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How your business can attract top graduate talent

Graduates are increasingly selective when comes to applying for graduate schemes offered by businesses. These programs need to be attractive in order to attract top talent and be competitive with similar schemes at other companies. Your business and opportunities at your company also need to be properly promoted and advertised in order to attract high-potential talent.

Designing a Successful Graduate Scheme

When setting up a graduate scheme, you need to determine what type of individual you want for your business. This involves creating a profile of your ideal candidate that you can use for assessing applicants. Criteria should include an outline of the experience, skills and knowledge you need as well as requirements related to the type of person and character you want for your company. When designing the program, you also need to identify the prospects or path forward for individuals recruited under the graduate scheme. In order for a graduate scheme to be successful, participants should have access to longer-term employment. This ensures that the individuals you are developing stay with your company.

To design an effective graduate scheme, you need to get intelligence about what graduates what and need. One way to do this is to look within your company. Talk to employees about what they consider an ideal candidate for your graduate scheme. This will give you information about the skills and knowledge of individuals you should be recruiting. Also, talk to students and recent graduates at nearby colleges and universities. Organizing a focus group or doing a survey will help you find out what graduates are looking for and what they want to get out of a graduate scheme. This research will give you perspectives of students and graduates to inform the design of your program.

Promoting Opportunities

Promoting your company to university students and recent graduates is an important part of attracting high calibre talent. Having a dedicated section on your website for students and graduates is a great way to target information and make it easily accessible. The section should include profiles of recent graduates’ experience working with your company. This section can be enhanced with social media, including links to your company’s Snapchat or Instagram accounts where photos highlighting the experiences of graduates working for your company. Profiles should be fun and informative but also ‘sell’ your company as a rewarding place to work. 

Social media is an inexpensive way to promote your company. You can use Twitter to showcase vacancies and your graduate scheme. Facebook and LinkedIn are also good places to promote your business and opportunities. Consider hosting a live Q&A event on Facebook where university students and recent graduates can ask management questions about working at your company. Q&A events can also feature promising new hires or participants in your graduate scheme. When using social media, you need to establish targets related to new followers and hits to your website from social media accounts. With these types of metrics, you can find out how people are accessing information that will help you refine your online presence.

Although the virtual world is important in attracting talent, there is still value in more traditional approaches. Participating in career fairs at colleges and universities remains a good way to approach prospective talent and advertise opportunities. Organizing a recruitment event such as an open house is also an effective way of getting people interested in your company. Offering internships and student placements at your company is another way of identifying potential talent for your graduate scheme and other employment opportunities. Many colleges and universities work with local businesses to identify talent and arrange placements, so meeting and partnering with educational institutions is one way to identify leads.

Whatever your approach, it must be multi-faceted and strategic in order to cast broad yet targeted net that will capture high-potential talent that fits with your business. The approach should feature regular communication and outreach throughout the year, not just towards the end of the school year when students are actively looking for work. Throughout the year, use social media and your online presence to promote your company. Hosting regular recruitment events and visiting universities during the year will also help keep your company in students’ minds. You also need to create a compelling message that promotes your business’s vision and ethos. This message will help unify the various components of your approach with the same call to action and tone. It will also ultimately help prospective employees determine if your company is the right fit.


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