Attract The Best Graduate Talent – Part 2

At Occumi we spend a lot of time speaking to graduate employers about the problems they are facing with their graduate recruitment processes. Of these graduate employers, almost all of them we speak to report that they have problems attracting the right kind of graduates to their role.

Many of these employers believe that this lack of diverse backgrounds and skillsets in their applicants is due to those people not being interested in the role…

They are absolutely right.

But this lack of interest more often than not comes from a lack of knowledge, and understanding about what the company does, what their role would involve, whether they would enjoy it, and whether they have the skills to succeed in the role. These graduates are not interested, because the employer has not done a good enough job to make them interested.

This is the second in a series of blog posts which will aim to give tips to graduate employers on simple processes that they can implement in their business in order to attract a diverse range of highly skilled talent.

Selling your role to graduates


Most companies generate income through selling. Whether you’re selling a skills-based recruitment solution to businesses, or selling popcorn to supermarkets, every business has to convince it’s target audience to buy something from them. To do this the business has to show how attractive its product or service is in order to convince the target audience to their business rather than a competitor.

I know what you’re thinking, you know what selling is, and you know how it works; your business has sold ‘X’ thousand units, or acquired X hundred clients in the last quarter. Your business knows how to sell…

So why is it that your business struggles to attract a diverse range of highly skilled graduate talent?

Graduates are the future of your business, but there are thousands of companies all competing to get the best graduates. Your business needs to make sure it sticks in the right graduates minds, drawing them in to apply for your role.

Graduates are like potential customers, you need to make your business look attractive to attract them to apply for your role. You want your company to be attracting the best, most suitable talent, not the ones who had to apply for your company as they couldn’t find anything else.

Some companies have to work much harder than others to sell their company to graduates. The more familiar a company is to a graduate’s everyday life, the easier it will be to attract graduates. I was there myself a couple of years ago. The very first companies I applied for as a graduate, were those that I was familiar with, and those I thought were cool.

Unfortunately, the majority of businesses that hire graduates do not have a reputation for being cool among new graduates. So the ways in which they promote their own company and the roles that they are offering is extremely important when it comes to attracting the best young talent.

Whether you are part of a large corporate business, or a small enterprise, selling your company to graduates can be difficult. That’s why I have put together two simple tips below that can really help your business stand out from the competition.

See here for more help attracting, retaining, and developing graduate talent.

Talk to them on their channels, in their Tone of voice

You wouldn’t look to sell beef burgers at a vegan market… why? Because your target audience won’t be there. If you’re looking to attract graduates to your company, make sure you are selling your company to them in the right places!

There is definitely value in posting graduate roles on a range of university’s internal job boards, as well as external graduate job boards like milkround. However, in order to reach a diverse range of graduates, with a diverse range of skills; it’s essential that you reach out to graduates on their own channels, and speak to them in their Tone of Voice.

Social media is a great place to advertise your role and build your company’s brand as a graduate employer. Facebook and Instagram offer options to target certain areas, so you can make sure that your business is targeting graduates from a diverse range of universities.

As mentioned in my previous approach on graduate role models, graduate love to see what it is like working for your company from the perspective of an existing graduate. Social media content based around existing graduate employee’s experiences has a great chance of resonating with the target audience.

From my own experience, I applied for companies that spoke to me in my tone of voice, as I felt like they would understand me better, and would therefore be a better fit for me.


Let them know what the job actually involves

Would you expect a potential customer to buy a product that they have never heard of, or if they didn’t know what it does? Of course not. This can be translated to attracting graduates. If grads don’t know what your company does, or even what your industry does – what are the chances that they are going to be interested in working for your company?

Once you are in work for as few years, it can be easy to forget how little you knew about an industry before you started working in it. Often, graduates do not study courses that set them on a clear career path. Therefore, it is unlikely that they have a deep understanding of your particular industry, or what the job involves.

For example, my first graduate job out of university was in an advertising agency in the account management team. Coming from a psychology background, with little exposure to the advertising industry, I went into that role not really knowing how the advertising industry worked and what account management involved.

Going in to the role I was apprehensive as to whether I had the skills to do the job, a large part of that was because I didn’t really understand what the job involved. A lot of graduates I have spoken to have been put off certain industries because they don’t think that they have the capability to succeed in the role. For many graduate positions, who are looking for graduates to bring their transferable skills to the role, this simply isn’t true!

Of course the graduate has a responsibility to do some research and find out what the job actually involves, but many won’t even consider the role if they have never heard of it, and don’t know what it entails.

Make sure that your job descriptions, and any content you are putting out about your graduate vacancy, details what a graduate will be doing day to day. You will be surprised at how reassuring this can be to a graduate with very little real world work experience.

Want to improve your attraction, retention, and development of graduate talent? – Get in touch with the Occumi team.

Stay tuned to for more tips on how to improve your graduate recruitment in 2019.