Altus Dynamics Blog

Top Tips for Graduate Recruitment on a Budget

Posted by Cait Abernethy on Sep 12, 2016 3:43:14 PM

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Here at Altus, we’re always on the lookout for new talent. This can come in a number of different forms such as experienced industry professionals, those looking for a career change (bringing with them a wealth of experience from other industries), or recent university graduates. We, as well as many of our clients, have found that graduates are not only a great way to fill entry-level roles in an organization, but they also bring a fresh perspective, enthusiasm, and are determined to work hard to progress their careers.

Recruitment_Comic.gifWhile there is an increasing number of university grads who are looking to work for Human Service organizations, attracting them to your organization can sometimes prove to be a challenge. Luckily, we’ve found that you don’t need a large HR department or budget to get the best graduates to work for you, you just need to be strategic. Here are our top tips on graduate recruitment when working with a tight budget:

1. Get Noticed

Firstly, it's going to be difficult to find qualified graduates who will want to work for you if they've never heard of your organization or what it does. Promoting your organization to new recruits is just as important as it is to promote to new clients. If your organization doesn’t have a social media presence already, this should be your #1 priority – 71% of millennials check social media sites at least once a day and almost 2/3 of North American professionals use social networks to discover new job opportunities. So, if you’re not on social media, chances are you’re not getting found. 

003-linkedin-post-a-job.jpgSocial sites like LinkedIn and Facebook are ideal for setting up company profiles, but they need to be engaging. Think of your online profile like a shop window – use it as a way to showcase your organization, what you have to offer, and what you want to be known for. Websites such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Simply Hired also offer the opportunity to post jobs online at a fraction of the cost of using a typical recruitment company.

You can make your money go even further when posting jobs online by focusing on certain demographics and locations to promote to – which will give you the best shot at attracting graduates in your local area. Another great way to get noticed is to attend local university career fairs. They may take a bit of time out of your day (and come at a small cost depending on what campuses you go to) but it’s a fantastic way to access hundreds of potential candidates all under the same roof while promoting your organization. 

2. Get them Interested

Getting candidates to notice you is one thing, but once they have, how do you get them interested in working for you? We’ve found that the key to this is actually pretty simple: Engage them. The North American employment market is very different today than in the past. Many companies are competing for young, high-potential talent – giving candidates more choice when it comes to job selection. As a result, grads are now looking to hear about what your company has to offer them. Consider some of the following when crafting the “Why You Should Work for Us” section of your job posting:free_coffee.gif
  • What is your corporate culture like? Do you have team-building events? Free coffee? An open-concept working environment? Highlight the aspects that make working for your organization fun and unique.
  • Is there room for their career to grow and progress within your organization?
  • What kind of new technology is your organization using that will be helpful or attractive to tech-savvy Millennials?

Engaging communication is also vital. Millennials are looking for personalized and instant communication. The quicker you can reach out to them after they apply for a job online, email you, or meet you at a career fair - the better. In fact, you’re much more likely to interest a graduate if you’ve read their application, taken the time to thoroughly look at their resume or LinkedIn profile, and can call out specific aspects of their experience when responding to their application. 

Offering training programs with a structured framework can also be a huge plus for grads and gives them lots of support, especially as many will have come straight from a classroom learning environment. 

And lastly, if you can’t offer them a salary to compete with some of the larger players in the job market, focus on benefits. The good news is that 60% of millennials say that company benefits are an important factor in choosing a job– which can be a great way to boost your job offering (at little or no additional cost to you).

3. Get the Timing Right

University hiring in North America has two peak seasons centered around the beginning of each university semester:

  • Fall (September-October), and
  • Spring (January-February)

This is when recruitment activity is at its highest. However, if you want to make the greatest impact, don’t leave it until then to start looking for new grads. Typically, students are looking to secure employment about 2-3 months before starting, so make sure they can find your organization when researching and applying for jobs. You may also find that by getting in there early you will increase the chances of securing talented candidates before other companies have even started their search. 

With that being said, good luck with the search! Do you have any other top tips for graduate recruitment that have worked for you that we haven’t mentioned? Feel free to share in the comments below.


Is your organization inadvertently overspending on things such as recruitment and onboarding? Want to discover other areas where your organization can save money? Request your free 30 minute Cost Savings Assessment to discover how efficiently you're managing your administrative processes and where you can improve to save money.

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This Post Was Written By Cait Abernethy
Cait Abernethy is the Marketing Coordinator at Sparkrock and is excited about marketing trends, enthralled by technology of all kinds, and is interested in the ways local actions can have a global impact.
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