Your Approach to Graduate Recruitment is Broken. Here’s How To Fix It.

Anete Vesere (1)

Anete Vesere

Content Marketer

The market is changing, and, unfortunately, there seems to be little inclination to adapt to these changes. We’re still using the same old ‘systems’. But what is the result of a changing market and failing to adjust accordingly?


A broken recruitment funnel that is not delivering the results you need.


Have you noticed that it is getting harder and harder to hire graduates for internships, apprenticeships, traineeships and permanent positions? Every year we wait for new graduates but we are hardly able to find the talent we are looking for…

What’s standing in the way of you hiring graduate talent

Setting up very unrealistic job requirements to try and find unicorns

Traineeships and entry-level jobs used to be the way for new graduates to enter the workforce. But many now consist of extremely unrealistic job requirements, just take a look at first job ads that popped up on LinkedIn after typing in traineeship:

Education and previous job experience seem to be the most sought aspects. However, if you post a traineeship that requires juniors who just graduated to have…

  • Previous work experience at a corporate
  • Minimum between 1 to 3 years of experience
  • Industry affinity
  • Lived a year abroad
  • Obtained a master’s degree
  • Had a voluntary job or a year abroad


Ask yourself the following question – how realistic do you think it is that you’ll actually find someone who qualifies for all these aspects?

Education is all that matters, or is it?

There is no direct correlation between academic scores and job performance, so grades and diplomas can not be taken as definitive factors in the selection process. This means that a graduate’s CV does not accurately reflect their potential, so there is a clear need to focus on alternative selection criteria.


There are many very capable candidates out there who don’t have degrees but who could truly benefit a business in the right role. So in your search for the perfect graduate recruit, don’t disregard those that don’t have a degree. Consider them on their own merits instead.

"Does the candidate have previous working experience? No? Let's find someone who does."

Employers always ask, ‘Does the candidate have experience?’ The idea is that experience helps people develop knowledge and skills relevant to work. However, our intuition of this being the most indicative when it comes to determining future job performance couldn’t be more flawed. Research findings by Chad H. Van Iddekinge show that previous work experience generally is not a good indicator of how well employees perform in a new organization at all.


Therefore, requiring 2-5 years of working experience for entry-level positions leaves fresh graduates without a chance. And shouldn’t entry-level jobs be meant to be precisely that – a way of entering the job market? 😉

Having too few candidates apply for the jobs

What we hear as the most common struggle when it comes to companies hiring graduates is the following – after posting job openings, they don’t receive many applications, and if they do then there is a high drop-off rate during the application process. 


The main reason why? Disengaging and lengthy application process.

Lengthy application process​

If your application is lengthy and complicated, it can lead to increased candidate drop-off rate during the application process.


On average, as many as 73% of candidates abandon an application if the process takes too long, and 49% of candidates would consider applying for a role instantly if the process appeared simple. 


First impressions matter and they tend to last.

Disengaging & old-fashioned assessments

On top of that, many companies are still opting to choose outdated assessment methods.

Personality questionnaires and Figure A tests. Do these seem familiar to you? They are extremely popular and well-known traditional psychometric tests, however, not all that glitters is gold.

Traditional psychometric tests:

  • Produce a high cognitive load for test-takers, which can result in high dropout rates during the hiring process. 
  • Take on average 45-90 mins to complete. 
  • Are definitely not the most innovative way of assessing candidates and differentiating yourself from competitors.


Have you ever heard a candidate saying they enjoyed completing a Figure Series test or a Big Five personality questionnaire and found it enjoyable? Well, I certainly have not.

The Irony of it All: The Need for Speed

The war for talent is at its peak: 10 days is the average number of days before top candidates are off the market. This means that candidate experience matters more than ever before. 

With an average of 340,700 students each academic year in the Netherlands and an expected 800,000 graduates in the UK, if you cannot provide a quick and engaging process to attain, assess and sort through this talent – just imagine how many great candidates you are missing out on?!? 🤯


This can be very costly in the long run. It means missing out on hiring the best candidates out there and making it more difficult to hire top talent in the future.

Solution: Collect the right insights through cognitive and behavioural assessments

Research by SHRM highlights that when hiring especially for entry-level positions, it’s important to understand that someone’s past experience is not the only determinant of their future job success.  If you want to hire the best of the best, consider looking beyond educational requirements or past work experience – hire more for skills & potential.

This is how Equalture can help

Here at Equalture, we develop gamified psychometric tests that help companies make better hiring decisions. Our games not only assess the cognitive abilities, behaviour and personality of candidates but also your current teams.  


On top of that, based on these insights providing you with structured interview guides to truly allow you to hire the right people.

All in a fun, objective, data-backed and reliable way to allow you to hire the best out of the best! Curious to see one of our games in action?

Play a game 👇

So, there you have it—the top problems and their solution. This is how you can improve your approach to recruitment for graduates and attract the right employees to your team. 

P.S. Check out this hiring guide from Homerun on how to hire an intern for your business!

But don’t just stop here; make sure to share this with others so they can avoid the unfortunate mistakes of those who came before them! 😉

Cheers, Anete.

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