4 Must Know Graduate Recruitment Trends for 2019 | GradConnection

Posted by Isabel Wilkinson

GradConnection Blog

4 Must Know Graduate Recruitment Trends to Help Your 2019 Campaign

Early each year, we like to reflect on graduate recruitment industry data and share the core trends with employers.

Competition for graduates still remains the primary challenge for 45% of graduate employers. In 2018, the AAGE experienced a 9.5% increase in employer members, which means your competition for talent just increased! So, it’s important you can adapt to these industry trends to remain competitive.

Without further ado, here are the top 4 trends you need to know to maximise your graduate recruitment campaign in 2019.

1. The number of graduates reneging on their graduate roles increased

In 2018, we conducted our own graduate candidate survey and shared our results at the AAGE conference. 

  • Of the candidates we surveyed, 17% admitted they reneged on a graduate role after they had accepted. This is an increase on the previous year, where only 13% reneged on offers.
  • When measuring intention, 63% admitted they would renege on an offer if a better one came along.

What to focus on

These are pretty alarming statistics, especially if your overall offer to graduates isn’t up to scratch. We suggest:

  • Refining your employer brand and your graduate value proposition (GVP) to present a student-centric attraction strategy
  • Improving the way you communicate your GVP (it should be consistent across all channels; website, social media, face to face)
  • Establishing thorough preboarding communication to maintain connection with graduates from offer acceptance to first days. The value here is, if they feel more emotionally connected to your organisation, their team and their role, it becomes harder for them to walk away.

2. The number of internships leading to graduate jobs increased

Last year, we saw a 47% increase in the number of offers accepted by interns into the subsequent graduate programs. This indicates employers have renewed their focus on the value of internships as a graduate pre-screening and work-readiness strategy. 

What to focus on

Consider ways to introduce potential graduates to your business earlier than final year. Explore the benefit of an internship or vacation program in your business, project-based opportunities, or even part-time employment. Capitalise on these experiences and use them as part of your graduate recruitment strategy.

If you caught our grad market wrap before Christmas, you would have seen we trialled a new product; a job board for student part-time jobs over the Christmas and early 2019 period. Employers asked us for more help connecting with potential grads earlier (before graduate program applications), to improve attraction and retention of better quality talent. We’ll be hitting the O Weeks in 2019 to connect with students earlier in the recruitment process.

3. Social media

The use of social media in graduate recruitment is not new, but we are seeing employers are changing the way they approach social media, emphasising relationships, engagement, and storytelling. Social media should be integrated into every interaction and experience, and more employers are looking at ways it can amplify content. For example, live streaming an open house or interview prep workshop to maximise reach. 

What to focus on

Social media channels are invaluable in their ability to connect you with candidates and foster better relationships. Think about using social media as a tool to informally educate future employees on your workplace, culture, and expectations. You can ask us about our Facebook Live office tours if you’d like to get involved.

4. Enhancing content – words vs video

In our candidate survey, we asked graduates which content they found most engaging online. Written content, that is blogs and websites, was most valuable, followed closely by Video (pre-recorded explainers, YouTube etc). Both items were rated around two times more valuable than images and memes, and short-form stories (Snapchat). 

What to focus on

Make sure your website content is in top shape, providing engaging, accurate, and valuable information about your program and employee offer. You might be in the position to consider a corporate blog, or to incorporate application and assessment advice into your existing blogging strategy. Don’t forget to give your evergreen blog content a refresh in 2019 and make the most of your existing content.

Make use of GradConnection in your 2019 graduate attraction strategy

For the sixth year running, GradConnection was rated Australia’s most effective careers resource for uni talent in the AAGE 2019 Candidate Survey. Use your GC employer profile page to entice top graduate talent to apply for your roles. (In case you missed it, here are a few ways you can make your GradConnection employer profile stand out to ensure you’re catching their attention!)

With students spending 21% longer on employer profiles, and applying for fewer roles (per user), we’re seeing that employer and values fit is increasingly important for students when deciding where to work. 

If you need help designing your graduate attraction strategy, get in touch with [email protected].

GradConnection Blog


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