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What is the average cost to hire a graduate?

According to 2021 ISE Student Recruitment Survey, the average cost per hire for a graduate was £5,325 (£4,794 in 2020).

Here's the breakdown by sector for average cost per hire. (2020 in brackets);

- Finance and Professional Services £2,430 (£3,414)
- Built Environment £1,499 (£3,177)
- Health and Pharmaceuticals £1,862 (£1,265)
- Energy, Engineering and Industry £1,572 (£2,825)
- Retail, FMCG & Tourism £2,719 (£3,549)
- Digital and IT £3,009 (£8,123)
- Legal £14,589 (£8,714)
- Charity and Public Sector £2,786 (£2,837)

Here's the breakdown by company employee size for average cost per hire. (2020 in brackets);

Small (1-50)             N/A (£7,771)
Medium (51-250)     £1,847 (£3,624)
Large (251-1,000)     £3,514 (£2,252)
Very large (1,000+)   £1,622 (£2,126)

Here's the breakdown by number of graduates recruited for average cost per hire. (2020 in brackets);

1-15 graduates £3,470 (£5,263)
16-25 graduates £4,541 (£5,092)
26-50 graduates £1,748 (£5,124)
51-100 graduates £1,993 (£3,351)
101-250 graduates £1,944 (£2,276)
251 or more graduates £1,068 (£1,805)

Cost per hire shows economies of scale and decreases for larger intakes. Employers who recruit less than 15 graduates typically spend £5,263 per hire, while the largest intakes spend £1,805 per hire. Selection & assessment spend also appears to drop dramatically for intakes of more than 50 hires, while attraction & marketing spend appears to drop dramatically for intakes of more than 100 hires. 

I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way.”

- Lee Iacocca, Ford