in the year. We look forward to the opportunity to again connect top employers with renowned universities for face-to- face networking opportunities and information sharing.

We’ll announce more information around the dates and venues shortly. You’re welcome to register your interest in attending or to enquire about hosting a career fair exhibition booth for broader exposure to attending returnees. Booths are limited.

Please get in touch with our friendly team if you’d like to learn more.


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