1. Have a Plan B

The impact of one of your chosen candidates taking a job elsewhere can be huge, from the time and financial cost of a recruitment campaign that didn’t fill its requirement to the opportunity cost of work not being done.

When finalising your decisions around graduates you’d like to offer it’s important you have an ‘understudy’ for every role; a candidate who you would also consider offering. If candidates have been challenged and stretched throughout your process, anyone who reaches the final assessment stage should be very strong, so it’s important to not draw comparisons between candidates and always make selection decisions based upon your identified benchmark.

  1. Don’t dither

When making such important decisions, it takes time to consider each and every candidate: what their strengths and areas for development are and how we feel they’d ‘fit in’ in our organisations. Yet those who dither could easily miss out! It’s likely the candidate(s) you want are in demand elsewhere and you could be pipped to the post. Of course it’s not a first come, first served thing and candidates will hold out for you in some cases, but if you’re up against a company they hold in equal regard, they may have signed the contract before you get to offering them a place on your scheme.

  1. Know what you’re looking for

“You can’t hit a target you can’t see” (Brian Tracey). Without a really clear idea of the type of candidate you want to recruit, you could waste a lot of time dealing with candidates who are, ultimately, not the right fit for you. Having a benchmark, a standard, a comparison, is hugely beneficial and can allow you to be targeted in your attraction efforts.

  1. Focus your aim

Following on from the previous point, to attract the right candidates we must identify what we’re looking for and then venture out to find them! This is about ‘hanging out’ in the same places that your potential applicants are. Digital marketers probably aren’t reading the local paper and finance enthusiasts are unlikely to be queuing up at the Job Centre! They will however be on-campus, online and on-mobile. It’s then about pin-pointing exactly where they are on those platforms; social media? Industry publications? University libraries? The more focused your attraction campaigns can be, the more likely it is that you’ll receive quality applications. Read my Guide to Attraction here.

  1. Keep hold!

With young talent populations predicted to get smaller and smaller, the last thing organisations want is for the great graduates they’ve sought to be leaving them in three, six, even twelve months’ time. Retaining your graduate employees needs a whole blog post of its own, but if there were three key things that I’d urge you to pay attention to, they would be: development, progression and living your values. And be realistic about all three. In other words, don’t make promises you cannot keep. It’s better to give a suggested path of progression than to promise one you cannot deliver upon. The same goes for development.

Living your values also bears huge significance for young people; nearly 70% of millennials say that working culture/atmosphere is the second highest activity that they feel accountable for in the workplace. (Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017) Get it right and you’ll have brand advocates before you know it!