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How To Recruit Graduates

Published: Tuesday 25th August 2015

5 university students walknig with each other outdoors

Graduate recruitment is becoming more competitive again as employers hire more employees and look for the best talent. This year, 30% of UK companies are expected to hire more graduates than in previous years, and in 2020 more than half of the workforce is expected to be made up by the millennial generation. Hiring graduates can be attractive because they are cheaper to hire, often brimming with new ideas and are practised in many transferable skills.

Unfortunately for recruiters, graduate fairs are decreasing in popularity among students. So how can recruiters reach the talent pool of graduates?

What do graduates want? 

Retention is as important as recruitment. According to research, graduates want to feel proud of their workplace, be offered professional opportunities to develop their careers and be able to maintain a good work-life balance. Make sure that you know what you can offer graduates and market your company on those grounds. Are you open to flexible working hours? Will you allow the use of social media in your offices? And can you afford to offer professional training? Be transparent about your company culture.

Build your brand online

Social media offers a great platform for reaching out directly to job-searching graduates with current opportunities, but also allows recruiters and organisations to display the company culture as discussed above. You can post photos of company events or blog posts written by current employees – pretty much anything to get more attention from all recent graduates!

Focus on soft skills

One big worry for many recruiters and HR staff is the assumption that graduates might lack skills like communication and people skills, because they have not previously held a full-time position. Therefore, many interviews are focused on past professional performances. By shifting this focus to discussing more general life experiences, recruiters could assess other aptitudes and personality traits the candidate might possess, like professionalism, ambition and the ability to show initiative.


Although networking with students and recent graduates directly is important, recruiters should also focus some of your efforts on building strong working relationships with organisations such as universities.

Be accessible 

Make sure your job advertisements are clearly visible and accessible for all graduates. Don’t use one platform only, but target candidates whatever way you can. Using job boards and apps will allow you to connect with graduates who are currently looking for their first role.

Zoek is a new job searching app that can connect candidates with recruiters at the click of a button. Zoek simplifies the process of applying to jobs. Candidates can get in touch with recruiters at the touch of the button and recruiters know that the candidates that are getting in touch have already passed a certain level of suitability screening. Recruiters can Register Here to let Zoek help them achieve faster, smarter recruitment.

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