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You are here: Home » For graduates » Blog » The world of Graduate Recruitment – please mind the gap!

The world of Graduate Recruitment – please mind the gap!

Last updated 30-Sep-17 12:55



The Graduates Yorkshire team is still buzzing from #trulondon - a recruiter unconference.  An unconference is driven by the expert knowledge and opinions of its participants.  It's a laid back environment that really encourages debate and makes sure all voices are heard.


The thing is with some of these events is that it can be based too much around the recruiter without listening to the voice of jobseekers.  That's why it was so refreshing to see a group of graduates mentored by @wendyjacob lead a discussion on graduate recruitment - and boy was it lively!


One thing that became apparent throughout the debate is that there is definitely a gap between graduate & recruiter perceptions.  Is this through a lack of communication and knowledge, or are we all suffering from a bit of narrow mindedness?



Most of the graduates we talked to are currently studying finance and therefore looking to progress into accountancy type firms. 

Here are some of the varying views we whole heartedly discussed during a really insightful hour:


The Graduate View



  • Most of the graduates were applying for graduate training schemes

  • Applications were strongly geared towards the big 4 accountancy firms

  • The application process was a lengthy & drawn out one - one graduate said how they had spent 2 weeks on an application

  • They were very selective in terms of the type of jobs, companies and places (location) they wanted to work for

  • Graduates want feedback from their applications

  • There needs to be a more transparent process when applying for jobs - with more open levels of communication

The Recruiter/Employer view


  • Graduates should not just be limiting themselves to graduate training schemes - the development opportunities within SME's are immense!

  • A few recruiters thought that strength is in numbers and you should send out hundreds of applications.

  • If graduates want to apply for the big schemes they need to go through so many processes as there's such tough competition. If you apply to SME's the process is a lot shorter!

  • If graduates want to work in a particular field they should be focussed on that goal - however something's got to give - whether that be location, salary, roles...

  • If a recruiter or employer is receiving hundreds of applications they can't always provide feedback to every graduate. Sometimes you didn't get through simply because someone had a slight edge - rather than anything in particular!

  • Communication is a two way thing so graduates need to make sure they're engaging with the employer/recruiter too. Make yourself known!


These are just some of the key ‘gaps' we picked out from the session but I'm sure there's a whole lot more.  One thing that is clear is that there needs to be more communication between jobseekers & employers/recruiters.


One refreshing thing to come out of the discussion is that the recruiters at #trulondon are keen to lend their expertise to graduates.  @PeterGold99 proposed a #trulondon mentoring scheme and by the end of the day all of the graduates were paired up.  It'll be really exciting to follow their progress and see how they fare whilst searching for that graduate job! 


However there needs to be more calls to action - such as the mentoring scheme - to ensure the channels of communications between graduates and employers are left wide open.


What do you think are the key things graduates should be doing whilst looking for a job?  What do you think about sending out lots of generic applications or a few tailored ones?  Are graduates narrowing their search too much? How can we bridge the gap between graduates and employers?

- Rhiannon 

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Re: The world of Graduate Recruitment – please mind the gap! Author:@kevinize (at 2011-02-21 18:25)

Great blog, Trulondon was a great experience for me and I am happy to have gained so much knowledge from you and the rest of the HR and recruitment specialists.You hit the nail on the head with the summaries. Being a soon-to-be grad I didn't realise how big the gap in perceptions was and how little students know about the working world.What is defiantly clear to me is (and i speak on behalf of all the Middlesex University team at trulondon) without the mentoring we had from @wendyjacob over the past year, we would be completely lost all together. By the end of trulondon I realised that every university needs a @Wendyjacob.

We are lucky enough now to be mentored by recruiters thanks to the suggestion of @petergold99, I’m looking forward to it and ill share my experience via social media!

GREAT post!! Thank you Graduates Yorkshire team!


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Identify your culture/person fit, a few tailored and narrow all you want! Author:@SocialMediaHR (at 2011-02-21 20:05)

Working with HR at IKEA, I see all approaches possible on a day to day basis. I believe:

(1) graduates can spend a lot of useful time reading about companies' corporate culture and matching this with their own values. Most of the "large sharks" already have a strong culture and a value driven recruitment process. Making sure you have a good fit from the beginning puts you in the "driver's seat" compared to other candidates in the selection process.  On top of this you can start your applicaation letter or email saying that you picked the company because of its values rather than something less important.

(2) by using the above approach, I doubt you will find buckets of companies to apply for. Aim for the ones you identify yourself with. It does not mean you have to stay with them for your whole life but means you will have much more fun while you are there (they will too!). Furthermore, your application will be tailor made as each company has its own set of values.

(3)  Spend your energy on just a few companies! Use your brain, use your social media "savvyness" and follow the people of your choice in the companies you have identified. Follow them on LinkedIn and cover their discussions and build a relationship before approaching them. No, this is not "stalking". It is what many refer to as "Online Influencing.

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Re: The world of Graduate Recruitment – please mind the gap! Author:@kenny_i (at 2011-02-21 22:28)


Great read!!

Trulondon was a great experience for us graduates, we were happy to be given the opportunity to share our experiences as final year undergrads and for those that missed our track; they can easily read this blog!

The mentoring scheme came as a surprise to us, and we are all looking forward at what’s to come!

This blog was spot on! 


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Re: The world of Graduate Recruitment – please mind the gap! Author:Rhiannon Hughes (at 2011-02-22 10:49)

Thanks for your comments @kevinize @kenny_i - great to hear from the graduate perspective :)

@SocialMediaHR  thanks for the tips - cultural fit is so important - researching this part of the business can really make you stand out!



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