Students’ perceptions of Brexit and tips for attracting graduates in 2019

Graduation usually comes with a feeling of accomplishment and anticipation but our research shows that 78% of those graduating this year believe Brexit will negatively impact their career.

We explored how today’s graduates feel about the job market and compared this to how graduates faired after the last period of uncertainty, in the 2008 global financial crisis. Researched showed that 50% of those who graduated during the global financial crisis found it more difficult to secure a graduate role due to the crisis – taking an average of eight months to find their first career job.

Ten years on, three fifths (58%) say the 2008 crisis had a negative impact on their career. This year’s graduates fear they will be subject to similar disadvantages as they look to enter the workforce, with 78% thinking Brexit will negatively impact their career and 52% thinking it will be more difficult to secure a graduate role.

Changing plans

With the challenges 2008 graduates faced limiting their entry into their desired career, half (50%) said they had to change their post university plans with three fifths (62%) taking a role in a different sector due to the lack of available roles. Already we’re seeing this year’s graduates taking a similar approach to delay their entry into the job market with 55% planning to postpone looking for their first role. Milkround’s research shows 60% expect they will need to take a role in a different sector, 18% think they will need to do temp work and 9% plan to instead go travelling. The results also reveal a 15% rise in the number of graduates who are planning to take up a postgraduate qualification, rather than heading straight into their career.

Salary expectations

Almost half (44%) of 2008 graduates reported their salary has not increased as much as graduates in previous year’s. The expectations are also set low for 2019 graduates, as over a third (36%) are not expecting standard salary increases post-Brexit. Recent research[1] from The Resolution Foundation think tank supports Milkround’s findings, with those entering the labour market during the financial crisis impacted in terms of wage growth and salary.

Not all doom and gloom

Despite the negative perception this year’s grads have of the current job market, the Office for National Statistics labour market research shows the number of people in work in the UK continues to reach record highs. In addition, Milkround has seen the number of graduate roles advertised on its platform increase by 104% year on year*. A recent report from the Institute of Student Employers[2], supports a positive outlook for this year’s grads with a clear majority (70%) of employers anticipating that Brexit will not impact their recruitment needs. In fact, employers on average anticipate a substantial increase (18%) in the number of graduates that they are trying to recruit this year and in the number of apprentices (47%) they plan to take on.

Georgina Brazier from Milkround noted:

“It’s easy to see the similarities in the job market from 2008 when the global financial crisis hit to this year with so much economic uncertainty. While many graduates are concerned of the impact Brexit will have on their careers, we’re a month out with no clear indication of what will happen so grads should not let themselves be distracted with all the ‘ifs, buts and maybes’.

We can somewhat put them at ease with the knowledge that Milkround is continuing to see an increase in the number of graduate roles advertised on our platform. We also offer plenty of resources to assist graduates in securing their dream role in the career of their choice. Increased competition in the market is not always a bad thing, it pushes graduates to be on top of their game and network more to gain invaluable industry connections.”


Insight from a Brexit and Labour Market Economist

Jonathan Portes, Brexit and labour market economist at King’s College London, said

“Given the current healthy state of the UK labour market, it might seem surprising how pessimistic 2019’s prospective graduates are about the impact of Brexit. But history suggests that they are right be to be worried. Brexit may well prove not just to be a short-term economic shock, but to do long-lasting damage to young people’s career prospects.

New graduates will need to be flexible and adaptable; that may mean accepting jobs in a different sector or location to their first preference if it gives them a foot on the ladder.”



Top tips for attracting and recruiting graduates during times of economic uncertainty

Connect on an individual level

Get onto university campuses and connect with students face to face. It’s important to get your company name out there and sell your brand ethos to prospective employees.

Go back to basics

Keep the application process simple and clear. Milkround’s candidate compass survey has revealed job seekers like the basics, with 84% of respondents preferring a CV/cover letter application and 84% citing they would rather have a face to face interview than a telephone or video interview.

Keep it clear

Keep your job descriptions clear of jargon to not detract students and use this as an opportunity to talk about your companies approach post Brexit.

Understand your new recruits

Host a focus group to understand any mis-conceptions students may have about your company which will allow you to tackle the issues.

Look back to move forward

Reflect on your hiring experiences. What are you going to do differently from last year to strengthen the recruitment process? What worked and what didn’t work? Be Honest.


For more information on this research, or if you’d like to chat to us about your student and graduate recruitment campaigns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch:

*104% uplift reported from July/December 2017 to July/December 2018, according to Milkround data


Delving into Diversity & Inclusion at the ISE forum

We recently hosted the ISE Diversity & Inclusion forum at the Milkround offices, where we saw a number of employers talking about hot topics in the industry, as well as the actions employers can and should be taking in order to overcome their diversity challenges.

To kick things off, we heard from Tristram Hooley, ISE Research Chief Officer, who explored the latest ISE Annual Student Recruitment Survey. Among their research, Tristram spoke about the importance employers are placing on diversity, reporting that 96 per cent of respondents are prioritising at least one or more diversity issues, with some being very focused on multiple diversity strands.

More interestingly, the findings showed us that whilst 67 per cent of employers are changing the way they manage recruitment to address concerns about diversity, when looking at how representative this is of their actual hires and the wider population, the results are very different. People who attended state schools, women, first-generation graduates and disabled people are all under-represented amongst current hires. The average proportion of hires who attended a state school, for example, is 57 per cent and the average UK population average is 91 per cent, showing a clear contrast between what is being done and what the overall population looks like.

Social Mobility and Contextual Recruitment

We then heard from Timi Dorgu, Senior Digital Account Manager from Rare Recruitment and Jen Baird, Graduate Recruitment Manager at Hogan Lovells – who spoke about how Rare’s Contextual Recruitment System can transform the hiring decision process and increase diversity too. The system indicates to employers any candidates who have come from disadvantaged backgrounds or those who are resilient outperformers, allowing employers to deliver tangible results when it comes to diversity.

A behavioural science approach to Diversity & Inclusion

Alice Scott from Development Beyond Learning (DBL) shared research on behavioural science, explaining that it’s not always easy to completely eliminate bias and influence from recruitment decision making. She noted that behavioural science can help employers since it looks at how people really behave, instead of how we think they ought to behave.

Alice spoke to us about how removing information with inaccurate ‘representative models’ in application processes or hiding demographic information on forms can help to focus attention to purely just data, which could lead to more diverse and inclusive actions from employers.

ASD Awareness

Lastly, we heard from Nick Heckscher from ASPIeRATIONS which is a Community Interest Company, set up to help employers attract, recruit and retain highly-skilled, autistic talent. Nick spoke about the benefits of employing high-functioning autistic and Asperger’s individuals into a team, with the increased capacity for innovation and enhanced employee retention rates.


If you want to speak to us about diversity and inclusion and how Milkround can better your student and graduate recruitment processes then please don’t hesitate to get in touch:



Milkround’s latest insight into imposter syndrome and how it is effecting female graduates

We recently delved into the minds of 5,700 students and graduates, to find out about young people’s career confidence and their perception of future employment.

Lower Salary Expectations

Our research identified that one in three (33%) women are worried about low pay and think they’ll earn under £20k in an entry level role, compared to less than a quarter (22%) of their male counterparts.

We also found that males expect to be earning more in five years’ time, with more females (25 percent compared to 15 percent males) expecting to be on £25-£30k and more males (23 percent compared to 17 percent females) expecting to be on over £35k, after five years.

Writer and activist, Natasha Devon MBE importantly contributed stating:

“Imposter syndrome is more than just ‘lacking confidence’. It’s an all-consuming belief that you aren’t worthy of your career achievements, that you’re a fraud and a fear of being ‘found out’, even if all the evidence shows you to be qualified and capable. Whilst feminism has come on in leaps and bounds over recent years, we still live in a culture where the prototype for success and influence is white, male and middle aged. It’s no wonder, then, that the people most likely to experience imposter syndrome are young women.”


Career Confidence

While confidence was the top choice for respondents, our findings revealed that far more females (41%) reported confidence to be a soft skill that they needed to work on most to excel in their career, compared with just 28% of males.

Competition from those with more work experience was another concern, with more females (58%) citing it as an issue, compared to males (47%).

Our Jobs Expert at Milkround, Georgina Brazier stated:

“Confidence issues are affecting graduates before they even hit the workforce, which often lasts with them throughout their career.

While more employers are implementing mentorship programmes to alleviate imposter syndrome and boost confidence among new starters, more needs to be done to ensure that this negative mindset is reversed, before they start working their way up the career ladder.”


How to Avoid Imposter Syndrome

Natasha Devon has put together some helpful tips to ensure that you avoid imposter syndrome and maintain confidence in young individuals.

Know Your Enemy

Having imposter syndrome can feel incredibly isolating, because by its very nature it is something which makes you feel as though you don’t belong. It’s important to remember it’s both common and, unfortunately, normal – particularly amongst women.

Think like your male counterparts

Studies show that men tend to believe they can do jobs for which they are underqualified whereas women are more likely to believe they aren’t right for a role, even if they are overqualified. Look at their qualifications and experience and measure them, objectively, against yours.

Combat negative self-talk

It’s essential to have a voice in your head advising caution, especially when running away from a bear. The negative voice we’ve evolved to carry around with us is more likely to tell us we aren’t worth a pay rise, can’t do that presentation or will make a fool of ourselves in a meeting. Recognise that voice and tell it to shut up.

Separate instinct from structurally created beliefs

Human beings learn through repetition and a lot of what our brain absorbs happens subconsciously. We still live in an environment which tells us the prototype for a powerful person is white, male and middle aged. Realise this is a belief system is not representative of you and is not something you would choose to believe of your own free will.

Stop trying to be liked

Women, on average, fear social rejection more than men. This isn’t an attitude which serves anyone well in the work place. However, we teach people how to treat us. Working for free, never using the word ‘no’ and letting other people take credit for your work might mean less confrontation, but it will leave you underpaid, undervalued and exhausted.


You can find more information in this year’s report. Download your copy here.

*All figures from Milkround’s Candidate Compass Report 2018


If you have any questions or would like to speak to us in more detail, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Number: 0333 0145 111

Student Success at the Milkround Society Awards

On Wednesday 25th June, we hosted our annual Milkround Society Awards – which saw students from all over the UK coming together, demonstrating what they have been getting involved in at university and how these avid individuals have contributed to their societies.

The event is a great way for us to meet some of the most inspiring young people and connect them to leading employers. It also allows us to understand what drives students, what challenges they’ve faced along the way and how they’re developing themselves outside of university studies, to ensure that they are the most employable candidates.

Our panel of judges: Isabella Luba from Merkle | Periscopix, Jack Culpan from Sponsor My Society, Andrew Crisp from UpRising and Stefan Kovacevic & Alex Bellotti from One Young World, connected with the finalists, offering both employment advice and specific guidance around society sponsorship. Both us at Milkround and the judges were overwhelmed by the pitches, making the all-important final decision a very difficult one!


Milkround's Society Awards 2018
Kelsey Robb from Lancaster University’s Advertising Society, pitching to the judges

We accepted over 130 applications and shortlisted this down to 9 societies for the ‘Outstanding Contribution to a Society’ award and 6 students for the ‘Individual Contribution to a Society’ award. We assessed the applications based on their efforts, their dedication to developing a society and what they would do with our £1,000 cash prize. These finalists were then invited to attend our Society Awards at the Milkround HQ – pitching to the judges.

Throughout the day, the students were able to network with one other and learn about what employers are looking for. It gave employers the opportunity to present the companies they work for and their graduate offerings, with one student applying for a role at One Young World on the day!


The Winners


Mima Markicevic - The Holdsworth Club Society (University of Birmingham)
Mima Markicevic won ‘Individual Contribution to a Society’ after demonstrating her dedication to The Holdsworth Club. In just one year, Mima transformed this declining society into one with clear goals and great support
Handprints-eNABLE Scotland
Handprints were awarded with ‘Outstanding Contribution to a Society’ for their selfless contribution to local communities, creating prosthetic arms for those most in need. They were passionate about changing people’s lives – working on projects for hospitals and vets where funding was lacking

What our judges said…

“The level of ambition, motivation and entrepreneurial spirit in the room was unmatched, and choosing a winner was a very difficult decision. I am sure that all the attendees will go on to do great things!”

Jack Culpan, Sponsor My Society

“It was an excellent opportunity to see the fantastic work students are doing in their societies. I was overwhelmed by the creative ways they were solving problems they faced and could see how all the skills they were learning could directly help them in future careers. It was also inspiring to hear about the amazing work they do for local and global communities, both within University boundaries and beyond.”

Izzie Luba, Merkle | Periscopix



Want to get involved in sponsorship with us?

If you are interested in being part of any Milkround events, increasing awareness of your organisation in the student and graduate market or if you just want to partner with us, then please give us a call on 0333 0145 111, or email us at



The school leaver and graduate markets in 2018

The Institute of Student Employers (formally the Association of Graduate Recruiters) have unveiled their latest findings into the current state of the school leaver, student and graduate market at their annual Graduate Recruitment Showcase.

Key findings from their latest 2017 report show that despite overwhelming concerns over Brexit last year, investment into the market continues, with a predicted 11% increase in graduate vacancies in 2018, and a 32% increase in apprenticeship offerings.

Key findings:

  • There is expected to be an 11% increase in graduate vacancies in 2018
  • Apprenticeship vacancies are expected to increase by 32% in 2018
  • 65% of ISE employers hired apprentices in 2017
  • 75 applications per vacancy for graduate roles on average
  • 29 applications per vacancy for apprenticeships on average
  • 32% of employers failed to fill all of their vacancies last year
  • 15% of offers made to graduates are either declined or reneged
  • Time to hire has decreased, thanks to utilising technology within the recruitment process
  • Over 50% of employers use video interviewing as part of the selection process
  • Employers perceive graduates as lacking in both the self-awareness and managing up

Expected challenges in 2018

  • Improving diversity is the top challenge for employers in the upcoming year
  • This is followed by budget constraints and managing candidate experience/expectations


For more information, see the ISE blog.

If you missed us at the ISE’s Student Recruitment Showcase this week, don’t worry! Feel free to get in touch at to find out more about our own research into the school leaver and graduate markets. Or, call our sales team directly: 020 3003 4000 

To find out how to make the most of your school leaver, student or graduate campaign, get in touch with Milkround today:

Happy New Year: Our January job surge

The first working Monday of the year – or, “Massive Monday”, marks a record number of jobseekers applying for roles, according to Recruitment Grapevine.

It seems after a Christmas filled with eating, drinking and merriment, applicants are ready to kickstart the new year by considering their career options – school leavers, students and graduates included.

Many student Christmas’s are filled with revision and essay writing, but with submission dates passing, their focus turns to their future job opportunities. Those students looking at graduate schemes in particular are increasingly aware of upcoming deadlines across many industries.

Far from being simply a “Massive Monday”, January is a Massive Month for Milkround, as we see 52% more visits to our site than any other month and over 94% more candidate applications than any other month.


Make sure your roles are seen by the most eager students and graduates – contact us on 020 3003 4000, or email

The year in review: Milkround’s highlights of 2017

2017 was a standout year in a multitude of ways for the world and here at Milkround, we were kept pretty busy too…

We would like to thank all who have worked with us throughout 2017, and here’s to the year ahead!


Attending the RAD Awards was a great way to kick off the year. Congratulations to all the winners!


We considered the importance of a socially diverse workforce, an issue that would remain a heavy focus throughout 2017, both nationally and within Milkround’s own research.


For our first Parents Evening of 2017, we were joined by Aldi, IBM, ICAEW, Goldman Sachs, Laing O’Rourke, Deloitte, Grant Thornton, EY and ACCA. Parents and students gained valuable insight into apprenticeships thanks to the panellists and apprentices offering their thoughts.

We celebrated National Apprenticeship Week, which aims to bring together will bring together employers and apprentices from across England to celebrate the success of apprenticeships over the last decade and will seek to encourage even more people to choose apprenticeships as a fast-track to a great career.

We held our first After School Options Fair of 2017 at Emirates Stadium alongside our partner, UK University Search. Thousands of students and school leavers were able to communicate directly with top employers to learn about the range of opportunities that offer a viable alternative to university.


Our After School Options Fair was bursting with school leaver talent



We partnered with UpRising, a youth leadership development organisation, aiming to further open the career pathways for young people from underrepresented backgrounds. As part of their ‘Fastlaners’ two-week programme, Milkround spent a day with the candidates running activities focusing on the skills needed to succeed in an interview.

Over 75 of Milkround’s top candidates attended an Amazon Insight Day, an incredible opportunity for them to learn more about careers in operations. The event included interactive games, workshops and a Q&A session.


We hosted our annual Careers Adviser Conference in partnership with Central Careers Hub and TfL.  Careers advisers had the opportunity to pose questions to some of the UK’s leading school leaver employers, including IBM, Grant Thornton, ACCA, Laing O’Rourke, ICAEW and EY.


Milkround’s research revealed a case of the fear of missing out – with social media playing a significant role when it comes to career envy in young people.


Milkround launched new web features that maximise job searching for candidates, utilising unique technology that targets candidate profiles alongside their onsite behaviour. Online job recommendations, regular and personalised emails and instant job match notifications work together to ensure the right roles are placed before the right candidates.

Our annual Candidate Compass report was published, covering the graduate gender pay gap, salary expectations, reneging job offers and social mobility.

Milkround’s findings regarding female graduates low salary expectations contributed to the conversation surrounding the gender pay gap in national news.

Our annual Society Awards event took place, judged by representatives from AstraZeneca, IBM, and UpRising. Individuals from universities across the UK showcased their skill, determination and passion for their societies and positively wowed the judges.

