07 . 04 . 22
JW Marriott Grosvenor House, London

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The Awards

The largest early careers recruitment awards in the UK will take place on Thursday 7 April 2022.

In the lead up to this highly prestigious annual event, we will have counted nearly 100,000 individual votes from undergraduates, apprentices and school leavers. On the night itself we will again welcome an audience of distinguished guests and present 29 trophies at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House, London.

Entries for the 2022 awards are now closed (with the exception of Graduate Employer of the Year for anyone shortlisted).

Panel awards for recruiters – judged exclusively by students

There are eight student panel awards:

  • The apprentice of the year award
  • The best school leaver programme award
  • The best diversity and inclusion strategy award
  • The best internship or placement programme award
  • The best on-boarding experience award
  • The best student marketing campaign award
  • The best virtual recruitment experience award (NEW FOR 2022)
  • The rising star award

Panel awards for recruiters – judged by industry professionals

There are three additional awards judged by an expert panel:

  • The best social mobility strategy award
  • The sustainability in early talent recruitment award (NEW FOR 2022)
  • The early careers professional of the year award



Panel awards for higher education institutions

This year we have two awards for higher education institutions in the UK to enter. Both awards will be judged independently by graduate employers and industry experts.

  • The HE careers and employability professional of the year award (NEW FOR 2022)
  • The best university employability strategy

Both awards celebrates the achievements of higher education institutions, or individuals, in ensuring that their undergraduates are best equipped to achieve their potential when searching and applying for graduate roles and transitioning to employment.




The sector awards – voted for by students

The winner of each award is determined by an online student poll conducted by our research partner Cibyl and we have captured over 65,000 student votes in 2022. All shortlisted organisations are also eligible to enter for the graduate employer of the year award. These awards recognise the most popular graduate recruiters in the following fourteen categories:

  • Accounting and financial management
  • Banking, insurance and financial services
  • Construction, civil engineering and surveying
  • Consulting
  • Consumer goods – manufacturing and marketing
  • Energy and utilities
  • Engineering, design and manufacture
  • Investment banking and investment
  • Law – solicitors
  • Public sector
  • Retail
  • Scale-up (NEW FOR 2022)
  • Scientific research and development
  • Technology



The AGCAS award – voted for by careers and employability professionals

The AGCAS award for excellence in careers and employability service engagement focuses on employers who develop and sustain good working relationships with higher education careers and employability services.

Voted for by careers and employability professionals, the award recognises those employers who provide outstanding support for careers services’ work with students and graduates.




The graduate employer of the year award – judged by HR and recruitment industry leaders

The pinnacle of the evening is always the graduate employer of the year award sponsored by Shortlist.Me

Shortlisted employers and campaigns from all categories judged to be ‘the best of the best’ by a group of HR and recruitment industry leaders.

Who is this award for?

The award highlights the standout recruiters in the graduate recruitment space, understanding and recognising what recruiters are doing to attract, recruit, onboard, train and retain talent. The award is not looking to judge the flashiest campaigns or those organisations that have the biggest budgets, but the employer creating a great, consistent experience for candidates at each stage. The key is consistency. This is what makes a graduate employer of the year.

How is it judged?

Employers’ responses to the application questions are benchmarked against responses from the current graduates working in that organisation. Each organisation is required to submit a minimum of six graduate responses. The judges are seeking to determine what each employer is doing across the entire candidate lifecycle and how these actions are received by, and benefit, the graduates who have joined the organisation. Entries are judged by a group of handpicked professionals from around the graduate recruitment sector, with the winner crowned at the targetjobs Awards!

Importantly, this prestigious award is ONLY open to shortlisted organisations.

This award is now closed.