There is no doubt that hiring recent graduates is a wonderful idea. All in all, recent graduates are a fruitful long- and short-time investment for your organisation - and the average ROI is through the roof.

But how do you attract the best graduate talent? It’s simple:

  1. Build relationships - and your employer brand
  2. Provide more than just a paycheck
  3. Be transparent
  4. Rethink and rework your job listing
  5. Get your timing right

5 steps to attracting graduate talent

Build relationships - and your brand

In order to have a steady stream of talent, you cannot only actively seek talent only when you are hiring. Investing in employer branding will provide you with a candidate pool that is already familiar with your brand. Which particularly pays off when it comes to students, recent graduates, and young candidates.

So how do you build relationships and an employer brand that will attract the best young talent? You diversify your communication and hiring channels - as well as your recruitment practices!

With 10+ years of experience in graduate recruitment, we have found that the best recipe for corporate branding is a mix of the following:

  • Presence at university career fairs - made easier than ever with virtual career fairs
  • Profiles on relevant job portals and social media channels
  • A diverse range of employment types - think Internships, Student Positions, Graduate Programmes, or Thesis and Project Collaborations.
  • Have a referral program in place - chances are that your already-great hire has similar profiles in their contact list!


If you would like to learn more about Employer Branding - reach out by clicking here! We have an entire team of experts ready to advise you, free of charge! 


Provide more than just a paycheck

For Millennials and Gen Z, who comprise most of the current recent graduates, work is not just a paycheck. Grads look for a culture fit and perks beyond a foosball table and occasional pizza parties.

Show prospective employees everything there is to know about your organisation, focussing on:

  • Employment perks

What are your policies on flexible hours? Working from home? What does the office look like? And do you offer self-improvement opportunities? Perhaps bonuses?

Pension plans, extra health insurance, and Friday hangouts have become the standard. What additional perks do you offer your employees? If you want to attract the best graduate talent, make sure you offer them more - and don’t be afraid to ask prospects what perks are important to them!

  • Workplace culture

First of all, make sure you know what your company culture is. It seems like a no-brainer, but it will help you select the right descriptors more easily. Recent graduates seek the perfect cultural fit - and are even willing to compromise on salary if the culture is right.

When it comes to company culture, don’t just tell it. Are you creative? Energetic? Inclusive? Passionate? Find ways to show the personality of your organisation on all your channels.

  • Values and social responsibility

One thing at the top of most recent graduates’ list is finding an employer that shares their values. Workplace culture is closely linked to values and mission, but we encourage you to take it a step further:

In order to hire the best graduate talent, show exactly how you are living and promoting your values. What are you actively doing to achieve your mission? And what initiatives are your employees encouraged to engage with to help?

  • Development and Education Opportunities

84 % of recent grads expect their first employer to provide formal training. And over 50 % of millennials would quit if their employer did not provide learning opportunities. 

So, in order to attract the best graduate profiles, make sure you underline in which ways they will be developing their skills - create a concrete growth and development plan for new hires.

The amazing thing about graduates is that they will grow with your company. You can mold them into the employee of your dreams. Offering growth opportunities will make your employees see a future in your organisation and, the longer your graduate hires stay, the higher your ROI will be.

Be transparent

Now you’ve learned which aspects of your organisations will attract new graduates. But how do you make sure they work? Produce real, authentic content. Avoid clichés, overly-produced corporate videos, and polished portraits of what a workday looks like.

Instead: be transparent. Include testimonials of employees and previous graduate hires, real-life photos and videos of what the workplace looks like, and highlight any social activities in an organic way. Make sure your candidates will have plenty of material to answer the classic “Why do you want to work for us?”

Another way that transparency is important is in managing expectations. This may seem like a no-brainer - because of course you are not obscuring truth or enhancing facts during the recruitment process!

However, remember that misaligned expectations is one of the main reasons for high employee turnover - particularly for low-experience new graduates. So whether it is flexible working hours, advancement opportunities, or work-from-home opportunities - make sure the facts are all out in the open.

Rethink your job listing

You cannot get all of the benefits of fresh talent while also expecting several years of experience, mastery of certain programs, or proven past results. Instead of focussing on the ideal skill match, write down only the absolutely necessary requirements - and focus on transferable skills and culture fit instead. 

→ Remember that the main benefit of hiring graduates is their fresh view on things, eagerness to learn, and flexibility.

In order to create killer job ads for recent graduates, focus on words that describe the role and your actual expectations. And include how you will help them grow into the perfect employee. Everything else is superfluous.

Get your timing right - and use multiple recruitment methods

Employer branding is a constant effort - but actually hiring graduates is time-sensitive. Most universities have graduation in late June, and late January is another hot month for finding available graduate talent. Make sure you mark your calendar.

Some students will start looking for full-time employment in the Spring while still studying. However, most graduates will focus on their final projects and start investigating job opportunities during Summer break. That is just one of the reasons why keeping hiring efforts active during the Summer is essential. 

On the other hand, using multiple recruitment methods is essential in graduate recruitment. Some candidates might find you on social media, others via job portals, and others will Google their way to you. Just as you would not spend your entire marketing budget on one ad on one channel, you should not exhaust your graduate hiring efforts via a single recruitment channel. 

Our data shows that the most effective graduate recruitment includes:

  • Employer profiles on Graduateland
  • Job listings on different universities’ job portals
  • Social media efforts - i.e. on LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Instagram
  • Presence at virtual fairs, conferences, etc. 



If you’d like to get a personalised plan on how to find and hire the best graduate talent - reach out to our experts here!