Cost of recruiting Graduates

Cost of recruiting Graduates

You’ve built your case on why you think your company should hire Graduates; you’ve taken steps to understand the competition – now, you need to know how much you can expect it to cost you.

Recruiting Graduates, like recruiting any employee, is an investment – the size of which is influenced by a number of factors. One of these factors, that needs to be considered, is cost.

So, when calculating how much a Graduate Recruitment Programme might cost you, consider the following factors:

  • The scale

An obvious place to start – the cost of running your own Graduate Programme will vary in line with your hiring projections – the more you want to hire; the greater the related cost. Determining how many Graduates that you would like to recruit each year will allow you to arrive at a relative figure based on salary and benefits.

According to the High Fliers Graduate Market Report, the average salary that a Times Top 100 Employer would expect to pay a Graduate is £30,000. The Associate of Graduate Recruiters, on the other hand, quotes around £29,000.

  • The “lifetime value”

All employees have a “lifetime value”. Graduates are no different. However, HR teams often miss the opportunity to do some thinking into how long they can expect a Graduate to stay with the organisation. Arguably, the longer a Graduate intends on being at your company – the greater their “lifetime value”.

The secret to maximising a Graduates’ “lifetime value” lies partly in the development opportunities that they have access to – if there aren’t many, and your employees aren’t being pushed, stretched and challenged, they it’s likely that Graduates will have a short-tenure, and their “lifetime value” will be low.

  • The internal Opportunity Cost

Conducting a Graduate Recruitment Programme through an internal HR team might bear an opportunity cost – which HR projects and initiatives are put on hold whilst the team is focused on recruiting to the Graduate Programme? This isn’t always a cost that can be monetised. Consider the impact that not solving other HR issues might have – this will help you get a view on the opportunity cost.

  • The external Recruiting Costs

If you cannot commit to investing a large amount of time and internal HR resources into your Graduate Recruitment Programme – then, you might consider external options.

One of these options is using recruitment agencies. To many, the premium cost of agencies can be enough to put them off. However, a good agency can source a lot of value Graduates. On the downside, the candidates aren’t yours exclusively. Candidates aren’t exposed to your brand until the latter stages of the recruitment process and, if you get the wrong agency, the candidate experience might reflect poorly on your employer brand.

Outsourced Graduate Recruitment Providers are your second option. Like agencies, they come at a cost but, arguably – outsourced providers should deliver value way beyond the placement. Graduate RPO Providers are often experts in their field – having access to the tools and techniques needed to recruit Graduates, they will manage the recruitment process whilst positioning your brand at the forefront. Of course, like agencies, this all depends on choosing the right provider. You should ensure that your values fit with the outsourced providers’, and they will work with you to produce the right recruitment outcomes.

  • The cost of attracting applicants

According to The Telegraph – in 2015, companies spent £900 million on attracting and recruiting Graduates.

As well as a large investment of money, attracting Graduates will require a large investment of time from a HR team – with the need to research and create content that can be posted. So, in terms of attraction, your main consideration should be around the opportunity cost – what else could that resource be used for, if it wasn’t being used to develop attraction streams?

To reiterate – there is no average figure that you can base your Graduate Programme costs on. Based upon your requirements, your cost will adjust accordingly. It’s entirely up to you to decide whether or not the cost of running a Graduate Programme will outweigh the benefits of having young, talented Graduates as part of your workforce.

Which costs are putting you off of running a Graduate Programme? Or, if you already run one, which are your greatest costs? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.


Future-Proofing Graduate Recruitment