The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has commissioned a study that will provide insight into how UK employers recruit graduates.

The Higher Education Careers Service Units (HECSU) and Institute for Employment Studies (IES) have partnered up to gather evidence and present their findings to the government.

Over recent years, graduate recruitment has evolved quite dramatically as employers try to find the right people for the job. A combination of a higher number of graduates, skill shortages, use of technology and the economic downturn has led to employers using different tactics to fill their positions.

Unique recruitment

One example of a unique graduate recruitment programme is the Mars’ Tweetshop, which uses Twitter to attract university leavers. Not only is there the possibility of a job at the end of the campaign, but also the chance to win a weekend in Europe.

Mars isn’t the first employer to consider using Twitter to find skilled graduates though. Walt Disney, Pepsi and even Twitter have all taken advantage of the social network.

As such, the HECSU and IES study will look at employment recruitment, screening and selection processes, destination patterns, and communication between businesses and universities.

The research, which involves career services at universities and employers, is due to be completed by May 2014.

“Attracting and recruiting graduates can be hugely demanding, complex and time intensive for many companies and therefore recruitment practices differ significantly,” said Jane Artess, director of research at HECSU.

“Given the substantial changes to the working and educational landscape in recent years it’s important to update our understanding on how and why employers recruit the way they do.”

Emma Pollard, senior research fellow at IES said:

“This is a fascinating project to be involved in, that will help inform thinking on graduate recruitment practice.

“It will be interesting in particular to understand the effects that the increasing number of graduates and the use of different techniques and approaches have on the types and diversity of graduates recruited to different jobs and employers.”

If you intend to recruit graduates this year, Discovery Graduates can help with all stages of the graduate recruitment process including attraction, recruitment and retention.