Graduate Recruitment: How To Quickly Enhance Your Workforce

9 Mins

Attract top sales talent through graduate recruitment. Build a strong talent pipeline, offer training & growth opportunities, and foster a positive culture.

If you’re in the market to hire talent for your vacant sales jobs, it’s likely that you're scaling up your business activities. As a result, you’ll want to know how to use this hiring opportunity as a catalyst to also efficiently evolve your existing team members. Graduate recruitment can be a valuable way to inject fresh ideas and out-of-the-box thinking into your sales team. 

Gen Zs and Millennials overwhelmingly seek out roles that allow them to feel empowered—with 66% of the former and 65% of the latter demographic staying with their employer beyond five years when they can drive change within businesses.

By providing training and developing opportunities for your employees, you’re helping to improve the quality of work they can do whilst reducing staff turnover. In addition, companies can benefit in many ways from a robust training strategy, with the improvements to public perception that come from investing in the future of your workforce becoming part of an effective strategy to market your roles to ambitious and motivated candidates. 

In this guide, we’ll explore ways you can build an attractive and proactive plan for hiring early-career professionals, reduce staff turnover, and train your workforce in the latest technologies to improve sales effectiveness. 

If you’re interested in learning how to nurture your graduate talent once they’re on board, you can also see our guide to Realising the Potential of Emerging Talent for insights into how sales training in the UK can help to empower your employees.

Building An Effective Talent Pool

The perfect candidate isn’t always easy to come by. Being proactive in your search for the right talent for the role is crucial, and by building a productive pipeline for graduate talent, you can effectively fill vacancies with long-lasting, high-quality candidates looking for opportunities to grow and evolve. 

There are several methods that hiring managers can use to build a talent pipeline for their graduate recruitment efforts: 

  • Engage with vocational colleges and universities. By making a name for themselves through attending job fairs or hosting on-campus events, companies can develop a robust pipeline of talent that can be quickly onboarded and trained. 

  • Develop a graduate recruitment programme. Whether working alone or with a graduate recruitment consultancy, an organisation can develop a structured programme for their sales vacancies. 

  • Offer virtual career counselling and coaching. If the candidates around you are struggling to connect with employers, consider lending the expertise of your existing professionals to offer career guidance via LinkedIn or social media. 

With graduate recruitment, you can access dedicated individuals who have spent at least three years studying for a degree. Eager to impress, graduates bring this positive attitude into their workplaces. What they may lack in professional experience is made up for with dedication and innovation.

How to Attract Motivated Candidates through Graduate Recruitment

Organisations looking to attract graduates to their vacant sales roles need to continually revisit their hiring strategies, benefits, and marketing to ensure that they’re still providing a compelling draw for today’s candidates. 

There are several ways to encourage early-career professionals to consider your company, but we’ll focus on five effective strategies: 

1. Build a strong reputation. Organisations can highlight how they positively impact the industry or the wider community by creating a solid reputation and ensuring their brand showcases their culture, values, and ambitions. Providing free resources and support to graduates is a powerful way to build brand awareness. 

2. Reach out to graduate candidates on their terms. Graduates are tech-savvy, and you need to ensure you’re getting your business in front of them via the channels they spend their time on. An effective social media strategy can form part of a wider candidate acquisition strategy if you carry it out authentically and provide valuable insights or content for your followers. 

3. Leverage targeted recruitment channels. Whether it’s posting on university job boards, a LinkedIn campaign, or in-person and virtual careers events, you need to ensure that you’re able to identify the most effective channels for advertising your vacant sales jobs to graduates.

4. Create a user-friendly and engaging application experience. Ensure that when someone applies to a role with your company, they receive clear instructions and prompt replies during any communication. A personalised follow-up and respect during the application and interview stages can go a long way to encouraging candidates to apply again when they weren’t successful.

5. Highlight the impact of the graduate sales job. Candidates attracted to these roles aren’t just motivated by how much they’ll earn. Showcase your sales roles’ positive impact on the wider organisation, your customers, and the industry, and help graduates see the value in your work.

Developing Your Top Talent: Measuring and Improving Sales Effectiveness

After a successful hiring round, you must ensure that the recruits for your graduate roles are guided through the crucial first steps in their careers. This will help to evolve your team, encouraging them to realise their potential and enabling them to achieve long-term success. 


Training your graduate hires in the latest techniques and sales automation tools can provide them with ways to increase their efficiency and quickly improve their lead quality. Given the increasing digitalisation of the workplace, having a team that can utilise emerging technologies to enhance collaboration with other departments and more accurately forecast sales will give you an edge against the competition. 

Whilst graduate hires lack experience, they more than make up for this with their ability to quickly learn new skills through shadowing and robust onboarding processes which cover the company’s products or services, culture, and sales processes. 

