Graduate recruitment and selection in the UK: a study of the recent changes in methods and expectations

Mohamed Branine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


– This paper seeks to examine the changes in the methods of graduate recruitment and selection that have been used by UK‐based organisations and to establish the reasons for the main changes and developments in the process of attracting and recruiting graduates.

– Data were collected through the use of a structured questionnaire. Questionnaires were sent to 700 UK‐based employers selected from the Prospects Directory, the Graduate Employment and Training (GET) Directory and the Times Top 100 Graduate Recruiters. The response rate was just over 50 per cent and the data were analysed by using the statistical analysis software SPSS. The variables used were organisation size, recruitment methods, selection methods, cost, skills and reasons for the use of methods.

– The analysis has shown that all employers, regardless of organisation size or activity type, tend to use more sophisticated, objective and cost‐effective methods of recruitment and selection than before. The process of graduate recruitment and selection in the UK has become more person‐related than job‐oriented because many employers are more interested in the attitudes, personality and transferable skills of applicants than the type or level of qualification acquired. Although some of the usual methods such as interviewing remain popular, there is a greater variety of ways by which graduates are attracted to and selected for their first jobs.

– The findings of this study are expected to be useful for employers considering the introduction of new graduate recruitment programmes and for those wishing to improve their existing ones as well as for institutions of higher education to reconsider the type of knowledge and skills they provide in order to prepare their students for the real world of work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-513
Number of pages17
JournalCareer Development International
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Graduates
  • Higher education
  • Recruitment
  • Selection
  • Skills
  • United Kingdom


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