Graduates and undergraduates - an untapped talent pool

February 03, 2023

Over 70,000 students graduate annually from the colleges and universities throughout Ireland. Broken down this equates to circa 9,000 Level 6&7 graduates, 36,000 undergraduate honours degree graduates, 22,000 taught postgraduates and 2,000 postgraduate research graduates. Working collaboratively with Higher Education Careers Services will allow employers of all sizes to tap into this significant talent pool.

Employer engagement is increasingly seen as a core part of the students’ higher education experience and all careers services welcome the opportunity to partner with employers to bring networking, skills development and career opportunities to their student body.

The Career teams within different institutions can give you the most up-to date information about their students and help you to partner with academics across their institution. They offer advice and support in relation to graduate and internship recruitment campaigns, assist with planning and executing promotional activities, advise on the timing of advertising, selection tools and advise on regulations around international students, equality and diversity, and overall best practice when recruiting students and graduates.

Whilst the limelight in relation to graduate recruitment activity is often focused on the large corporates who recruit graduates into formal schemes or programmes with the intention to develop them into managerial roles the fact is that the majority of graduates find work in the SME sector.

The 2022 AHECS graduate market survey will be of interest to those considering recruiting a graduate or placement student. It is an annual snapshot of graduate recruitment across Ireland. 345 graduate employers participated in this year’s survey which gives a snapshot into average salaries, disciplines in demand, employment by location and sector, recruitment levels and work placement activities. View the full report online at

The bulk of the large corporates complete their recruit campaigns between October and January however there are still very significant numbers of finalists and work placement students available and interested in securing employment. If you are considering recruiting a student or graduate do make contact with the institutions’ Careers Service.

Whilst the offering to employers will be slightly different in every institution below are 10 ways you can raise your profile on campus and 10 ways you can collaborate with Careers Services to access and support their student body.

Profile Raising Activities:

1.Advertise vacancies.

2.Send targeted emails.

3 Recruitment focused employer presentations.

4.Conduct on campus interviews.

5.Attend a general or sector specific careers fair.

6.Information stands.

7.Sponsor and event or society.

8.Participate in an employer panel discussions.

9.Social media insights from the recruitment team with application tips.

10.Recruiter in residence

Collaborative Activities:

1.Recruit a placement or internship student.

2.Conduct CV reviews or mock interviews with students.

3.Host an employer office tour or career trek.

4.Participate in structured networking events with students.

5.Deliver a skills workshop, mock assessment centre, simulated whiteboard interview etc.

6.Hosting a diversity-specific event

7.Business games, hackathons, datathons

8.Participating in an industry advisory board

9.Provide opportunities for students to meet alumni working at the organisation

10.Tech talks or technology demonstrations.

Introducing you to AHECS Careers Services

27 Careers Services within Universities, IOTs and Colleges are members of The Association of Higher Education Career Services ( who represent careers, employability, and placement practitioners across Ireland. Detailed below is the of each AHECS institution – link to their careers page and a contact email for the Head of Service.

  1. ATU Letterkenny:;
  1. ATU Galway Mayo:;
  1. ATU- Sligo:;;
  1. Carlow College:;
  1. DCU:;
  1. DKIT:
  1. IADT :
  1. Maynooth University :
  1. MTU Cork:;
  1. MTU Tralee:;
  1. NCAD :;
  1. National College of Ireland:
  1. University of Galway:
  1. Open University:;
  1. Queens University:
  1. RCSI:;
  1. SETU Carlow :;
  1. SETU Waterford :;
  1. TCD :;
  1. TUD :
  1. TUD Blanchardstown:
  1. TUD Tallaght:
  1. TUS:
  1. UCC :
  1. UCD
  1. UL
  1. Ulster University:;

Caroline Kennedy

Head of Career Development & Employability

National College of Ireland