Sales courses can also provide candidates with s structured opportunities to learn new ways to communicate product knowledge, manage relationships and negotiate. These are typically tailored courses which blend learning with on-the-job tasks, and can be delivered virtually or in person to suit the needs of an organisation.  


Pairing fresh recruits for your sales jobs with your experienced staff can be a powerful way to support both parties’ continuous professional development. Learning how to navigate the challenges of the workplace and acquiring new skills directly from a colleague can be a quick way for graduates to understand internal processes and build resilience. 

Mentors can also guide your graduates when opportunities for career advancement arise, highlighting how they can succeed in their applications and interviews, and discussing potential roadblocks they may face. Promoting from within is always rewarding, especially when that candidate for a senior role began their career in one of your graduate sales jobs. 

It’s important that mentors and mentees follow some effective tips for a successful professional relationship: 

  • Be available. Mentors should ensure they’re available to provide support and guidance for their mentees, but it’s important to put boundaries and expectations in place so that this can be done in a structured way. 

  • Celebrate success. Mentors should celebrate their mentee’s wins and milestones, providing positive feedback and motivation to achieve even more success. 

  • Set clear goals. Clear goals should be established for mentees at the outset of the mentoring relationship, outlining what they want to achieve and how they believe the mentor can help.


You can make considerable progress in developing the skillset of your graduates by delegating tasks and projects that require them to take long-term ownership and accountability over deliverables. 

These tasks should simply be handed over—rather, think of how you can communicate your expectations and provide regular feedback. Over time, this can encourage them to develop confidence in their abilities and communicate their work clearly and effectively. 

As part of a programme of continuous learning and development, encouraging responsibility for a project can help your graduate hires to stay up to date on industry trends and provide innovative solutions to your pain points. In addition, projects conducted on the job like this can often lead to faster learning than if candidates simply read about company products or sales techniques. 

Retaining Top Talent

Although attracting new employees and developing their skills can go a long way, business leaders must ensure that they provide a positive work environment and champion a supportive culture to retain this talent. 

Analyse Sales Metrics and Make Data-Driven Decisions

By identifying your top performers, you can provide compelling rewards for their hard work and analyse their approach to tasks, helping to modify your own internal processes to encourage your other graduate sales staff to meet and exceed their targets. 

At the same time, data provides a clear picture of areas in which you can provide targeted training or identify areas where your graduate salespeople are struggling, whether that’s in closing deals or prospecting for new leads. Addressing these weaknesses can help your staff to improve their performance and avoid burnout. 

This data can allow business leaders to set realistic sales targets based on market conditions and their team’s ability. When targets are challenging but achievable, morale is boosted, and turnover is reduced. 

Invest in Your Company Culture

A key factor in retaining employees is ensuring a strong and authentic company culture. A great culture revolves around a solid vision and a principled approach to business activities. By championing your internal culture, you can offer your graduate salespeople a clearly-defined purpose, helping them to understand how their day-to-day tasks play a role in your organisation’s broader success. 

Fostering a positive work environment is one benefit of a robust internal culture. Your employees spend a significant amount of time at work, and a supportive, transparent, and collaborative environment can make a significant difference in their job satisfaction. Employees that feel like their contributions are valued are more likely to stay with your company. 

Similarly, ensuring that all departments celebrate successes can not only increase visibility for the importance of your graduate sales team, but can also help to encourage engagement and build a sense of community amongst employees. 

Offer Opportunities for Career Mobility and Progression

Candidates from an academic background will have become accustomed to progressing throughout their education. There’s no reason why this can’t continue to be the case as they settle into their new sales jobs. By encouraging your salespeople to pursue more responsibilities and opportunities for advancement, you can build their confidence and invest in your organisation’s long-term success. 

Whilst you might already offer good salaries and competitive benefits packages, your more ambitious employees may be looking for coaching and support as they aim to achieve their career goals. 

Employee loyalty is on the rise as Gen Zs and Millennials look for stability following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but you need to be certain that you’re offering opportunities for advancement. With the opportunity to progress, grow, and take on leadership roles ranking as the top reason that almost 25% of each demographic chooses to work for their current employer, it’s crucial that your retention efforts involve giving your graduate hires more responsibility.

At the same time, promoting internally can save businesses the money, resources and time required to hire senior or executive-level staff. In addition, this can lead to a well-rounded management and leadership team that possesses the in-depth institutional knowledge gained from working with the same company over a large part of their career. 

Expert Support for Placing Graduate Talent

At Pareto, we’re invested in sourcing ambitious and motivated graduate talent for our clients. We’ve provided market-leading sales training courses in the UK for over 25 years. Our graduate recruitment experts can offer valuable insights on how to build a successful sales team, helping to facilitate the scaling up of your operations. So no matter your requirements, we can offer a tailored solution to develop your sales team’s skillset and help reduce staff turnover. Contact our consultants to learn more about our bespoke sales training in London, Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, or via our innovative virtual learning platform. 

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