long term careers for purpose

4 Insights into Future Graduate Recruitment Trends

With continual advancements in technology and evolving employer preferences, recruitment and retention for graduates within the nonprofit sector are constantly evolving. To keep on top of future trends, our Programme Coordinator, Aoife Duff, attended a breakfast briefing on “Early Careers: A Turning Point? Looking to 2024 and beyond’.

Here are 4 key takeaways on the learnings from Dan Doherty, Early Careers Lead Solutions Architect at Group GTI on the Future of Graduate Recruitment Trends.


1. Skills Focused Future

A skill can be defined as “an individual’s ability to perform a specific task or solve a problem at a high level of proficiency.” According to a recent study, 54% of employers are moving to skills-based hiring in the next five years. Currently, the market is tight and employers aren’t seeing skilled candidates in their process.

It may seem difficult to confidently identify your skills as a graduate. Many graduates believe they haven’t developed specific skills before diving into full-time employment. However, this is not the case. Most graduates have developed both hard and soft skills from their education and work experience, such as communication skills, digital skills and writing skills. Considering the future job market, it’s therefore essential for graduates to highlight their skills in their CV, provide examples in their interviews, and apply them within their graduate positions.


2. Rethinking Recruitment Processes

Following from our previous point, it is likely that we will see a shift in organisation’s recruitment processes. Assessing candidates via practical exercises or simulations could be a more effective way of interviewing, as it requires candidates to demonstrate their skills in action.

It is important for graduates to prepare for skills-based assessments. Whilst CV clinics and interview coaching are supports widely available to students, students often lack support for skills based assessments. Colleges may need to create new learning platforms to help graduates prepare for such interviews in future.


3. Shift in Demand for Talent

Post Covid, there was an initial surge of interest in fields such as science, research and development (R&D), and healthcare. However, the focus has now shifted back to sectors such as finance & accounting, engineering, and consulting.

It is likely that we will see increased competition for talent in certain sectors. With many employers seeking graduates with specific qualifications, it becomes more challenging to hire individuals with similar skillsets. For professions such as law or human resources (HR), the competition is particularly high, with three times more employers seeking candidates with these skills. As a result, hiring talent from traditional sources may become more difficult. To attract and retain early-career professionals, it may be necessary to implement additional incentives.


4. Use of AI 

Public opinion on the use of AI is somewhat split. For employers in social impact organisations, there’s a dilemma regarding whether to prioritise detecting AI-related skills in candidates or assessing their ability to use AI ethically and effectively. Employers will have to decide their ethical stance of integrating AI into various roles and whether it aligns with your organisation’s values. According to Indeed, there has been a 20 fold increase in jobs with AI mentioned in the title or job description since ChatGPT launched late last year, which indicates the growing importance of AI-related skills in the workforce.

Although the effective use of AI will be an increasingly in-demand skill for employers, graduates need to understand the importance, and potential implications of AI. If they are considering working for a social impact organisation, the ethical use of AI should be considered and discussed. Employers may want to consider this discussion point as part of their interview questions, to ensure the candidate is the right fit for your organisations values.



The landscape of graduate recruitment within the nonprofit sector is evolving for both employers and candidates. From the increasing emphasis on skills-based hiring, to the need for innovative recruitment processes and the changing demand for talent across sectors, it’s evident that adaptation is key. As we navigate these changes, it’s crucial for graduates to highlight their skills and adapt to the evolving demands of the job market.

Get in Touch

For more information on these key takeaways, contact our Programme Coordinator, Aoife Duff. To find out more about For Purpose, visit our webpage.