How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Graduate?

6 Minutes

Every summer, a pool of aspiring professionals enter the job market. Work out the cost of recruiting a graduate student and if it will benefit your business.


When it comes to graduate recruitment, there are a plethora of benefits to be had for companies. Not only do grads bring fresh enthusiasm and dedication to the workplace, they offer digital-savvy skills developed throughout their education and early years. A graduate with these assets can be just as valuable to your business as someone with a few extra years of experience.


To attract new graduates to your business, you need to make your organisation visible to them as soon as they start applying for a job after university. The best time to do this is usually during the summer, when the majority start looking and applying for roles to take their first steps into their career. Get your ad out there early and you’ll be more likely to find an individual who has a degree that transfers well to your industry.


Hiring an employee at any level involves an investment of both time and money. Graduate recruitment is no different. It’s important to consider the cost of recruiting graduate student and whether it’s an expense your business can afford.


Here’s some guidance to help you discover if hiring graduates is the right move for you and the graduate recruitment costs to consider.



Advertising the role

Before you can integrate a new hire into your business, you need to draw them in. Advertising the role is the first step and it’s important to know where to post it. Social media is an excellent place to start. It’s a free way to promote any openings and can take you from a place where you might receive five to ten average applications, to many more first-class ones.


LinkedIn is a great platform for finding professionals in your sector, while Facebook can increase the chance of it being shared and seen by the right people. Both can have their limitations within your circle, however. This is especially the case with graduates who might not have their own LinkedIn page or have minimal job-related content to add to their profile.


Job sites can help improve your reach and widen the pool of prospective candidates for your role. They’re well known and popular, even among graduates. There are even graduate-specific job sites you can post on, making sure your ad reaches those you’re looking for. But, while these sites are effective, they are more expensive to push your advert on.


Save yourself time and money by making sure your ad is as perfect as it can be when it goes live. This way you’re less likely to have to change and re-pay for your ad later.



Marketing your business

As an established business, you’ll most likely already know a thing or two about marketing. This should apply to all aspects of your business, including recruitment. Other than online advertisements, there are other innovative ways to attract graduates.  


A good place to start is to have a presence at graduate and job fairs. Speaking or exhibiting at such events allows you to interact with attendees directly and talk more about your company, raising its profile among graduates. Attending these events is often done voluntarily, but it’s worth being aware that they can take time away from what you are already working on. This can vary from industry to industry, the number of potential candidates they’re hoping to reach and how many vacancies need to be filled.


Weigh up if it’s more important to focus on vital company work already at hand, or to broaden the potential of your business further down the line by bringing in new talent. Additionally, marketing your business to graduates at job fairs can come with its costs. Think about whether it’s worth the resources of your organisation to attend, or if the traditional route of online advertising works best for you.


Spending on recruitment

Reaching out for the help of recruitment agencies can be one option that combines advertising, marketing and the initial interview stage. This is especially useful for companies that don’t have their own internal recruitment team, as agencies can work their magic and use their experience and expertise to narrow down the best possible candidates.


Graduate recruitment costs do vary when using an agency, depending on which one you use. The amount of time you can save on recruiting alone can be incredibly beneficial – allowing you to dedicate more time elsewhere.


Finding your candidates through agencies can also make working out the cost of recruiting a graduate student and budgeting more straightforward, as they usually take between 15-20% on your new hire’s first annual salary. That way you can easily calculate graduate recruitment costs when year-end arrives.


Covering salary and benefit costs

It goes without saying that salary will be the biggest expense of graduate recruitment, which is the case when hiring any level of employee. The important thing to know is what the average salary range is for hiring graduates in your industry. If you can match it, your business will be more attractive to those applying for the role.


Here’s a breakdown of the most popular graduate jobs and their average annual salaries:


  • HR - £19,000
  • Digital Marketers - £18-22,000
  • Computer Science - £25,000
  • Life Sciences - £22-28,000
  • Business and Management - £25,000


As expected, graduate salaries are generally lower than those of an individual with more experience. This means hiring a graduate can be more cost-effective, even with additional expenses like bonuses, pensions and other specific benefits your business offers.



When hiring graduates, you need to get them up to speed quickly, to make their transition into the world of work a seamless one, which means they’ll need additional training. This can often be done in house by assigning mentors to your grads, along with giving them training specific to your business and industry.


However, it can be more beneficial to make use of external recruitment training companies like Paretoto give your graduate recruits the best start in their career. Even if it might be more expensive than training in house, the investment in your people will prove to be a worthy venture in the long run.


Graduate training can be a time-consuming practice if done entirely in house too, especially given the scale of the skills and knowledge they’ll need to succeed. That’s why at Pareto, we’re about more than just graduate recruitment. We don’t just handpick the top-tier talent for your business – we also want to ensure they’re given the opportunity to succeed. That’s why we provide every grad we place with 128 hours of face-to-face graduate sales training to ensure they have the full set of sales skills and confidence required to make a difference for your company in the long term.


If you need help with your graduate recruitment process, talk to Pareto today to find out about recruiting and training the very best grads for your sales team.


Get in touch on 0808 291 2191

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