How to deliver a great graduate recruitment experience

Jan 17, 2023 | How-to, Sector & policy

Content provided by: Cappfinity

Cappfinity Co-Founder, President and Global Clients, Nicky Garcea reflects on the early careers landscape, to take a closer look at the biggest recruitment gripes for new graduates and what employers can do to address them.

Changing times have drastically impacted hiring needs.  No longer motivated by title and salary alone, today’s early talent is looking for a good work culture, with values that align closely to their own.

Cappfinity research conducted in partnership with YouGov, has found that a significant part of the problem lies in the recruitment process itself.


What do graduates want from recruiters and employers?

In recent years, the balance of power in recruitment has shifted from that of the employer to the candidate.  Although the current global economic outlook has changed over the past few months, in graduate recruitment at least, talent can still afford to be very selective about what opportunities they pursue.

Today’s graduates want a recruitment process that:

  • Isn’t long, unclear, or unnecessarily drawn-out
  • Provides ample opportunity to find out more about the organisation’s culture
  • Allows organisations to showcase their skills
  • Is communicated well at all stages


How can you deliver a great graduate recruitment experience?

First, try to be as clear as possible about the graduate recruitment process by communicating timelines early on.  That way the candidate will know what to expect from each stage, rather than waiting around, becoming frustrated and possibly choosing to withdraw from the process.

Review current processes and identify unwritten expectations of candidates. Create examples of these expectations and clarify the ‘why’ of elements in the assessment and interview process.

Provided you have the right digital tools, you can create a recruitment process that will be quick to deliver, whilst maintaining the same levels of quality and giving candidates genuine insight into the organisation.

A digital approach to recruitment is already being used by many organisations, to assess candidates whilst providing insight into the organisation’s work and culture.  This includes the use of video and virtual reality to provide candidates with an opportunity to hear from current graduate recruits and complete realistic in-tray exercises.  As an immersive graduate recruitment experience, the candidate places themselves in the position of a current employee.

Realistic work previews, projects or work simulation also provide valuable insight for employers to understand a candidate’s strengths and skills to determine if they are a good fit for the role, whilst the candidate gains their own understanding of whether they feel the job is right for them.

Bringing in real-world experiences via technology helps to plug the work experience gap, with graduates and school leavers having fewer chances, or in some cases, no chance to engage in work experience while they are studying.  Whilst this is an area that can be addressed for those still in school, graduates need other opportunities to experience the real working world for themselves prior to entering it.


Skills-based hiring

Following years of educational turmoil brought about by the pandemic, the parameters by which talent is assessed, also need to evolve.  Many employers are seeking more accurate predictors of success in role via skills.

Skills-based hiring is a real win for the employer and the employee because the candidate and hiring manager get a preview of working at the organisation during the recruitment process.

Early talent can research an organisation years in advance of making an application, so the candidate journey begins early.  For an organisation to be authentic they will need to ensure that evidence of values in action are visible at every touch point, that means websites, social media, careers fairs, press, anywhere that early talent can research a company must showcase their values in action.

Employers that want to win early career talent must see it as an ongoing commitment, where opportunities for real experience and insight into an organisation’s culture are drawn to the forefront, and each candidate and their skills are valued for the part they will play in the talent pipeline now and in the future.

Read more data and advice on graduate recruitment

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