“When I grow up I want to be...”: attracting, developing and retaining graduate talent

Victoria Radbourne, Daniel Boneham and Julie Muttiallu


For intelligent, passionate graduates, market research should be a magnet.

As an industry, it provides a stage on which they can exercise their creativity, satisfy their thirst for learning and forge a stimulating long-term career. But all too often it isn't a magnet – rather, it is stumbled on by chance. We are still attracting great talent, but it's from a small pool as opposed to a big sea. Why? Because we're just not getting our message out. Development and retention of talent is just as important – as an industry we do this well but there is still some way to go.

As three university graduates who have recently completed Synovate's graduate scheme, we have been able to give you a perspective from the horse's mouth. In addition to our own experiences and opinion, we have drawn on those of more than 50 researchers, at all different levels in their careers. In addition, we have spoken to other key stakeholders including CEOs of major research agencies, the Association of Graduate Recruiters, careers advisors and more. With these insights, we have been able to create recommendations for how the market research industry can better attract talent, develop this talent and retain it within the industry. To give an overview of our key findings in these three areas: