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3 proven strategies to find candidates for hard to fill roles

29 January, 2023

Download our free Essential mid-season guidance for graduate recruiters here.


Finding candidates to fill roles that are based in regional locations or less popular industries can be challenging. As a cost of living crisis impacts the UK, major cities such as London may become less sought after by some graduates, and roles in industries with higher salaries or better job security may become more appealing.

We asked over 14,000 Bright Network members ‘In which region would you most like to work in for your first graduate job?’. 40% of members said they’d either prefer to work outside of London or don't mind where they work, so there is interest for opportunities outside of the capital and with the right messaging and targeting our members will be receptive.


1. Highlight the benefits of roles in less desirable locations

With so many roles offering working from home or hybrid options, lean into the benefit of working in a more affordable but enjoyable area without the high living costs. Ensure you’re highlighting the culture of the office environment, sharing inclusive initiatives, supportive personal development schemes and social aspects of the team.


36% of our members say an organisation’s people and culture is what they look at when choosing a graduate role, above the organisation's reputation or the characteristics of the role.


2. Target graduates interested in major cities

Share other benefits of regional locations to graduates interested in specific areas. For those interested in roles in London, sharing messaging such as ‘enjoy a city career without the cost of the big city’ can entice those who want a role based in a city location but with the option of not being based in the capital, especially if they can work hybrid.


3. Host events

Campus events or tours are a great way to build relationships with graduates. Host events in regional focus areas with graduates from that university or your graduates who work in that location, to share insights on the roles you’re trying to fill - this will be effective and authentic coming from relatable role models. 


How Bright Network can help:

With our support, you’ll have access to our bespoke events which take place in your desired locations and target the students you want to reach. Alongside our events, you can create content with the help of your Partner Success Manager who uses tried and tested methods to engage graduates with regional-based roles.


We supported WTW with their Reigate-based roles

Bright Network ran a project for WTW delivering two bespoke insight events for graduates and interns to raise awareness of the Retirement Actuarial opportunities. The key objectives were to increase the appeal of the Reigate location and share the value proposition. Alongside the awareness objective, we delivered hyper-targeted activations to drive applications.

The results:

We secured 18 Bright Network graduates and 6 Bright Network interns for WTW’s Reigate team that season. The demographic breakdown for this campaign was:

• 46% female.

• 50% identify as being from an ethnic minority heritage (35% Asian/Asian/British, 10% Black Heritage, 5% Arab). 

• 63% state-educated.