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Recruitment & Human Resources careers

Recruitment: Graduate

How does graduate recruitment work?

Organisations that recruit a large number of graduates each year tend to have their own in-house graduate recruitment team. This department helps to attract the very best graduates to the company. They then assess each application before a shortlist of plucky graduates are brought in for interview. The graduate recruitment team will also make preparations for the arrival of the new graduates and help them slot into their new job nicely.

Major companies want to recruit the very best graduates. The growth and development of their organisation depends on finding the best young talent, who will then progress internally to become the future superstars of their company.

The graduates with the most potential will most likely have their heads screwed on right and be applying for a number of different jobs with various competing companies. It is therefore essential for the graduate recruitment department to make sure they attract and hire the best candidates before their competitors do.

What is the graduate recruitment process?

The graduate recruitment process is very cyclical. The timing of each phase is determined by the academic year and it’s important to plan extensively before each phase. Firstly, the graduate recruitment team will need to understand how many new graduates are needed in each department for the coming year.

Once they know these figures, the marketing season begins at the end of September. In order to get as many applications for each role as possible, the graduate recruiters will go out to university campuses (along with high-profile individuals from the business) and showcase opportunities at careers fairs. They may also even invite ‘high potential’ individuals to internal dinner events.
 
Once the application deadline has passed, each application will be reviewed. The graduate recruiter and the various business unit heads will then create a shortlist of candidates to bring in for interview. However, due to competition from other companies, the graduate recruiters may be required to identify the most promising candidates and bring them in as soon as possible.

After hiring has been completed, the graduate recruitment department will begin preparations for the various graduate programmes, by organising training schedules, planning presentations and carrying out general administration tasks.

How is a company’s graduate recruitment division organised?

Larger companies tend to be split into multiple divisions. Each division will have a recruitment committee comprised of business heads. The recruitment committee tends to be chaired by a relevant graduate recruiter for that division (for the larger divisions there may be two or three recruiters). Each recruiter will be supported by a secondary recruiter, who may carry out supportive recruitment work or administration tasks.

The divisional recruiters will report to a graduate recruitment manager and marketing manager. Then, depending on the size and nature of the organisation, these people may report to a global recruitment manager. This departmental structure may vary between different companies, as it is ultimately dependent on the size of the organisation and how it interacts with other international branches.

Careers in graduate recruitment are an accidental testament to the fact that there are in fact graduate careers available, so there’s no need to be anxious. Ignore the media horror stories! If you work in this area, you’ll reap the spiritual rewards of ensuring that the best students find the jobs they deserve – nice one!