Graduate Recruitment Guide

Whatever your business, getting the right person for the job is critical to success. Graduates bring the flexibility, creativity, motivation and skills that a business needs to stay competitive and dynamic. 

But, with employment levels in south west England at an all time high, you need to get your recruitment right to attract the right candidates. 

Our graduate recruitment guide contains information, resources and templates to help you attract, select and develop graduate talent in four easy steps. 

Use it as a step-by-step guide or you dip in and out to use what you need.

#1 Define your job

Ask yourself what you need. Look at your business needs and identify the skills and competencies that you require. It's important to describe any role as accurately as possible - otherwise you may encourage unrealistic expectations which can cause difficulties later on.

It's good practice to develop a job description and person specification. Follow the links below to find out how and to download our handy templates. 

#2 Reach and attract the right graduate candidates

Knowing where to reach the right graduates is as important as a well crafted recruitment advert. 

#3 Select your graduate 

Once you have applications, it is time to select those candidates that you would like to interview.

Follow the links below to find out how and to download our handy templates. 

#4 Develop graduate talent

Once you have your perfect graduate, the focus moves onto developing them.

Career progression opportunities are incredibly important to graduates so it's important to plan ahead and consider how you will keep them interested and motivated. Graduates will expect a degree of autonomy and ongoing training, development and supervision. We've listed some training support for you and also recommend the mentoring of new graduates by experienced staff.

Some funded projects provided by universities and business support organisations can offer support and funding for graduate recruitment and induction – these projects allow you to ‘road test’ graduates before making a commitment to full employment, and can provide elements of mentoring, support and development.

Employers are sometimes concerned that graduates won’t stay long enough to make a return on the investment. This is not borne out by research. The Institute of Employment Studies (IES) research Measuring Up: Benchmarking Graduate Retention concluded that retention rates are high at 86% on average after three years.

And finally, don't forget eligibility to work in the UK...

As an employer, you are responsible for checking that your staff are eligible to work in the UK. You should therefore ask shortlisted candidates to bring the appropriate documents to interview and check and record them before making any unconditional offer.