Services for Business

Employer toolkit

Different coloured paper planes laying next to one another.Browse our information and resources for support and guidance when recruiting University of Leicester students and graduates.

Taking you through the process from start to finish, they provide useful information that will help you to maximise your exposure as an organisation and attract and recruit the right employees.

Attracting talent to your organisation

How do you know you are attracting the right kind of candidates for your roles? Recruitment and selection can be a challenging process, and it’s important to ensure you get things right from the outset to make things as easy as possible. We have collated some key considerations and top tips to help you with this.

Evaluation of skills, knowledge and values

Are your current recruitment and assessment processes fit for purpose? Do they allow you to assess the key criteria for the role and understand if your applicants have the right hard and soft skills to be successful in the role?

Hard skills
  • Technical knowledge/expertise required to fulfil the role
  • Can be assessed through additional assessment or proof from previous roles
Soft skills
  • Determine if the employee is a good fit for the business; e.g. culture fit, work ethic, values that align to the organisation, adaptable to fit new working environments

Assessment criteria

Your application and selection processes should reflect the needs of the role and the organisation, and to ensure maximum efficiency and reduce the risk of a poorly managed process you should consider the following:

  1. What have you based your selection criteria on?
    • Ultimately this should relate to the essential and desirable criteria for the role listed on the original job description. You can refer to our job description template (docx., 23kb). Use the essential criteria to longlist the applicants most suited to the role, and then the desirable criteria to further whittle down your list.
  2. Do you have the correct amount of interview stages?
    • If you are looking at more than one stage for interviews, ensure it has a purpose – is the first round a more general screening, and the second round an opportunity for senior management to meet and assess the candidate? Are there other ways that you can assess the candidate prior to an interview (e.g. psychometric testing, video interview testing?)
  3. Have you set any skills-based tasks for applicants to complete?
    • This is an area you can use to test an applicant’s practical skills with a presentation or completion of an on the day task related to the requirements for the role.
  4. Have you made allowances for candidates who may require adjustments during the interview process?
    • Remember, at both shortlisting and assessment stage it is crucial that you only assess criteria that is relevant to an individual’s ability to fulfil the requirements of the role. If a request is submitted to make reasonable adjustments for an applicant during the assessment process then due consideration must be given to this. As per the Equality Act 2010 it is illegal to discriminate against candidates based on protected characteristics.

Ensuring all of the above has been reviewed and considered with the specific role you are recruiting for in mind should help you to avoid any common pitfalls, maximise the efficiency of your recruitment process and mitigate the risk of falling foul of any form of discrimination during the process.

Managing expectations

Consider what your potential employee’s expectations are before starting your recruitment process – this is critical to ensure you as an organisation are clear on what you want and what you can offer a prospective employee so they can have all of the facts and make an informed decision before applying for a role. This will save everyone concerned a lot of time.

Top tips for this are:

  • Make sure the wording on your job description and job advert is clear and is an accurate description of what the role entails – remove anything that is unclear or ambiguous.
  • Be clear about any benefits that the role or the organisation offers – this may include things like professional development opportunities, company pension schemes, company car, hybrid working, etc.
  • Be clear about the salary and any additional financial remuneration on offer.

You don’t need to specifically list areas that are open for negotiation on the advert, but remember that job applications are time consuming, and adverts that are unclear and list a ‘competitive salary’ is on offer in place of confirmed salary details can appear misleading and disengage applicants from even considering to apply.


It may be than an applicant is looking to negotiate on elements of the role, such as salary, working hours/flexibility and location. Be clear about what your parameters are on these areas before interviewing – it may be that all of these areas are set and non-negotiable, so do be clear with applicants about this if that is the case.

Use this opportunity to probe the applicant’s motivations for applying for the role – are they looking for career development? An increased salary? Flexibility with working hours to accommodate work life balance or other commitments? Individuals will have their own reasons for wishing to apply for a new role so keep this in mind if you are asked any questions abut negotiating on these areas.

Activities to engage with our students

The University of Leicester is one of the most socially inclusive of the UK’s leading universities with a long-standing commitment to providing fairer and equal access to higher education.

Our total student population is approximately 18,500 (12,000 undergraduates). Our community is rich, diverse and vibrant with many students from a range of different backgrounds:

  • 52% identify as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic
  • 18% of UG students have a country of domicile outside the UK
  • 12% of students have declared a disability
  • 86% of students are under the age of 21

Our talent development programme prepares students to transition into graduate employment after University and has been recognised with awards and accolades from both the graduate recruitment and higher education sector. Our programme is designed as a talent pipeline to provide employers with access to future employees.

My Student Journey (MSJ) enables students to identify, develop, reflect upon and articulate their transferable skills and self-awareness from both their academic studies, as well as experience gained outside of their degree.

