The culture of an organisation and its branding can prove to be a competitive advantage when firms are recruiting top graduate talent, according to new research by FutureStep.

The survey found that 61% of respondents believe the culture of an organisation is a crucial recruiting advantage while a further 26% argued branding is what puts you ahead.

Attracting and retaining graduates

The research found that those companies focusing on offering higher salaries (6%) and promoting members of staff quickly (5%) are failing to compete for the very top talent.

Neil Griffiths, Global Practice Leader at FutureStep, said firms should be focusing on the culture of the organisation and how the brand is portrayed within the marketplace as this now has a huge impact on attracting and retaining the best graduate talent.

“The survey results indicate that employers need to think more broadly about what attracts top talent to their organisation,” he added.

The survey highlighted that while the competition for talent is getting fierce – with 61% of respondents saying they are finding it a lot harder to find talented, qualified employees compared to one year ago – employers need to look at what younger employees actually want from an employer.

The report highlighted what today’s young talent are looking for salary (51%), flexible working hours (33%), job title (11%) and holiday entitlement (4%)

Griffiths concluded that the challenge for employers is to listen and learn from what workers want from their employer and find a way of delivering that.

“In today’s digital, social and mobile world, it’s easier than ever to enable employees to work when, where and how they want to, as long as they remain productive,” he said.