How to hire the best of the class of 2017

It’s that time of year again when the market is flooded with a new wave of potential employees. The coursework is in, the gown and mortarboards have been dusted down, and the ink is drying on the parchment. The graduates are coming.

According to “The Graduate Market in 2017” report from High Fliers Research, the UK’s top employers plan to increase their graduate hiring in 2017 by more than 4.3% over their 2016 activity, and those in 6 out of the 13 industries / employment areas they surveyed expect to hire more new graduates than they did last year.

If you are also looking to tap into this new workforce to enhance your team, you may be thinking about how to secure the best and brightest talent from those graduating this year.

Graduates can be full of enthusiasm, keen to learn, and thirsty for success, making them great additions to your team. They can bring a different type of energy into the workplace, new ideas and experience gained from their degrees, and expertise in some of the latest trends in their specialism.

But graduates are no longer students. Sure, telling them about the perks of your workplace might draw some keen applicants — 4pm Friday beers or company teambuilding excursions can be appealing — but many graduates are looking for a serious move away from their student days. In these increasingly uncertain times, many students are walking away from university with eye-watering debt, and they want the assurance that they will start a career, not just a job, if they come to work for you.

They want to be trained up in their sector, and to have the potential to one day be eligible for promotion. They want to see that they can grow in the role, perhaps mould it to suit their passions, and to become established in their field. Extravagant Christmas parties and a pool table in the breakout room might attract some, but today’s graduates are savvy and many will look beyond these nice-to-haves.

So, how do you make sure your roles are getting their attention?

Firstly, think like a graduate. A high proportion of students graduating this year who went to university straight out of school were born in 1995–6. They were in their teens during the rise of social media 2.0, meaning that the majority have built their online presences on Facebook since the beginning. They actively engage with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, and are very much the ‘always on’ generation. Their long relationship with social media will mean that each platform holds detailed statistics for their profiles, making them the perfect demographic for targeted social advertising: a much more direct and modern way of reaching the right type of candidates. Indeed, according to The Graduate Market in 2017 report, those recruiting graduates made more use of social media (as well as skills training events, campus brand managers and university recruitment presentations) this year, reducing the advertising they did in career sector guides.

Secondly, this is about the entire offering, not just a job. What can your company offer the new recruit? What training opportunities will there be? Can you offer mentoring, or placements with different teams as part of their induction? Are there any certifications or professional memberships they could work towards that you can support them in gaining? Any specific promotions or career advancements that you can directly tie to the role, or is there an expected path of progression that you can advertise? Holidays, pay and pension are also key attributes and shouldn’t be neglected in an advert. It’s therefore really important that your advert is compelling and complete: you want graduates to be excited to apply for your roles.

By placing yourself in the position of the prospective candidate, and looking at your company’s offering from an outsider’s perspective, you’ll be able to target your content and advertising in an efficient and intelligent way. By engaging with newer methods of candidate attraction, especially when seeking graduate applicants, you’ll be in a good position to connect with them and win their attention.

This is how to find, engage and attract the best and brightest from the class of 2017.

Thanks for checking out my post. I hope you enjoyed it!

I’m Mike Durkin and I’m a Career Coach + Job Search Coach who helps you get your job search unstuck with my CV, Interview, LinkedIn + Job Search Tips.

Visit my website at to see how I can help you.

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Career Coach | Job Search Coach 👋 | I help you get your job search unstuck | CV, Interview, LinkedIn + Job Search Tips | Based in beautiful Northumberland, UK.

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Mike Durkin

Mike Durkin

Career Coach | Job Search Coach 👋 | I help you get your job search unstuck | CV, Interview, LinkedIn + Job Search Tips | Based in beautiful Northumberland, UK.

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