Trends and Best Practices in Graduate Recruitment for 2023 and Beyond.

For IOPs in the assessment industry, the challenge of helping the organizations they serve in making better talent decisions for graduate recruitment and first-career hires is a perennial one.

Based on research conducted by TTS’s best-of-breed product partner, HireVue, the nature of graduate hiring and recruitment is shifting along with the talent landscape it plays out in.

For instance, despite graduate job applications in the UK increasing by 41% in 2022, there are still approximately 96,041 unemployed graduates each year in that country. Expectations are also shifting, with today’s graduates expecting higher starting salaries than last year’s class and the year before that.

To further complicate matters, internal inefficiencies in the assessment process as well as poorly thought-through job profiles continue to hamper talent professionals from reaching their top talent efficiently. Examples of these problems include: entry-level jobs asking for years of experience and lengthy communication gaps.

How Gen Z will change graduate recruitment

Gen Z is a different generation with ideas and expectations of what they want their lives and employment to look like. They are a generation that grew up with technology, so they expect their future employers and hiring processes to have adapted to it as well.

Graduate recruiters who rethink their hiring processes to address these expectations will find their hiring faster, fairer, and more flexible. Incorporating technology built for hiring will help recruiters efficiently engage, hire, and create a workplace where candidates want to work.

Technology as a talent accelerator

One way to address the above challenges is to assess for competencies, rather than focusing overly on CVs. By using cutting-edge technology to assess for competence, such as on-demand and one-way video interviews driven by AI, more efficiencies can be introduced into the hiring pipeline.

Graduate recruiters are facing a unique landscape in 2022, with a 41% increase in job applications on average and a large number of Gen Z entering the workforce. Despite these figures, recruiters are still struggling to reach and engage top talent efficiently. One of the main challenges is entry-level jobs requiring multiple years of experience, which can be discouraging for recent graduates. Additionally, there are lengthy communication gaps and a lack of engagement throughout the hiring process.

To address these challenges, recruiters need to rethink their hiring processes and incorporate technology built for hiring. This will help them efficiently engage, hire, and create a workplace where candidates want to work.

One way to do this is by assessing competence rather than relying on CVs, which can often look similar for recent graduates. By using tools like HireVue’s gamified and AI-assisted assessments, recruiters can structure interviews and ask all candidates the same validated questions, based on competencies and roles.

Bridging the graduate communication gap

Another challenge recruiters are facing is poor communication between potential hires and the recruiting organization.

For instance, according to a 2022 Monster survey on Gen Z work seekers, 31% of candidates felt the recruiter was rude or lied, 29% felt they took too long to get back to them, and 23% felt the whole process was too impersonal.

To combat this, recruiters need to be more responsive and engaging throughout the hiring process. Incorporating mobile-friendly and text-powered solutions is one way to achieve this, as they have a 98% open rate compared to just 20% when using traditional email.

To this point, a recent report from Snapchat found Gen Z spends an average of 4 hours and 15 minutes a day on their phone–and almost all of them have a smartphone (95%). It is therefore not surprising that one report found that 79.4% of candidates prefer scheduling an interview via text over email or a phone call.

Conversational AI-powered recruiting allows teams to engage candidates and even interns via direct messaging from the platform—not their personal phones. Teams can send candidates 1:1 or campaign SMS messages from a secure, compliant platform instead of having to use their own devices. Texting and chatbots offer 365 day engagement.

Casting a wider (and more flexible) talent net

Graduate recruiters should no longer be limited to only the job fairs they physically visit—and candidates shouldn’t be limited to only the recruiters they meet on campus. Technology like HireVue enables companies to widen their early-career talent pool and improve diversity through flexible solutions that accommodate student schedules.

Students are busy—balancing schoolwork, class, extracurriculars, and even work. One-way video interviewing expands reach, improves diversity, and allows candidates to not only schedule but take interviews from any device, anytime, from anywhere.

A key desire for many graduate potential hires is to have a flexible schedule. This incoming class of employees has had to adapt to remote learning and a constantly changing university experience during the pandemic. They’ve learned to be flexible with the rollercoaster of shutdowns and quarantining, and they expect their employers to have adapted as well.

For instance, In 2021, 42% of HireVue interviews were completed outside of normal business hours.

According to Intel, diversity “will be a workplace deal-breaker for Gen Z, and 34% of Gen Z would decide between similar job offers based on which is more diverse and inclusive.” Gen Z candidates are seeking companies that align with their values, and they are far more likely to engage with that employer when candidates perceive the hiring process as fair.

Technologies like HireVue allows recruiters to build and structure their interviews to provide the same, fair experience for all candidates. According to a recent survey: 33% of university graduates would reject a job without a diverse workforce, 29% would reject an organization without women in leadership positions, and 23% would reject an organization without diverse leadership roles.

What that means is that choosing candidates based on “gut instinct” is not enough. The truth is that our “gut” is sometimes biased—even unconsciously so. By using algorithms that eliminate special category information like gender and race, technologies like HireVue’s AI-assisted video interviewing can deliver far less biased results than typical human raters.

While the current landscape is moving in the right direction, there is still room for improvement in making hiring fairer. Decisions backed by science mitigate unconscious bias and provide insight into candidates’ true competencies and potential.

A focus on health and wellbeing

The new generation entering the workforce is one concerned about their total holistic health—and that includes their mental health. In a recent study of Australian graduates, over two-thirds were worried about mental health, making it the biggest issue for young Australians today. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that graduates want the ability to talk about their mental wellness at their places of employment.

However, many workers report their companies don’t offer health benefits like therapy, counseling, or related benefits. Employers who have practical answers to such concerns will be able to create a positive hiring process as well as a positive workplace where employees want to work.

Final thoughts

Integrating more efficient technologies into the hiring of graduates, being more flexible and less biased, and focusing on employee wellbeing are all factors that will set employers apart from their competitors in the talent landscape.

Indeed, recent research conducted by HireVue suggests that there is great power in this approach: By implementing HireVue solutions, the Amazon EMEA University graduate recruitment team has been able to approach their hiring with high-tech solutions that include a human touch—and cut screening time by 43%.

By implementing automation into their scheduling and on-demand interviewing, the graduate recruitment team was able to not only hire faster but assure every candidate that a real human was involved in scoring their interview (albeit assisted by AI). Using this approach, the Amazon team was able to save 68,000 Recruiter hours compared to previous methods.

In conclusion, by assessing competencies accurately and efficiently, and by being more responsive and engaging throughout the hiring process, talent professionals can efficiently engage, hire, and create a workplace that is attractive to potential graduate hires.

If you would like to know more about TTS and HireVue’s graduate solutions, drop us a line at


HireVue, (2022). EMEA Campus Graduate Hiring Guide.