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How to Place in the Graduate Recruitment Race | GradConnection

Posted by Sasha

Get ready, set, attract! How to place in the graduate recruitment race.

It’s March already and career fairs are here. Your competitors have arranged themselves along the start line beside you and are getting ready to recruit. Only – you can’t see the finish line. You can’t even see the track. And, you can’t see any graduates cheering for you from the grandstand. 

Here’s a heart-stopper: Competition for graduates is still the primary challenge for 45% of graduate employers.

The only way to recruit top grad talent to your program is to attract them first. To attract them, you need to map out your attraction strategy.

1. Get ready…

When it comes to most things in life, you get out what you put in. Applying this to graduate recruitment, the more effort you put into your attraction strategy – the higher quality candidate you will attract. So, what makes a high quality candidate for you? And, what makes a high quality employer of choice for them?

The work environment is constantly evolving and graduates know what they want and what is important to them and as such, graduate programs need to be clear on a few things. According to the AAGE’s 2019 Candidate Survey, the top reasons graduate chose an employer were:

  • career progression
  • learning and development prospects, like, structured programs, projects, and rotations
  • challenging and stimulating work
  • company culture
  • international opportunities
  • work/life integration

How to know what they want? 

Be a professional stalker. Also, partner with a local university student society and survey them because your goal is to create a student-centric attraction strategy for maximum effect. Think about the person you (ideally) would like working for your organisation, then be specific about what you can offer and how that would matter to them.

2. Get set…

Once you’ve identified your ideal candidate and refined your graduate value proposition, you can get set to promote your organisation to the right audience. What channels will you use? Where are your ideal candidates hanging out online and where are they searching for jobs? 

Students in their exploratory stages may be aware of your company, but not necessarily of your employer brand or employee value position (EVP). Help them picture you as their employer by showcasing your organisation and your job opportunities on your careers site, social media profiles, and GradConnection profile. This is where you’ll incorporate visually engaging content like video, Facebook Lives, photos, and valuable written information that connects them with your brand.

Strong employer brands spend less time and resources on hiring, and have better employee retention and increased productivity. It all comes down to authenticity, so focus on your company’s culture, values and benefits. Don't forget your uniqueness is what will set you apart from the rest.

3. Attract!

Like attracts like - if you want to select the top graduates for your organisation (don’t we all?) then you need to be top employers and be ready for them:

  • Set clear targets for your attraction campaigns - Determine the criteria for a successful campaign such as better calibre of students, shorter screening times, higher offer-to-acceptance ratio, and increased awareness of employer brand. Having clear goals up front will determine the success and return on investment (ROI) of your attraction campaign.
  • Consistently measure your progress and adjust it if you need to - Keep your eye on the analytics and readjust your content or channels if needed. In an ever-evolving market, where young graduates are at the forefront, you need to keep up and be willing to move along with it.
  • Remember to celebrate and acknowledge your successes - Don’t be shy… go on and brag! Be proud of your organisation and let others know how you feel. Remember that the most powerful form of marketing is word of mouth, so get people talking.


Plan for the talent race and you will lead it 

A clear and well thought out graduate attraction strategy will be what sets you apart from the rest, as you position your company as an employer of choice. Once you’re ready to recruit, take advantage of GradConnection’s 250,000+ member database to target and attract your ideal candidate to your brand and opportunities.

Get in touch - [email protected].


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