Is There a Benefit in Recruiting Graduates Later in the Year?
Can you still recruit top graduate talent later in the year? Or are they all gone?
With almost all Australian university career fairs taking place around March each year, employers have traditionally used this high engagement period to open applications for their graduate program. Perhaps comforted by the belief that the sooner final year graduates are secured the better your cohort. The early bird catches the worm, maybe?
It’s long been thought that early year is peak recruitment season and therefore when most employers are on the hustings competing for top grad talent.
In this post we’ll look at the data to see when graduate jobs are being advertised and whether there is benefit in advertising later in the year.
There’s nothing like some cold hard data to make a convincing argument. Here’s a high-level snapshot of when students are finishing their degrees during the year, and when graduate employers are advertising opportunities on our job board.
When students graduate
Of the 2018 graduates registered in our database, 31% completed their studies between January and June. And with the recent introduction of trimesters in some universities, we can expect more rolling completion dates across the year in future. Which means of course, more grads seeking work and available for work outside of traditional recruitment cycles.
When graduate employers recruit
Most graduate employers recruit seasonally depending on their business / industry cycle. Contrary to popular belief, our data shows there isn’t much difference between the number of opportunities available early and later in the year.
When employers advertised grad opportunities in 2017:
Jan - June: 50.1%
July - Dec: 49.5%
When employers advertised grad opportunities in 2018:
Jan - June: 53%
The benefits of a later recruitment process
According to the AAGE, the majority (44%) of candidates started job hunting in their penultimate year. Twenty-eight per cent started searching in their final year, meaning there could be a large pool of untapped talent waiting for you (source: AAGE 2019 Candidate Survey).
Access fresh talent
University trimesters are shaking up graduate completions because students can now graduate from their course in three periods throughout the year. The flexibility trimesters provide students means they can complete their degrees earlier than three years, and be available to start a graduate job almost year-round.
Recruiting later in the year might mean you can access a different talent pool who may not have been eligible or proactively thinking about their employment perspectives earlier in the year.
Potential to reduce renege rates
Potentially, if you’re recruiting graduates in the second half of the year, then there is likely less time for successful graduates to be tempted by and accepting other offers.
In our recent survey of graduate members, 35% indicated they would continue looking for other opportunities after accepting a role. This is where effective keep warm strategies come into play.
What’s your season?
Although the graduate recruitment process itself is cyclic; career fairs are in March, applications open and close, shortlisting, appointments, onboarding, repeat; recruitment periods are evenly spread across both halves of the year. When more talent start to graduate in earlier trimesters, it seems that regardless when your program opens for applications, there will be a steady stream of enthusiastic graduates available all year around.
Getting ready to recruit?
List your graduate opportunities on GradConnection and access Australia’s largest and most popular student and graduate careers website.