The Career Development Service at Leicester provides a high quality of service to students and employers. This is evidenced by our accreditations through the Matrix Standard and the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) Quality Standard. We have also been recognised through being awarded many accolades in our work to support student and graduate career development provision.

Focus for each stage of MSJ

Get started: ‘understand self’ (UG - first year)

All new students are supported to engage early with their career development journey through identifying their strengths, motivations and areas of development. This is through the Leicester Award, which is embedded into first year modules.

They are encouraged to broaden their experience and develop their skills.


  • Get Started workshops: A series of workshops co-delivered with schools to UG Y1 students to promote early engagement with career development planning.
  • Part-time employment: Work with our onsite recruitment team in Unitemps to recruit our students into paid part-time roles within your organisation.
  • A summer internship: Employ our students to work within your organisation on a summer internship.
Get experience: ‘secure significant experience’ (UG - middle years)

Middle year students focus on their professional development through completion of the Leicester Award Gold, usually embedded into a second year module. The award prepares students to make high quality tailored applications by reflecting on their strengths, transferable skills and motivations.

They are then encouraged to secure a professional significant experience.


  • A placement (work/clinical): Offer a placement for ‘with industry’ students are periods of work experience undertaken by UG students as part of their programme of study for up to 12 months as fixed term contracts.
  • A summer internship: Employ our students to work within your organisation on a summer internship.
  • Summer consultancy challenges: Provide a consultancy project for a student to work on gives the opportunity for you to receive responses to a specific brief.
Get graduate ready: ‘prepare to transition’ (UG - final year)

With an emphasis on developing work-ready talent, students are provided with support to effectively transition from University into employment. This includes understanding and articulating their employability skills, having a clear plan for what they want to do next, and making decisions on where to apply.

They are encouraged to apply and secure their next step after university.


  • Job Hunt workshops: A series of workshops for final year students to raise awareness of common transition routes and support students to source and select suitable graduate opportunities based on their strengths, skills and motivations.
  • Graduate opportunities: Advertise your graduate vacancies directly to our students for free using our online job portal.
Maximise Your Master's: ‘maximise higher level study’ (PGT - Postgraduates)

Students are supported to maximise their studies at higher levels to consider their future career decisions and what steps they may take.

The following postgraduate programmes offer the opportunity for students to undertake a placement as part of their studies:

  • Engineering
  • Geography
  • Computing
  • Mathematics


  • An Industrial Placement: Offer a placement for ‘with industry’ students are periods of work experience undertaken by PGT students as part of their programme of study for 3 months to 12 months.
  • Graduate opportunities: Advertise your graduate vacancies directly to our students for free using our online job portal.

Get Support ‘support to develop your career plan’

Students are supported to develop their career plan and engage with the following activities that employers can get involved in to support their progress to the next stage:

Fairs and events
  • Festival of Careers 2023/24 - Recruitment fair scheduled to take place in the autumn, spring and summer terms as part of Festival of Careers weeks. Our fairs provide students with the opportunity to meet with employers face to face on campus to discuss their recruitment process and current vacancies.
    • Autumn Week: 9 October – 13 October 2023
    • Spring Week: 26 February – 1 March 2024
    • Summer Week: 3 June – 7 June 2024
  • Inspirational careers talks - Deliver an in-person or online talk to speak about your unique experiences as well as how students can secure student and graduate opportunities in your organization, allowing you to raise your brand profile and awareness to University of Leicester students.
  • Employer-led application and selection workshops - Run a workshop covering various stages of the recruitment process, targeting specific cohorts relevant to a 'My Student Journey' stage.
  • Work experience preparation - Sessions delivered in curriculum to students eligible to apply for a placement as part of their degree programme designed to deliver tips and guidance on searching and applying for placements.
Experience and insight
  • Micro-internship programme - Work experience of up to 40 hours organized by the University and hosted directly with an employer that will equip them with transferable skills, commercial awareness and the ability to explore options for careers post study.
  • Recruiters in residence - One-to-one discussions with employers and/or University of Leicester alumni hosted on a University of Leicester platform.
  • Taster days and insight programmes - A work shadowing or insight activity organised by the University and hosted directly with an employer to provide students with hands on experience seeing what the company/sector is like.
  • A work-related learning module - For any employer involvement in a credit-bearing module or university ran extracurricular programme that simulates workplace activity, allowing students to apply their degree knowledge, and develop technical/transferable skills in preparation for the workplace.
Recruitment Services Support that the Career Development Service can provide
  • Promoting opportunities
    • Online jobs board, listing roles by types of opportunities, sector and location.
    • Promoting opportunities, through Careers Bulletins (email) to increase applications.
    • Social media takeover, to raise profile through in Careers Bulletins (email), social media postings and on campus stands.
  • Application and selection support - Longlisting student applicants against the job criteria provided to expedite your recruitment processes.
  • Feedback and onboarding - Support to employers with providing developmental feedback to all unsuccessful student applicants both at longlisting stage and after interview where appropriate.

