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Graduate recruitment agencies: 5 reasons you should consider using one

Graduate recruitment is on the rise and as a specialist graduate recruitment agency, we are experiencing this industry growth first hand.

But why? What is driving this trend? And why are businesses increasingly using graduate recruitment agencies to deliver their entry level talent?

1. Competitive advantage to attract the best graduate talent to your organisation

2017 saw the number of graduate hires in the UK fall for the first time in 5 years – a decrease of 4.9% on the previous year. However, last year in 2018, this number bounced back, increasing by 4.3%.

Research from High Fliers confirm that the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers in the UK are planning to increase their graduate vacancies by 9.1% in 2019. Given the accepted wisdom that the Brexit malaise is stifling business investment, this is a surprising statistic as there are few longer term investments than that into future talent.

Overall student recruitment comparison between 2018 (reported) and 2019 (expected) shows that there is expected to be a considerable rise in both apprentice and graduate hires this year (ISE Pulse Survey, 2019)

Never before has there been such an abundance of companies offering students and recent graduates the opportunity to make their first steps on the career ladder.

What we are seeing is that companies are increasingly looking at their talent pipeline for the next long term, not just on an interim basis. Entry level talent is being attracted into companies to be developed and retained to add long-term value over the coming years, even though the economy may prove to be volatile in the near future.

The net result is greater competition for graduate talent.

A specialist graduate recruitment agency, with expertise in the graduate market, can you give you the competitive edge you need to attract the talent which will drive your business’ growth.

Graduate recruitment agencies know how know how to reach, engage, attract and recruit the best talent into businesses. They are also sensitive to the graduate market’s unusual trends, nuances and time cycles, so they know how to attract the right talent to any business at any time of year.

2. Graduate Recruitment Agencies save you money while delivering the best talent

We have seen that investment in graduate talent is on the rise. We are also seeing that the budgets allocated to recruit graduates are not rising.

In fact, in many cases the budgets are in reverse. It is this fact which has led to the rapid growth of Sanctuary Graduates, and the size of our industry.

ISE research shows that companies in the UK spend a huge amount of money to attract & recruit graduates. Graduate recruitment agencies can help to significantly reduce these costs whilst improving both the quantity and quality of applicants to graduate schemes.
ISE research shows that companies in the UK spend a huge amount of money to attract & recruit graduates. Graduate recruitment agencies can help to significantly reduce these costs whilst improving both the quantity and quality of applicants to graduate schemes.

It is a common misconception that agencies are unaffordable or not cost-effective. We exist entirely to save businesses money (and time – more on this next), not cost them more, in the pursuit of their graduate.

We are usually able to deliver graduates at a fraction of the cost of traditional recruitment methods often used by internal HRs.

3. Reduce the burden: Agencies can more of the dirty work done in shorter periods of time

Graduate recruitment is seriously time consuming, not just for students but for poor HR and recruitment professionals who painstakingly sift through hundreds and (often) thousands of applications.

We recently attracted almost 6,000 applications in 10 days for an asset manager’s graduate scheme, and can only imagine the reaction of their stretched HR team if they had to face the burden of having screen them all.

Agencies remove the burden of graduate recruitment for HRs, allowing them to focus their limited time on more valuable tasks.

Some graduate recruitment agencies have a dedicated screening team of professionals who are experts in the screening tasks as opposed to being  more multifaceted HR/recruitment professionals.

They can do massive amounts of effective, expert screening in short periods of time, allowing for a shorter recruitment process and excellent candidate experience, which is all important in today’s competitive graduate job market.

4. Agencies can give you access to the widest talent pools & deliver diversity in your early years talent

The key to recruiting the right people for your organisation is to ensure you are reaching the full graduate market with your message.

Wider talent pools drive up standards in recruitment processes and lead to hiring managers having an embarrassment of riches when it comes to choosing their next hire.

Too many good candidates to choose from and back up candidates should you not land your first choice is the ideal scenario. Agencies can make this happen.

So often firms overhire due to the surfeit of talent we deliver into their interview processes.

Agencies often have ready-made, large databases of talent looking for work. We call ours the Sanctuary Talent Network and it has over 150,000 current students or very recent graduates on it. It is through this network, we leverage a variety of recruitment & advertising methods to widen your reach at every UK university.


5. Agencies can deliver excellent candidate experience – essential for securing your ideal graduate recruits

Your reputation as a business is important.

Customers are twice more likely to review a bad experience than a good one, and this is the same for candidates. With the rise of websites such as Glassdoor and Rate My Placement, one bad experience can reach thousands of potential candidates. More to the point, it can also cause serious damage to your reputation as an employer.

The best way to get over this hurdle is to provide a great candidate experience to everyone who applies, regardless of how far they get in your recruitment process. Good candidate experience is the difference between your preferred candidate accepting your offer and not.

When candidates have multiple offers, (and the best candidates now frequently do) very often the key differential is candidate experience. Who gave them the best service, the best feeling, made them feel wanted the most?

A full-service graduate recruitment agency can help with this as they have the capacity to deliver outstanding, personalised candidate experience. Facets of this include:

  • A quick and clear application process
  • Acknowledgement of a candidate’s application
  • Setting clear expectations in terms of timelines and next steps
  • Feedbacking and careful rejection handling
  • Preparation for each step of the application process
  • Quick response to candidate communications and questions
  • Nurturing the talent you wish to hire