The 4 stages of a graduate recruitment process
There’s fierce competition out there for the top graduate program opportunities, which is why you should start preparing for the job-hunting process early. We’ll break down the four stages of a graduate recruitment process to help you get it right:
Stage 1: Attraction
The first stage in graduate recruitment is attraction. Expect to see grad recruiters on campus, either at careers fairs, delivering guest lectures, or sponsoring events – this is your first chance to make a strong impression and show your interest.
We suggest keeping an eye out on GradConnection to see when your dream employers open applications for their graduate opportunities so you can submit a well-considered application.
Stage 2: Applications
The very first step in your application journey looks like this:-
Online application form:
Most employers begin their recruitment process with an application form on their website (or via their GradConnection employer page). You’re generally required to submit a resume, cover letter, academic transcript, and proof of residency or citizenship. This information is used to determine your eligibility for their program and / or roles.
Eligible applicants might then be invited to complete an online aptitude assessment. Tests will most likely be multiple choice or gamified scenarios and are used to predict future performance. Some employers also include values testing to ensure long-term engagement and satisfaction.
Most assessment providers will direct you to a page explaining their tests to help you better prepare before you begin. Always familiarise yourself with their testing process! The more comfortable you are, the better you will perform.
Stage 3: Interviews and / or assessment centres
After applications, there’s always an interview of some sort. With tech advancements, most employers are offering alternatives to the face-to-face interview, like via phone or video (skype) or pre-recorded video.
Phone / skype interviews:
Try and find a landline if you can or somewhere with secure mobile and internet reception – There’s nothing worse than your call dropping out mid-interview! Phone or skype interviews are a way for recruiters to get to know you better, to determine if they want to meet you in person. So yes, they are important. Expect behavioural or situational-style questions (e.g. tell me about a time where you… solved a customer problem).
Pre-recorded video interviews:
Sometimes you’ll be greeted by the recruiter’s face delivering pre-recorded questions, sometimes it will just be words popping up on your screen. Pre-recorded video interviews still put you on the spot usually allowing 30 seconds to formulate your response before your answer is recorded. Most video providers share tips on their website, and there’s almost always a practice video interview option available. We suggest you take it!
Depending on the size of the program and the number of roles on offer, some employers may use assessment centres to help manage volume recruitment. Assessment centres usually involve group problem solving, speed interviews (1:1), and possibly a written component. The best ACs will involve your potential manager and colleagues in the sessions, so make a good impression. They’re looking for teamwork/collaborators, contributors, and communicators.
Face to face interviews:
These interviews (sometimes with a panel) are usually the final step in the recruitment process! A meet and greet with your hiring manager, and potentially the opportunity to meet the team. Be prepared to answer questions about your skills and experiences, as well as why you’re applying for that role with that organisation.
Stage 4: Selection
This is the period where recruiters and hiring managers get together to review applications and assess performance against the requirements of each role. If you’re one of the stand-out candidates, expect to receive a call with an official job offer. The final stage in a recruitment process is signing your employment contract.
There’s nothing worse than being over-prepared – said no one ever! The best thing you can do to boost your chance of success is to do your research and practice where possible.
In August each year, GradConnection, in partnership with the Australian Financial Review, launch our Top100 Future Leaders competition. We put university students to the test (literally), taking them through a full graduate recruitment process to identify our stream winners.
It’s valuable practical experience that’ll better prepare you for the real deal when it comes time for you to apply for graduate opportunities (not to mention the time you’ll spend with Australia’s top graduate employers at the Awards event which is worth its weight in gold!).
If you’re ‘passed it’ and already looking for your graduate role, create a free profile on GradConnection and never miss a graduate job application deadline!