Typical interview questions

Education and leisure

  1. What interests you most about your course?
  2. Describe how you typically approach a project.
  3. If you could change your course in any way, what would you change?
  4. How would your tutor describe your work?
  5. What are your leisure time activities? What do you get out of them?

Skills, attributes and potential

  1. If we asked for a reference what would it say about you?
  2. How would a friend describe you?
  3. What is your major achievement?
  4. How do you manage your day?
  5. What do you consider yourself good at doing?
  6. What are your weaknesses?
  7. Describe a difficult situation and what you did about it.
  8. How well do you work in a team?
  9. This position has a large amount of stress/negotiation/teamwork/ isolation/travel. How will you cope with this?
  10. How do you respond to stress? Can you provide a recent example?
  11. What would you look for in a manager?
  12. How do you/would you get the best out of people?


  1. Why have you applied for this job?
  2. What makes you suitable for this role?
  3. What makes you think you can be successful with us?
  4. What do you think you can bring to this position/company?

Strength based

  1. What comes easily to you?
  2. What gives you energy?
  3. Which do you like more, understanding a concept or applying practical work?
  4. When are you at your best?
  5. What things are always left on your to-do list and not finished?
  6. Describe a successful day you have had
  7. Do you prefer to start tasks or to finish them?
  8. How would your family describe you?

Selection methods

As part of the recruitment and selection process, there are numerous methods that can be used as part of the application process. 


The most common part of an application process which most organisations include as part of the application process is a CV. CV’s allow employers to see the applicants suitability for the role, previous experience and relevant skills.

Cover letter

A cover letter often accompanies the CV and is allows a potential candidate to further explain their motivations for applying to your organisation and experience.

Application forms

Application forms are a popular assessment method with employers and allow you to see a candidate’s suitability for a role. These can be tailored to include specific questions to get the detail and information you want from the applicants.

Personal statements

Personal statements are most commonly used for further study or education applications, but can be found in some graduate role applications. Personal statements can enable applications to share detailed information about their experiences, motivations and skills whilst also demonstrating written communication skills.

Assessment centres

Assessment centres are usually used where larger volumes of recruitment is taking place and is an effective method to evaluate suitability of a larger number of applicants. They often involve a variety of exercises and activities to assess suitability for a role. Assessment centres often also include an interview as part of the process.

Psychometric tests

Psychometric tests can range from ability tests, aptitude tests, verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, diagrammatic reasoning, situational judgement tests and personality tests. These can be useful and effective if recruiting to technical positions or looking to assess a specific skill of a potential applicant – for example, numerical and analytical skills.


Telephone, video or face to face - There are a whole range of different types of interviews an employer can conduct or may choose to include a variety of these throughout the entire application process. The final stage of the entire recruitment and selection process would usually end in a formal face to face interview with the Hiring Manager and candidate.

Top tips for retaining talent


Flexibility remains one of the key areas an organisation can do to increase talent retention. Being able to offer employees a suitable work life balance and opportunities for flexible working will really help to retain talent as well as attract top talent to your live vacancies! Employers who fail to embrace this new way of working, are likely to face continued challenges when it comes to attracting and retaining talent – it is key to provide flexibility to different ways of working, as we all work best in different ways, whether that be remote, hybrid or on-site. Being flexible in your approach can really support talent retention.

This is of course only suitable for roles where flexible or remote working is feasible and there will be industries and job roles where the nature of the job doesn’t allow for this. Making this clear to candidates in the recruitment process is helpful and can manage expectations.

Growth, development and rewards

Offering employees opportunities for professional and personal development can be hugely motivating and provide work satisfaction. Often training opportunities and programmes are offered to attract talent, but it is as vital to offer this for talent retention.

Offering suitable rewards to employees is a great tool – this could be rewards, incentives or bonus’. Think about other types of benefits the company could offer and those that can help employees outside of work too. For example, consider offerings such as private healthcare, health and gym memberships or salary sacrifice schemes for company car, to name just a few..!

Create a workplace that promotes belonging

Ensuring the organisation can support Equality diversity and inclusion is really important to retaining talent and supporting employees from a range of backgrounds. Having suitable support in place to address the needs of different employee groups and populations can ensure employees feel a sense of belonging. Organisations can also look to equip managers and staff to ensure the company is a safe and accepting environment for workers to be their authentic selves

Understanding employees motivations

The most important tip for talent retention is to understand employees individual motivations – all organisations have a unique workforce and understanding what your employee motivations are will enable you to put in place the best approaches and methods to enhance talent retention!

