York-headquartered employability tech firm, Shortlist.Me – sister brand to online video interviewing solutions firm, Shortlister – has announced its biggest year of growth to date, welcoming 37 new clients to its roster and five new recruits to the team.
The two-year-old tech business has recorded a 62% increase in staffing and a 286% boost in new contracts – ending the year on a customer base of 54 and 13-strong team.
Offering users real-word interview practice, the firm’s employment-readiness platform partners with a multitude of global brands – including Mastercard, Virgin Media, and the NHS – to create video assessments that allow students to experience what companies are looking for from their hires.
With the company’s employability tool being implemented in almost 40 more of the UK’s universities and independent schools in 2020 alone, this equates to a combined student reach of over 500,000.
The experiential tech also delivers expert feedback – analysing metrics such as words per minute and use of verbal fillers, as well as assessing whether questions have really been answered and how to improve.
New additions to the organisation’s clientele include the University of Lancaster, University of Manchester and De Montfort University, in Leicester – to name a few.
Commenting on the record expansion and tech adoption rates, Shortlist.Me’s CEO, David Dewey (pictured), said: “Employability has always been a crucial part of the Further and Higher Education (HE) agenda, but it’s received a lot more attention – and prioritisation – this year, largely due to the pandemic.
“As a result of the nation’s lockdowns, students and teachers across the country have been resorting to online learning to help drive not just education but also employability forward.”
Results from the 2020 Global University Employability Survey reveal that of 9,000 worldwide companies, 28% believe the purpose of university is to create graduates who are ‘work ready.’
“The criticality of pressure on careers advisers to strengthen their students’ job prospects is at its peak – as is graduate competition,” David added. “With around 90 applicants per vacancy, all eyes are on how institutions are supporting employability and preparing students to perform well in front of employers.
“As Covid-19 has caused a lot of uncertainty in the HE landscape – regarding financial strain, staffing cuts and fee reductions – we have a dangerous concoction of fewer jobs, more demand, and less resource.”
A BBC article also recently announced that the country’s overall unemployment rate had reached 4.8%, and that the rate among young people, aged between 16-24, is far higher than this, at 14.6%.
“Technology is a massive enabler in helping institutes to transition online and transform the way mock assessments are facilitated — making careers advice more experiential and employer-led,” David continued. “But it is there to work alongside, not replace, careers personnel — augmenting the support they provide.
“Bridging this disconnect between education and employment has never been more crucial for the recovery of the UK’s employment landscape, especially if we’re going to help meet demand. And we’re proud to be leading the way in this ‘digital shift.’
“Many businesses have had to adapt their propositions to survive — and the same applies to the education sector. The recruitment process is ever evolving, and careers services need to advance in tandem with this for it to be effective on a national level.
“Defining employability in universities has shifted in recent years from solely ‘CV writing’, to focusing on helping graduates to get a job by working more closely with firms on how to equip students with the right skills.”
Shortlist.Me is aiming to reach 200 clients by the end of 2021, as well as increase its labour force by a further 30%.
The growth announcement follows news that Shortlist.Me is now one of two platinum sponsors – alongside Group GTI – of the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Service (AGCAS). The three organisations will collaborate in a series of research projects, industry roundtables, and webinars to help digitise the future of careers and enhance the employability skills of UK students.