How to attract top-quality candidates to your graduate scheme

Graduate scheme places are highly sought-after and compeititve, but it can be tough to stand out in the crowd.

So, just how do you attract high-quality graduates to your scheme? We have put some tips together to help you attract a high calibre of graduates.

How to attract top-quality candidates to your graduate scheme Feature

Winning a place on a graduate scheme is highly sought-after and competitive among university leavers. Every company wants to source the best of the best - and you are no exception! The application process can be incredibly tough and rigid, but extremely rewarding - with those selected gaining access to opportunities and connections that would typically be unavailable to them outside of the scheme. 

Graduate schemes can make leaving university and entering the workforce easier with programmes specifically designed to assist graduates with training, support and structure – a great hybrid approach with candidates learning as the work!

Many candidates take their time deciding which graduate schemes to apply for - it can be tough to get your company in front of the right candidates. So, just how do you attract high-quality graduates to your scheme? We have put some tips together to help you attract a high calibre of graduates.



Before hitting the apply button, graduates will take their time to make sure that they are applying to a company that will be the best fit for them and their chosen field - therefore, why not give candidates all the information they need to help them decide. 

If you regularly run a graduate scheme, why not create an area of your careers page that is dedicated to your programme? Pack it full of testimonials, videos and FAQs that are all designed to give prospective candidates an insight into what to expect if they were successful with you. 

You can also include information about the community and culture within the scheme and show past graduates have progressed their careers within the company. If prospective candidates see others thriving, they will be motivated about what lies ahead for them.



While a candidate may be aware that your company offers a graduate scheme, your advert is typically the first time they will learn more about what you have to offer. 

Keep the information in your advert text concise and to the point while also ensuring that you include all the key points, time frames and expectations about the scheme. If you have an area on your website, why not include a link to direct candidates to find out more.

Your ultimate goal is to make graduates apply with you and ultimately succeed in securing a spot in your graduate scheme. By giving all the information upfront graduates will be able to not only put together a well thought out application, prepare for future stages of the recruitment process and thoroughly research the role on offer. 



Recruiting for any graduate scheme requires candidates to progress through many stages - make sure you tell them from the start – you don’t want candidates to complain or withdraw because they were unprepared about time frames.

It is worth reminding candidates of the various recruitment stages throughout the process - do they have to prepare a presentation or attend psychometric testing? By reiterating the process, they won’t be caught off guard and you will get the very best out of your candidates. 



First impressions count and when attracting graduates, you want that first impression to carry on not only throughout their time with you but beyond – after all you want your graduates to stay with you after they have completed the scheme! 

Be proactive when responding to candidates, inform them of any decisions in a timely fashion to ensure that they feel valued – if there is a delay in the decision-making process, let them know, don’t leave them waiting around. 

One of the biggest questions candidates have regarding any graduate scheme is what is on offer to them – they want to know what you are willing to invest in them, whether it is training or an offer of employment at the end of the scheme. Keep reminding them what is on offer, emphasising training, development, and career progression – they want to know their investment in you as a company is reciprocated!


We understand that organising a graduate campaign can take a lot of time and effort especially when you are trying to fit it in with your other day-to-day duties, it can seem overwhelming - this is where Reach can help you! We can offer a dedicated response management team who will communicate with candidates throughout the initial stages of the recruitment process, from organising and conducting interviews to progressing and informing candidates to the next stage. Your response management team will work to your guidelines and be an extension of your department.

To find out more about response management call 01527 574408 or email [email protected] 

Bloor Homes

The whole team have been very patient, accommodating, attentive and responsive to us throughout the whole process from planning, through to design, go live and finally, after care. REACH has exceeded our expectations and we would not hesitate in recommending you to other potential clients.

Jane Gadsby, Senior HR Business Partner