How do you get your company to stand out amongst the 2.2m university students in the UK? Well let’s look at who is doing it well and staying relevant to the 18-24 year-old demographic. Who better than a marketing agency with a client list as diverse as adidas to Royal Navy to give us recruiters some hope!

Letty Key from ZONE shared her student marketing insights as part of the GRN Masterclass Series recently. GRN members were guided through case studies backed by impressive metrics with Letty. To compliment this presentation, we also had Sharon Spice from ICAEW explaining her “View From Campus” to update us on current student behaviour and how they are navigating the path to securing employment.

In attendance to hear these insights were senior early talent managers from forward-thinking recruiters such as Ralph Lauren, The Post Office, John Lewis Partnership, Accenture and Red Bull plus many others, kindly hosted at ICAEW in London. After an engaging Q&A session, GRN members were enlightened with practical advice to go back to their teams and their next board meetings. So, what were some of the key takeaways?

1. Test, Learn, Adapt. Very often taking the first step is the hardest so what works is starting small, experimenting and then scaling up. Use focus groups with students and ask questions that reveal their behaviour. Start with our own graduates?

2. Three Seconds. That’s the time you have to grab someone’s attention in this age of scrolling through content on phones. You need to have something to stop someone in their tracks and make them click. What has worked on you recently? Anything you could adapt for a campaign?

3. Get On-Campus. Start with your local university. Call the Careers Service and see what skills sessions or talks you can offer. Minimise low turnouts by booking slots at lunch time, in lectures themselves or how about a nearby pub? Popular events are speed meets, pub quizzes (where the prize is work experience) or free coffee. (If you are targeting apprentices then speak with parents via schools.)

This GRN Masterclass was recorded for our fourth release in the GRN Masterclass Podcast series available now. This will give members who were unable to attend (and those based outside of London) an opportunity to benefit from these learnings. Do you have something to add to the debate? I’d love to hear examples of best practice to share with GRN members so do send me an email at

This is just a flavour of the topics covered during a typical GRN event. To join GRN please apply for membership and receive invites for future events. Our 2019 events calendar is as follows;

• September 11th 8.45am-11am. ICAEW, London

• December 10th 8.45am-11am. ICAEW, London

It’s free and a fantastic opportunity to develop as a professional graduate recruiter in your sector with a diverse range of graduate recruiters facing the same challenges.