Last updated: 07.01.15

Are employers using old techniques to attract graduates?

In an age where graduate recruitment has become increasingly competitive, employers across the country are using techniques to attract the best talent to their businesses. But have their approaches become outdated?

Traditionally, universities in the UK hold annual career fairs, commonly known as the 'milk round'. These are open to undergraduates and recent graduates, who can come along and converse face-to-face with potential employers from a range of sectors, including business, engineering, fashion and media.

Such fairs are designed to provide young people with an insight into a particular company or industry, which could influence their decision to apply for a role.

However, the milk round has recently been deemed as an old approach to market for graduates, with more young people tending to turn to web-enabled digital devices for career guidance.

Speaking to Personnel Today, Sarah Shields - general manager and executive director at Dell UK - said: "The traditional milk round is not the most effective way to attract great young talent into the business any more, so [companies are] completely changing their approach to recruiting graduates."

In a generation of tech-savvy youngsters, it's essential for businesses to modernise their recruitment strategy. This will involve engaging with graduates at a deeper level, through social media platforms like Twitter.

As well as this, David Rudick - international market vice president at Indeed - said: "Employers will need to provide real insight on other important criteria such as management, work-life balance and company culture, if they are to draw in the best graduate talent."

However, Carol White - head of recruitment at WSP - believes that the milk round approach should not be scrapped entirely.

She thinks that the key is to centralise on "deeper campus engagement" with graduate activities. For example, asking graduates to create a video or running competitions. In other words, employers must get innovative with graduate recruitment.

Virtual College provide a range of free courses for career seekers, called VOOCs, designed to provide an insight into working in a particular sector. For more information, please visit: