Graduate recruiters: Are you ready to know what your graduates really think?

“By its very nature, the graduate audience and the context in which you seek to attract them is ever shifting. You are attempting to engage with a population that are far from homogenous, whose behaviours and views change from one target group to another and from year to year, or even month to month.”

Best Practice in Graduate Recruitment Marketing, AGR


With lengthy attraction stages, long application processes and the continual shift in behaviour and opinion, the graduate market is a very unique, and at times difficult, market to successfully target and recruit from. This is a market that requires a specifically tailored and moderated candidate experience. As the next graduate recruitment milkround begins how is your organisation staying in tune with the thoughts and motivations of its target market? Do you have up-to-the-minute analysis of each campaign to ensure they stay on track or to flag up paths that need adjusting? And how will you process this analysis as a benchmark for building an even more successful campaign next year?

Whilst most companies generally measure their target audience through focus groups at universities or informal sessions with recent hires, these processes don’t offer access to the thoughts of those who provide continual insight into on-going campaigns – the applicants. With Mystery Applicant this is possible.

Mystery Applicant targets graduates throughout the application process gathering feedback both during and after the campaign has been completed. By collecting data in this way, it can not only measure a graduate’s motivations, expectations and company perception prior to applying, it can also offer insight into how their experience of the recruitment process has affected these factors and their future choices.

By using Mystery Applicant to monitor your graduate recruitment process you’ll gain insight into the graduate mind-set regarding:

1)   Brand perception

How has your brands perception – both the corporate and employer brand – influenced applications. And, just as importantly, how has the recruitment process affected this? Recruitment should be seen as a company’s hidden marketing tool – candidates are customers too – as an applicant’s experience during this process will shape their perception of and interaction with the company in the future.

2)   Candidate motivation

Here is an opportunity to really get to know the target audience. What about the company has motivated them to apply? Graduate campaigns comprise of so many different activities, but which inspired the graduate most? In a competitive graduate market, what differentiates companies is what makes them most inviting. Find out what motivates candidates to apply and understand where the company really lies in the market.

3)   Candidate Expectations

The candidate experience, employer brand and EVP have been tailored to a tee but has it met the expectations of the target market?

4)   Diversity

Mystery Applicant measures recruitment processes and behaviours across all demographic groups, analysing feedback by gender, ethnicity, education type and university. This ensures companies are provided with a true handle with which to manage and measure their diversity policy.

5)   Targeted engagement

Find out early on what areas and universities key talent comes from so that engagement can start early and ensure that the best talent is loyal to your company.

6)   Process improvements

With real-time feedback there’s no need to wait until the end of the process to assess a campaigns impact. Up-to-the minute feedback enables companies to track how campaigns are going, pushing areas of success and allowing adjustments to be made before they have a negative impact. Comprehensive analysis of this year also offers a benchmark for the next, ensuring the company will build on its successes year-on-year.

From previous campaigns we’ve supported clients on we know that graduates appreciate being asked to give feedback and are keen to share their views offering very detailed responses on what’s working well and where there’s room for improvement. Gathering feedback in this way not only offers informative business insights but also shows graduates that you appreciate their application and are proactive about offering them the best experience.

To find out more about the role that Mystery Applicant should be playing in your recruitment process:

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