Whilst rumour has it that all the ‘best’ graduates were snapped up for graduate programmes many months ago, that’s not exactly true. Firstly, businesses are unique and so what’s ‘best’ for you won’t be the same as what’s ‘best’ for other companies  and secondly, many students will have had such a steadfast focus on their university work that they won’t have had the opportunity to have a proper search around for jobs yet. And some will not yet know what they want to do (which is absolutely fine by the way).

Only 14% of new graduates want to work for large corporations or businesses (Accenture, 2016) 

So let’s dispel that myth and start thinking about what needs to happen to get your graduate recruitment moving! Nervousness starts to creep in around this time of year, whether that’s from companies who have not yet started graduate recruitment and wanted to or companies who have, but haven’t managed to fill all of their vacancies.

Whilst it’s not too late yet, it may be if you hang around at this point…

The Role

It sounds like a simple starting point, but one which is so frequently overlooked. It is really important that you outline the role(s) clearly, visualising what the graduate will be doing on a day-to-day basis. What will they be accountable for? What are their KPI’s? What initial training will be needed? What sort of person do you see doing this role? Asking these questions will clarify exactly what the role entails and provide an indication of the types of behaviours you are looking for in the individuals. Identifying what ‘good’ looks like for your organisation is key to attracting your ‘best’ – graduates that are the right cultural fit for you.

The Development

Something that cannot be overlooked when recruiting today’s millennial graduates is development. Millennials are known for being hungry to learn and keen to add more strings to their bow. And this is a huge pro for businesses. We are dealing with willing-to-learn individuals and providing the right development can accelerate the return on your hiring investment. Not only that, they are likely to settle in quickly, get to grips with your business straight away and start enhancing the skills that you need them to have.

The skills that graduates are most likely to need to improve when entering the workplace for the first time are:

  • Self-awareness – understanding own behaviour and impact on others
  • Getting things done with or through other people
  • Understanding the world of work and where they fit into it (AGR Development Survey 2016)

Graduate development can come in many forms and it’s important to consider what you will incorporate; on-the-job training, role-specific skills training, commercial awareness development, managerial training. The three topics above may provide a good starting point and a way to start building your graduates’ skillsets.

The Action (process)

Once you have a clear idea of the role the graduate will do and the support you are going to give them to excel in it, it’s time to think about the approach you’ll take to attracting, assessing and selecting them. This is often the part that companies outsource elements of so they can learn best practice ways of selecting graduates for their business.

39% of employers outsource at least one component of their recruitment campaigns (AGR, 2016)

Think about the behaviours and skills you are looking for and how you can encourage candidates to exhibit these throughout the assessment process. How will you give candidates insight into life at your offices/site? Who would it be useful for them to meet at final interview or assessment centre stage? These are all questions that you need to ask before you embark on the process to ensure you recruit the right people.

How is recruitment going for you? What obstacles are preventing you from securing good graduates for your business? Get in touch and let us know your experiences.