How to attract top-quality graduates to your roles?

As you plan your next graduate campaign, you may be thinking about what can you do to attract candidates to your role. 

Let's look at how you can stand out in a competitive industry.

How to attract top-quality graduates to your roles? Feature

How to attract top-quality graduates to your roles?

As you begin to think about your latest graduate recruitment campaigns, you may be thinking about how you can attract top-quality candidates to your roles in an ever-increasing competitive market.

In a survey conducted by the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) and Handshake, they revealed that 47% of organisations plan on increasing the number of graduates hired within the next 12 months. With opportunities for the next cohort of graduates increasing, you will likely see a drop in applications over the coming months. So, what can you do to ensure that you’re attracting quality graduates to your roles?



When you're planning your recruitment campaign, it's worth remembering that graduates are likely to look for roles in different places than other job seekers, so go to where they are likely to be. Two key areas to consider are social media and recruitment events.

Recent graduates are digital natives - they've never known life without technology, so they spend most of their time online, whether that's learning, communicating, or browsing. By incorporating social media into your campaign, you’re putting opportunities directly in front of those you’re trying to appeal to. Each platform you decide to use will require a different approach – how you post on LinkedIn will be vastly different to how you post on Instagram! Whatever platforms you use one of the best ways to engage with graduates is through video – whether that's showcasing the roles available, a typical day as a graduate, or even interviews with past graduates who have gone on to succeed within the company. The key to remember is to be authentic with your content - if what you share doesn’t match their experience, they will make it known by sharing feedback online.

Another option to consider in your recruitment campaign is recruitment events that universities hold for their students to understand what opportunities are available to them post-graduation. By attending, you can speak directly to potential candidates by answering any questions they may have, explaining the opportunities available to them, and handling any pain points that are stopping them from applying. Recruitment events are a chance for graduates to get to know you and your company personally - graduates can tell a lot from the brief interactions they have with you!



Graduates want to know what progression is available when applying for graduate schemes. Recurring questions include, are they able to work across the business, will the company support additional qualifications, what happens at the end of the scheme - are they left to find a new role, or do you transition graduates into permanent roles?

When advertising your roles, it’s worth considering a separate document that answers questions about progression or any other questions that are frequently asked. Alternatively, you could create a dedicated area on your careers pages on your website that can outline everything they need to know about the graduate scheme, from what progression is available to them to what life is like at your company as a graduate. Potential candidates invest their time by researching a company before applying, so give them all the relevant information they need to help them decide to apply with you.



In an increasingly competitive market where companies are fighting to hire graduates, offering a competitive salary and benefits package is another option to consider when attracting graduates. According to TotalJobs, the average UK wage for a graduate scheme is £26,000 - this is worth remembering when setting salaries. Every company will be competing to hire the top candidates, and in this modern era, the starting salary can be a sticking point for a candidate.



Diversity and inclusion are an increasing priority for both employers and candidates. Share with your potential candidates why it’s important to you. It’s easy to create a diverse workforce, but what’s been implemented to show that every single person in your company feels included? From having a robust equality, diversity, and inclusion policy to creating spaces to accommodate individuals' needs show graduates that you are a company that values diversity and inclusion.



One final aspect to consider when recruiting graduates is to be transparent and realistic, especially about the recruitment process. Graduates will want to know how many stages of the process there will be, the time scale for recruitment, and what is expected of them.

Be upfront with candidates by ensuring they have consistent communication that starts from the second they apply – with constant communication candidates won’t feel as if they've been forgotten or rejected.


When creating a graduate recruitment campaign, it is worth planning your resources to deal with a high volume of applications, especially if you are creating multiple roles. Do you have enough team members to shortlist and interview candidates without it being detrimental to the rest of your duties? Our Reach Response team can act as an extension of your recruitment team by handling the recruitment process until you’re ready to make the final decisions. To find out more about how we can help you with high-volume recruitment call, 01527 574408

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We use Reach to hire several thousand volunteers each year and employees across all departments from Administration to IT to HR. We've recruited some great talent through the Reach system.

Emma Evans, HR Manager