Top tips for graduate recruitment5 min read

Cara Moore / October 19, 2017
Category : Recruitment, Recruitment advice
Caption: Top tips for graduate recruitment5 min read

Graduates are one of the most interesting groups of candidates for recruiters, and are a valuable new addition to companies. They are motivated and willing to get involved in the workforce, injecting a boost of energy and fresh ideas into your team.

However, the graduate job market is fierce and just about every company out there wants the most talented universityleavers to work for them. Medicine and engineering degrees are particularly sought after. We’ve put together a list of tips to help you maximise your efforts in graduate recruitment, and attract young and original talent.

Graduation day

Make it as easy as possible for them

The most important thing to remember is how many companies are directly competing with yours for the high quality graduates from top schools.

This goes beyond your competitors in the market. Apart from the very specialised sectors, many companies nowadays will search for the level of the qualifications rather than the degree subject, meaning you are unlikely to have the monopoly of graduates in a particular field.

Therefore, you want to make the process as smooth and simple for applicants as you possibly can, throughout every stage.

Application process

Some graduate jobs seem to have particularly complicated and un-user-friendly online systems to process their recruitment needs. This is off-putting to graduates who may be applying to several schemes at once.

Your company could easily be written off because of the hassle of applying and lack of relevant information your website provides. Don’t let this happen! Make your system clear, easy and quick to use.


Make graduates feel as comfortable as possible in interviews. Remember: this might very well be the first time that students are putting themselves out there and trying to sell themselves. Recruiters often fall into the trap of making hiring decisions too quickly; sometimes within the first 5 minutes of an interview.

When recruiting graduates, this could cost you precious talent from young people who don’t know how to formulate what they have to offer in a polished way yet. Give it time, be patient and try and reserve judgement.

Understand what they want

Gone are the days when all graduates cared about was their paycheck. Millenials in particular are much more interested in positive working conditions, general job satisfaction and opportunities for career development than salary.

This should give you an incentive to make sure that what you’re offering graduates really correlates with what they are looking to get out of a job. Personal development and real opportunities for learning outweigh the paycheck you’re offering.

Flexible working hours and benefits are often more attractive to graduates than just the base salary.

Graduates want to work for you: show them why they should!
Graduates want to work for you: show them why they should!

Don’t drag your feet

Graduates do not want to wait around endlessly to be told the next steps in your recruitment process. Many companies have a graduate scheme application process so long and slow that students are ready to quit it altogether.

Be reactive! You need to streamline the application process for schemes or else you will get nowhere. This is helpful not only for graduates, who will know where they stand, but also for your business, as it will keep you on top of candidate applications rather than waiting and letting these swamp you.

Maximise your talent inputs

Internship programmes

Hiring from your company’s internship programme is the easiest and most effective way to keep graduate talent within your firm.

Past interns will add tremendous value when they finish university, as they will have had an experience of working with you and proven themselves to be capable in the role. They will also have a deeper understanding of your company than other candidates and, provided they enjoyed their internship, would likely be willing to return to you. They might even recommend your company to their peers.

Employee referrals

Following on from these recommendations, your current young employees will have an expansive network of peers who may come from the same schools or universities. Recommendations from current staff are a fantastic way to expand your graduate intake.

Not only can you rely on their judgement to suggest diverse and talented individuals, this saves you huge amounts of time and effort as you benefit from an already filtered candidate pool.

Connect with universities and colleges

Building strong and meaningful connections with universities around the country can only have positive repercussions for your company. Getting your name and brand out there and visible to students means they can form a real connection to your identity as a business before they have even graduated, so that when they do, they turn to you for employment.

Attend careers fairs, offer to give advice and speak at events, consider offering mentorship to students who are interested in your field and generally stay relevant and on the minds of the people who will soon enter the job market.

Use Jobboard Finder

For both employers and jobseekers, Jobboard Finder is the first decision-making tool for recruitment campaigns and job searches. Here are our recommendations for job boards specialising in job adverts for graduates and young people.


Good luck in your graduate recruitment campaign
Good luck in your graduate recruitment campaign

Keep up to date with our news articles and receive them directly in your mailbox by subscribing to our newsletter. If there is a particular topic that you would like to see featured on our blog please let us know.

Author: Cara Moore

Previous post:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *