Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the phenomenon of growing numbers of graduates in non-graduate occupations (GRINGOs), and to explore the HR issues and complexities that arise as a consequence. The article also suggests avenues for future research. Design/methodology/approach: A case study methodology was used to gather data from four companies employing significant numbers of graduates in non-graduate jobs. Findings: The case studies suggest that GRINGOs can bring significant benefits to organisations, but are also challenging to manage: organisations which cannot offer them opportunities for career development risk having an able but resolutely uncommitted group of staff. Research limitations/implications: The research is based on a relatively limited sample, and the respondents were in management, so the findings were not triangulated with the perceptions of GRINGOs within the organisations. There is a paucity of literature examining the consequences of the GRINGO and the challenges that they pose for organisations, and this paper seeks to explore these issues and prompts further research in this area. Practical implications: The paper suggests that organisations are not fully utilising the potential of their GRINGO staff, and identifies ways in which HR departments might respond to this issue. Originality/value: The article makes an original contribution to the literature on graduate under-employment, by examining the issue from an organisational perspective.