The main components of a successful graduate recruitment process

6 min read

There are a number of key components to creating a successful graduate recruitment process for both the organisation and the candidate. In this article, we will go through each of these components!

Whether your organisations recruitment team is hiring a handful or hundreds of graduates or you’re planning to outsource your programme to an external provider, creating an effective recruitment process is essential to producing the most suitable candidates. With this in mind, having a friendly and transparent process is key while giving everyone a positive application experience.

Each component of the process should focus on offering a personal touch for the graduate, while also aiming to produce a diverse and effective talent pool.


Have a look at our 5 key components of an effective graduate recruitment process below!


1. Creating a role profile and marketing!

The first step for an organisation creating/improving it’s graduate recruitment process is to clearly identify what they’re looking for. Many companies embark on creating a programme without taking the time to clearly outline & communicate their requirements & goals to their recruitment team or outsource providers. If the process for identifying the skills & experience required for successful applicants is not clearly understood; an organisation runs the risk of hiring candidates that may not add value to the organisation as well as providing a poor candidate experience in the application process. This can result in a “lose-lose” situation for all involved.

To avoid this scenario, many companies are beginning to engage with hiring managers, past graduate employees and management to understand what they’re looking for from a candidate as well as discussing what’s necessary to attract the right candidates. Skills, experience, education, personality and diversity are viewed of equal importance and need to be assessed and weighted accordingly. In addition, recognising that flexibility on criteria is integral in producing better results on the overall.

Once this is done, the organisation can begin focusing on their target groups and mirroring their job descriptions, websites, social media sites, graduate programmes and brand marketing to the profile of their ideal candidates. This approach should help increase the number of suitable applicants as well as creating a more personalised experience for those following the application process.


2. Screening candidates and responding quickly.

The screening component in any recruitment process is critical. This stage aims to ensure that candidates who have applied are relevant. This is where the job description which was created in the first stage is invaluable. Here applications are screened against the qualifications, knowledge, skills, abilities, interest and experience mentioned in the job specification.

Those who do not qualify are quickly screened out of the recruitment process. The candidates who do qualify should be contacted either via email or phone call as early as possible. At this point the candidate & recruiter will have the opportunity to interact & discuss any information that’s important to know early on about the role & process. This helps to ensure that the candidate is committed to their application as well as providing the recruiter with the opportunity to assess whether the candidate is a possible fit for the organisation. In addition, this approach also helps to give a personalised and positive experience to the candidate in the early stages.

Many businesses are beginning to recognise the importance of providing prompt and personalised responses to applications to ensure that the candidates experience is positive regardless of the outcome of the application process. Again this is important for the current generation of graduates, who see quick response times and personalised messages as key.


3. Assess the candidates skills and personality

Assessing the skills and personality of candidates is important to determine not only their capability in carrying out the role they are applying for, but also to see if their personality is akin with the company’s values. This can be accomplished by using either a phone or video interview or using an online assessment or both.

Many of the top graduate employers are now using online assessments as they’re not only able to produce strong and prompt results, (with studies showing a greater correlation between job suitability and strong assessment scores) but they also help to reduce bias and increase diversity within the process.

If the candidate passes the online assessment, a phone interview with set questions is normally undertaken to get a greater understanding of the candidate; what they & the organisation want from their time and if the role is suitable. All going well candidates continue to progress to the next stage. If on the other hand, the candidate has been unsuccessful then companies aim to provide quick and personal feedback to them to ensure that they have had a positive recruitment experience even if they did not get the desired result from it!


  1. Testing the candidates fairly at Face to Face Interviews

At this stage if organisations have put enough emphasis on ensuring that applications are processed quickly and indiscriminately while providing a friendly & personalised experience the outcome should produce a diverse set of suitable & interested candidates ready to move into the final stages of the application process.

To complete this stage fairly and without bias, it’s important to use structured interviews and scorecards with a member of HR or the Recruitment team & the Hiring manager present, to keep the process streamlined and fair. This is to ensure that everyone is being asked the same questions and are judged only on their answers. The process should be kept friendly throughout, as Gen Z graduates appreciate this approach.

Once the interview is completed, any candidates who have failed should be contacted after a short period of time with a friendly and personal message to advise them that even though they were carefully considered, they were unsuccessful in reaching the next stage of the process. Candidates who successfully passed their face to face interviews should then be brought to the final stage of the graduate recruitment process.


  1. Selecting the perfect candidate.  

If the company has followed the right steps for an effective recruitment process, a shortlist of suitable & diverse candidates (which were indiscriminately chosen) will be available. It will be down to the Hiring manager and the recruitment team to offer successful candidates the position after all the necessary reference and background checks are completed.

Any candidates who are unsuccessful at this stage due to any specific reasons are contacted as soon as possible and given a friendly and personal reason as to why.


If you’d like to find out more about graduate recruitment outsourcing, please fill in this form and one of our consultants will reach out to you to schedule an informal chat.


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