How can graduate employers win the war for talent.

By Rohan Holland on February, 28 2022

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Rohan Holland

Rohan is a graduate recruitment and development specialist. With extensive experience managing graduate programs and professional resourcing roles in organisations including BP, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, Rohan has worked throughout Australia and abroad. He has a passion for sharing graduate program insights and coaching graduates to be better prepared for the recruitment process and the study to work transition.

The well known ‘war for talent’ extends to the graduate cohort of 2022 across the country. More than most years in recent history, this is a buyers' (prospective graduates) market...and they have a choice. So, what are employers doing differently to attract graduate talent? And what is the longer-term impact on employer brands?


It is no longer enough to simply advertise and recruit in the promotion and attraction of graduate talent. These graduates need to feel engaged and aligned with an organisation's values and purpose. And what about those companies that have lesser-known employer brands in the graduate market? Or are known as 'retail' brands rather than a destination of choice for job searching graduate talent?


Companies have historically dabbled in the world of getting in front of an audience of first year undergraduate students at target universities to influence their career choices. But commonly, it is unstructured and ad-hoc – seen as more of a corporate social responsibility activity rather than a proactive talent acquisition strategy. I sense this is more about graduate recruitment specialists being measured on annual KPIs such as campaign costs per hire and transactional recruitment targets. Something with a longer and slower return on investment is what we do when we have time or resources to spare.


For example, an engineering employer with a strategic diversity target of actively employing a higher ratio of female graduates. Or a top consulting firm (known for business and accounting graduate roles) who need to target and influence IT related graduates for their organisation. Or even a smaller start-up science company that wants to attract talent but has no employer brand awareness at universities around the country. These are everyday examples of why it is critical to think differently about how employers engage and influence EARLIER in the tertiary students' life cycle.


A longer-term view of engaging students at an earlier stage of their university journey has to be a logical solution to influence their career choices positively and increase engagement with key graduate talent. Through company-sponsored on-campus (or virtual) professional development workshops, market insights and interacting with employer representatives, graduate employers can create that critical early career talent pipeline...Earlier!


If you’d like help improving your graduate talent connection, engagement and retention strategy, feel free to reach out or visit or Ignite program page.


Best regards,

Rohan Holland

Graduate & Employability Programs Manager



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