Supporting information and useful links

Supported employment guide

Supported employment is a service which works with Adults who are Autistic, have a learning disability or both to gain and sustain Employment. We are part funded by the Department of Work and Pensions. Our aim is to work with people with Autism or Learning disabilities to find meaningful Employment, to promote a more diverse workforce in Leicester and to reduce barriers for people getting into work. We use a Place, Train and Maintain model and are trained in Supported Employment Techniques, this involves matching the person to the right job as well as providing tailored support and training to be able to maintain the role.

Who is the service for?
  • Adults.
  • People with Learning Disabilities, Autism or both. People do not have to have a formal diagnosis to be included.
  • Leicester City residents only.
  • People who want to find and sustain work for 8 hours or more.
What does the service offer?
  • We complete a detailed profile and action plan to explore what job the person wants to do and what support they need to get there.
  • We can work with the person to build their CV.
  • We can work on interview skills and provide support in the interview.
  • We talk to the person about how paid work would impact their benefits.
  • We support people in the role to start with for as long as it is needed.
  • We work with Employers and the person to discuss adjustments needed in work.
  • We encourage Employers to be involved in the Disability Confidence scheme.
Who can refer into Supported Employment?
  • Social work teams or any professional within Adult Social Care can refer using our supported employment referral form on Liquid logic.
  • The person, carer or external professionals can refer via our website (see below).
Who cannot be referred into Supported Employment?
  • People who are in full time education.
  • People who live in Leicestershire County (even if funded or open to Adult Social care in Leicester City)
  • People who are on other work programmes, included those funded by DWP.
  • People who aren’t motivated to find and sustain paid work.
  • People who want to work less than 8 hour per week.
  • People who only want work over summer holidays.
  • People who only want voluntary work.
How do I contact the Supported Employment Service? 

The service can be contacted during normal office hours 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4.30pm Friday.


FAQs for employers

What skills do University of Leicester students and graduates offer?

Our students and graduates at the University of Leicester can bring a range of skills to your business or organisation. Our students and graduates come from a range of degree disciplines and are equipped with both transferable skills as well as a range of technical skills based on what they have studied during University.

Our students are encouraged throughout their studies to proactively develop their transferable skills as well as reflecting on skills they have gained, with the aim being that our students are confident in the skills they can offer an employer and being able to demonstrate this through experiences.

How can we engage on campus to showcase our brand?

We welcome employers, business and organisations to come and engage with our students throughout the academic year on campus. We offer a suite of activities for you to be involved in to showcase your brand and potential opportunities. Visit our recruit our students page for more information.

How can we advertise/promote our roles?

We advertise and promote vacancies through MyCareers which is our online careers platform. All students and graduates have access to this platform. You can set yourself up on MyCareers and manage your own opportunities by registering online. It will only take a couple of minutes and by doing so you will have the freedom to post opportunities as needed. Applications can be set to be directed to yourselves via a webpage or email address.

For your reference, our vacancy advertising policy (PDF, 170kb) contains more detail about our terms and conditions of advertising.

You can also attend our on campus recruitment fairs which take place three times per year – this is a great opportunity to promote your live vacancies to our students. Information can be found on our recruit our students webpages, or simply get in touch with us at

How do I recruit a student/graduate?

We can support you to recruit the students and graduates you are looking to target through partnering on a recruitment plan to meet application and hiring targets. Our students are highly sought after – talented, diverse and workforce ready!

Download our hiring our students brochure (PDF, 816kb).

Where can I find your upcoming events?

All of our upcoming events and activities can be found on our recruit our students webpages. For any specific events or activities you had in mind or would like to run with our students, please get in touch with us at:

Can we come onto campus to promote our brand?

You can organise a pop-up stand on campus to raise your brand profile at any point throughout the academic year. We can host this either within our Students Union building (cost involved) or where feasible, in one of our departmental buildings. Email for further information.

We want to recruit a student for a placement

We have two streams of placements at Leicester: a Year in Industry for Undergraduates, and an Industrial Placement for Postgraduates.

Find out more about the courses available, or contact a member of them team at

Do you offer any funding for internships?

Find out about the current funding we have available. We offer a range of different internships at the University of Leicester for employers and businesses to be involved in. For more information, bet in touch with a member of the team at

How do I sign up for a recruitment fair?

If you would like to join one of our upcoming recruitment fairs to showcase your brand and organisation and promote any vacancies you have, please visit our Festival of Careers page for the latest information on upcoming events or contact to register your interest for our next date.

What activities in curriculum do you have?

We work closely with our academic schools and colleges to ensure employability is imbedded and featured in all our students programmes. This includes both in-curriculum and extracurricular programmes and activities for our students. We run a range of employability activities such as Consultancy Challenges, Employer Talks and much more.

If you are interested in getting involved as part of the curriculum, please reach out to a member of the team at

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