Attract the Best Graduate Talent #01

Attract the Best Graduate Talent

A lot of what we do at Occumi involves speaking to HR and talent acquisition managers on their approach to recruiting young people. We have found time, and time again that many employers struggle to attract a diverse range of highly skilled graduates from universities. 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.

Young people are the future of any business, with graduates often being at the heart of that. Therefore it is important to take the attraction of graduate talent seriously within your business.

Over the next few blog posts we’ll be exploring the best ways for businesses to attract a diverse range of top graduates to apply for their vacancies, first up graduate role models…

Graduate Role Models


Everyone applying for a job wants to know what the job is actually like, and how they can progress in the role, and graduates are no different!

Whether your a large company recruiting for a graduate scheme, or a smaller company looking to hire a single graduate, one of the best ways to attract top talent is to show them examples of previous graduates that have been taken on.

One of the best ways to implement this into your graduate attraction, is to send some of your existing graduate employees to universities to speak to future grads about their experiences in the role. This will give potential applicants the opportunity to interact with someone who was recently in their position.

In a recent blog post, I covered the importance of role models, for graduates looking for jobs role models are especially important. Many grads will be in a position where they don’t quite know what they want to do, nor whether they have the appropriate skills or knowledge to go into a certain industry. The chance to speak to someone who has been in that exact position recently, can do wonders for reassuring a potential graduate that it is possible to get a grad job in that particular company.

An experience with a former graduate, can be the difference between a top graduate applying for one grad scheme over another. Having only graduated in 2017, I know that it is very difficult to find the time to apply for graduate jobs. But the graduate schemes I did find time to apply for were the ones where I got to see the experience of recent graduates in the role.

As a student, being able to hear the experiences from someone who was in your situation not too long ago is invaluable. Speaking to recent grads who had jobs from a similar position to me, was really inspiring, and made me want to work for those companies.

Never underestimate the power of positive role models!

How to use Role models to attract graduates

The absolute best way to use role models to attract graduates is to get in front of them.

University Careers fairs are a great place to do this, as there are hundreds of students attending who are actively looking for employment opportunities.

However, there are also many other companies attending, so it can be difficult to stand out among competing businesses who are also trying to attract the best talent. This is especially a problem for lesser known businesses. It’s also worth mentioning that careers fairs can be pricey, often costing thousands to have a stall for one day, therefore it may not be ideal for smaller companies.

If you are going to attend a careers fair here’s a top tip to make any student remember you… give out good freebies! Take it from a recent student, students don’t have any money so make sure you give them some free stuff once they’ve spoken to your graduate employee! (Food is always a success, but thinking outside the box and giving out useful items like kitchen utensils with your logo on could be hugely beneficial).

Lecture shout outs

This is a great way to get your graduate employee to speak directly to a targeted audience of future graduates. Of-course, it may not be easy to organise these slots, as it will require a willing lecturer, but it can be extremely useful for communicating information to large groups of students.

Society partnerships

Like lecture shout outs, you can target students who may be interested in working for your company based on their interests. Often societies will look for sponsorship for events/ competitions. Sponsoring a society could give your existing graduates the opportunity to share their experiences with society members.

For more Graduate recruitment tips, stay tuned to our blog and LinkedIn profile