When wanting to recruit the best talent, waiting for when individuals (in this case graduates) start looking for jobs is a big mistake. I have always believed the best undergraduate talent, by the time they get into their final year already know who they are going to apply to. They certainly don’t think “I wonder where I can find what consultancies or engineering companies there are for me to apply to?”! They know who they are already. So serious graduate recruiters must get ahead of the game. Find ways to target talent early. AND don’t just ‘build relationships’ with that talent, which for most means marketing your messages to them but find ways to get to know them and importantly their abilities (through such activities as on campus events, competitions, internships, part time work etc). Then identify who of those, based o n their abilities and ‘fit’ you want to recruit and offer them jobs before they get into the final year.
Easy? ‘No’. But will it help you successfully compete for the very best talent? Yes it will!