Staying ahead of the curve: why early graduate hiring is essential for business growth

5 minutes


In today's fast-paced business landscape, hiring managers face a unique set of challenges amidst the current economic climate in the UK.

With uncertainty looming, numerous companies have chosen to freeze or pause their hiring plans until later in the year. But, as the country navigates the uncertain economic climate, it becomes increasingly vital for businesses to recognise the importance of seizing the opportunity to hire top talent, hiring early graduates earlier in the year between June through to September can offer a competitive advantage. Let's take a closer look at why.

The competition for attracting and securing top graduate talent has always been fierce. However, the current circumstances highlight the need for companies to act swiftly. Waiting until autumn or later may lead to missing out on unique employees who can bring valuable ideas and drive growth in a rapidly changing world.

As the academic calendar winds down in June, entry level individuals equipped with newly acquired knowledge are now entering the market with a burning desire to make their mark in the professional realm. This includes not only graduates, but those from a non-degree background and career changers, who all share a similar enthusiasm and skillset. Their energy, innovative thinking, and adaptability are exactly what companies need to navigate the evolving demands of today's business environment.

By embracing the opportunity to hire graduates now, businesses can begin to gain a strategic advantage by avoiding the autumn rush later in the year for top talent. While others remain hesitant or indecisive, forward-thinking organisations can secure top talent before their competitors even enter the playing field. This proactive approach ensures that companies can fortify their workforce with employees who possess a fresh perspective, a hunger for growth, and an eagerness to contribute.

The hiring challenges businesses are facing

Rising competition for top talent is a major challenge that businesses are facing. Companies are competing not just with other businesses in their industry, but also with companies across different sectors. This means that businesses need to offer more than just a competitive salary to attract the best talent.

As the workforce continues to age and the search for candidates becoming scarcer, businesses need to be more creative in their recruitment efforts and look for candidates in non-traditional places.

Hiring entry level talent is one way that businesses can address these challenges. By identifying and hiring talented individuals who are new to work early on, businesses can develop and train them to become the skilled employees they need for the future. This can help to address the shortage of skilled workers, as well as the competition for top talent.

The prime season for hiring

The prime season for graduates is between the months of June through to September, it’s an exciting time for both students and businesses. It’s also a perfect opportunity to tap into individuals who are looking to change careers, bringing with them a wealth of experience, as well as those who are new to work and are equally determined to kickstart their career.

If you are looking to hire for September, October or later in the year, it's essential to start the hiring process early to ensure that the best candidates are not lost to competitors. By targeting such individuals before the autumn rush in June through to September, businesses can get ahead of the competition and recruit the most promising talent before others snatch them up.

These individuals are also more likely to be open to new experiences and challenges, particularly those who are new to work, making them ideal candidates for businesses that are looking to build a dynamic and innovative workforce.

Moreover, businesses that hire during this period can benefit from their different perspectives and ideas. Graduates, career changers and new to work bring fresh and innovative ways of thinking to the table, which can help businesses stay ahead of the curve and adapt to changing market conditions.

Hire early

Hiring early offers numerous benefits for the businesses. First, businesses can tap into the latest skills, knowledge, and talent that are fresh off the university conveyor belt, as well as the experience that career changers bring with them.

By bringing in fresh talent and ideas, businesses can create a dynamic and innovative workplace culture that encourages creativity, experimentation, and risk-taking.

Second, businesses can avoid lengthy recruitment times. By hiring early, businesses can reduce recruitment cycles, avoid the hassles of an extensive hiring process, and save on recruitment costs. They can focus on training and development, providing a good and nurturing workplace, and getting new hires up to speed as quickly as possible.

Early hiring can also help businesses build a strong talent pipeline. By identifying and hiring top talent early, businesses can create a pool of skilled employees who can be trained and developed over time. This can help businesses to meet their long-term staffing needs and build a strong and stable workforce.

It can also help businesses to stay ahead of the competition. In today's fast-paced business world, companies need to be agile and adaptable to stay ahead. By hiring early, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and be better positioned to respond to changes in the market or industry.

By securing a job early, graduates and others can avoid the stress and uncertainty of a prolonged job search. They can then start to focus on upskilling and gaining valuable experience and skills right away.

The risk of waiting

The risk of waiting when it comes to hiring is not limited to missing out on top talent. It can have far-reaching consequences for businesses, both in the short and long term.

Undoubtedly, the decision to delay hiring may seem like a cautious approach for businesses concerned about the prevailing economic uncertainties. Yet, it is crucial to consider the long-term implications of postponing recruitment efforts until September or October.

