Meet & Engage

What Do Graduates Want?

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 In April, we partnered with Bright Network for the launch of their latest research, What do graduates want? Insights from tomorrow’s workforce.

Following the launch, we decided to run a group chat via the Meet & Engage platform during which employers had the opportunity to ask a panel of recent graduates about their thoughts and experiences when looking for work.

Here’s our quick summary of what the panel of graduates had to say during the live chat event.  

There was a general feeling that if you achieved a 2:2 or below you would not be able to get a graduate role.

 The research found a significant difference between what employers consider as most valuable and what students think employers want. This was supported by our panel.

One member of the graduate panel stated, “Students are predominately focused on their results, and think the minimum they will need to even be considered by an employer is a 2:1.”

Another member explained “it was one of the biggest pressures I felt at university. There was a general feeling that if you achieved a 2:2 or below you would not be able to get a graduate role.”

Our audience of employers agreed that employers instead find the most value in passion, transferable skills, communication and resilience over a specific degree classification – something that resonates the findings from both the ISE (Institute of Student Employers) and High Fliers in recent years.

It’s clear that much more can be done to prepare students for the world of work and educate them on employer expectations.

Together with our clients, we’ve been working to break down barriers between candidates and employers, educating students about what employers want through utilising live chat and other candidate experience technology.  

I resonate far more with recent grads who I share experience with

From the research, we also found that 40% of graduates value company culture and people most when choosing a graduate role.

Our panel of graduates supported this, agreeing that the ‘right fit’ between employer and candidate was more important than other factors such as salary.

The panel explained that they wanted to see the ‘human side’ of a business and so, the chance to meet and hear from current employees is crucial. “I think showing the personality of your company or the cool things you are doing is really valuable”.

While 80% of graduates said that it was important to meet current employees before applying, our panel was most interested in meeting grads, “I resonate far more with recent grads who I share experience with”.

When asked for examples of the best candidate experience they’d received, our panel agreed that personalised messaging, strong feedback and on-going support across various stages of the recruitment journey stood out most.

One member said “Regular check-ins throughout the process shows students they are valued”.

Another agreed stating, “pre-video interview and assessment chat sessions help a lot, especially when there is doubt that you might not be right for the role”. 

Hearing the concerns that graduates and job seekers are currently facing directly was of huge benefit to those who attended the event and it was interesting to hear their thoughts and reasoning behind some of the research results. Check out our summary of the stand-out stats from our research or click here to download and read the research in full.

Get in touch with us at to find out more about our candidate experience technology and how we can support you in enhancing your candidate experience and revitalising your recruitment journey. For a hands-on look at our technology, book a demo.

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