As we enter a new quarter, one critical aspect cannot be overlooked—this is the time when new talent embark on their job search journeys, eager to contribute their skills, fresh perspectives, and untapped potential to businesses in need.

Here are some of the risks that businesses face when they delay the hiring process:

1. Increased time and cost of recruitment

When businesses wait too long to start the hiring process, they may find themselves in a rush to fill positions. This can lead to a hurried recruitment process, which may result in hiring the wrong candidates. Hiring the wrong person can lead to increased turnover, decreased productivity, and a negative impact on team morale. A rushed recruitment process can also result in higher recruitment costs, as businesses may need to spend more on advertising, recruitment agencies, and other recruitment-related expenses.

2. Decreased efficiency and performance

When businesses compromise on their hiring standards, they risk hiring candidates who do not have the necessary skills or experience to perform their job effectively. This can lead to decreased efficiency and performance, as employees struggle to meet the demands of their job. Furthermore, hiring the wrong person can lead to increased training costs, as businesses may need to invest more time and resources in training an employee who is not a good fit for the job.

3. Missed opportunities for growth

When businesses delay the hiring process, they may miss out on opportunities for growth. For example, if a business is looking to expand into a new market, they may need to hire new employees with specific skills and experience. If they delay the hiring process, they may miss out on these opportunities, graduates can often secure job offers quickly so competitors may have already hired the best candidates.

Strategies for successful graduate hiring

To maximise the opportunity of hiring the best graduates during this season, businesses should adopt effective strategies that attract top talent and ensure their engagement from acceptance to the start date.

Here are some practical tips to help you navigate this crucial phase of the recruitment process:

Inclusive hiring

Crafting a compelling employer brand is the first step towards creating an inclusive and appealing job posting. This involves showcasing the company's values, culture, and growth opportunities in a way that resonates with diverse candidates. By highlighting the unique aspects that set the organisation apart from others, it becomes more enticing for candidates from all genders to envision themselves as part of the company's vision and mission.

Businesses can optimise job postings to further strengthens inclusivity efforts. It's important to recognise that certain terms or gender-specific language might deter potential applicants, job description tools enable organisations to replace such language with more neutral and inclusive alternatives.

These tools employ algorithms and linguistic analysis to identify potential biases and suggest alternative phrasing that promotes a more inclusive environment. By eliminating gendered language and focusing on the essential skills, qualifications, and experiences required, job postings become more attractive to diverse candidates, encouraging a more inclusive applicant pool. Organisations can ensure they are not excluding or discouraging candidates based on their gender.

Keeping hires engaged

Establish regular communication: Keep in touch with your new hires between acceptance and the start date. Share relevant updates, introduce them to team members, and provide resources or materials that help them prepare for their role.

Assign mentors or buddies: Pair new hires with experienced employees who can guide and support them during the onboarding process. This fosters a sense of belonging and helps alleviate any pre-start-date jitters.

Provide access to learning resources: Offer access to online training modules, webinars, or relevant industry resources that can enhance their knowledge and skills before they officially join the company.

Competitive compensation and showcasing growth potential

Offer competitive salary and benefits: Graduates can have high expectations for compensation, so it's crucial to offer a competitive salary package aligned with industry standards. Additionally, provide a comprehensive benefits package that demonstrates your commitment to employee well-being.

Highlight career progression opportunities: Emphasise the growth potential within your organisation. Outline clear career paths, development programs, and opportunities for advancement. Graduates are eager to join companies that invest in their professional growth and offer a clear trajectory for their careers.

By implementing these strategies, businesses can effectively attract and hire the best graduates while ensuring their engagement throughout the recruitment process. Remember, early engagement, competitive compensation, and showcasing growth potential are key elements in capturing the attention of top talent and securing their commitment to your organisation.


Early hiring is essential for businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve, remain competitive, and grow. At Xander, we understand the challenges businesses face in accessing top-tier tech talent. That's why we take a grassroots approach, targeting entry-level individuals. Our diverse pool of consultants consists of both graduates, careers changers and those who are new to work, sourced from untapped talent pools to ensure a fresh mix of perspectives and innovative ideas.

What sets us apart is our commitment to providing tailored training programs to meet your specific capability needs. We offer training in traditional digital pathways, such as data and software engineering, giving our consultants a solid foundation of skills for the workplace, and we can upskill them further to match their capabilities based on your organisation's requirements.

If you have a specific capability requirement within your team, please get in touch with a member of our dedicated client solutions team.