The finalists of the Society Awards

We were joined by UpRising at Milkround’s offices to teach young people about the “elevator pitch” and other essential employability skills to aid them in their job search.


We celebrated A level results day and partnered with Student Hut, The Student Room, Careercake and Revision World for a Twitter takeover covering all things Results Day – from revision to the Clearing process, to university and career choices.


Our second After School Options Fair was attended by over 6,000 school students who were full of curiosity about the opportunities on offer.

Our first guest post by Benivo was published on our recruiter blog, considering how young people experience the relocation requirements of their first role. [To enquire about guest postings, please contact].


We attended university careers fairs across the country, engaging with students face to face and highlighting how Milkround actively aid them in their job search.

Milkround also had the pleasure of sponsoring Oxford Student Union Debate on campus, which saw students confidently pose questions and raise structured arguments to their fellow students, as well as MPs.

Our Accountancy Parents Evening provided in-depth insight into apprenticeship opportunities in the Accountancy sector for parents and their children. Representatives from EY, KPMG, ICAEW, Grant Thornton and RSM joined us for networking and multiple Q&A panels.

Our final UpRising event of the year took place, focusing on dressing for success and how to confidently articulate personal skills and traits concisely in an interview or networking context.


Our second research piece of the year, the School Leaver Candidate Compass report was published, revealing the latest trends and thoughts of school leavers in light of the GCSE changes and their perceptions of apprenticeships. We were thrilled to be joined by our partners The Prince’s Trust, who offered their own insight into social mobility within the school leaver demographic.

Our School Leaver Insight Breakfast saw Milkround enjoy tea, coffee and croissants with employers and career advisers from a range of sectors, while launching the findings of our latest report.

Milkround presenting findings at the Insight Breakfast

We also had a great time attending the In-House Recruitment Awards – Milkround sponsored Best Graduate Recruitment Strategy. Congratulations to the winner, Deloitte (Pink Squid)!


We attended the Apprentice and School Leaver Conference and chatted to attendees about creative and tailored campaign plans for the new year.

That’s it for our whistle-stop tour of 2017!

Feel free to get in touch with our sales team on 0333 0145 111 or email to enquire about your next recruitment campaign.

Please email for more information on any of our past and future events. partners with universities to support women in technology

Alongside the University of Oxford and Delft University of Technology, has established a scholarship programme designed to encourage and support women in their technology careers. A mere 30% of 7 million who make up the digital sector are women. As a result, women remain underrepresented across all levels.

The Women in Technology Scholarships form a two-year initiative that also involves awards and mentoring schemes, and a partnership with the European Commission.

Gillian Tans, Chief Executive Officer of said, “As a company powered by technology and digital innovation, believes strongly in ensuring equal access and opportunity for all within the technology sector. Recognizing that female participation in technology is lower than it should be, we are committed to bolstering female tech talent, eliminating obstacles and challenges they face, and fostering diversity.”

As of 2018, 15 scholarships will become available; ten for one-year Master of Science (MSc) courses (within the Statistics, Mathematical Institute, and Computer Science departments) at the University of Oxford aimed at female students across the EU, and five for two-year MSc courses offered at The University of Delft, Netherlands, available to students across a range of partner universities.

Find out more about the initiative 

Graduates recognise rising power of the regions

Graduates are increasingly recognising the benefits of living and working outside of the city of London.

With living costs continuing to rise against salaries in the capital, it’s no surprise that many graduates are grabbing regional opportunities with both hands.

Some of the UK’s biggest graduate recruiters have noted a recent shift in regional hiring, as an increasing number of graduates are seeking employment outside the capital.

Consulting giant Accenture has seen an increase in regional intakes from 6% in 2016 to 11% in 2017. Similarly, accountant giant EY claims the proportion of London placements has dropped from 61% in 2016 to 52% in 2017.

Boss of PwC, Kevin Ellis, welcomes the increased regional competition as a testament to young people really investigating the current working landscape. Mr Ellis says, “We’re seeing a growing interest in regional roles driven by greater awareness of the opportunities available, lifestyle considerations and the increased availability of technology, which is location agnostic.”

Likewise, Deloitte’s London roles “continue to be popular” alongside a rise in regional hires, according to head of student recruitment, Georgia Greer.

This trend certainly doesn’t mean graduates are falling out of love with the capital.

KPMG’s head of graduate recruitment, Linda Emery, says that ‘demand in London has remained at the same level as previous years, and our London placements are often the first to be filled’.

The increase in regional intakes is a welcome recognition of the abundance of opportunity supplied throughout the UK, as well as knowledge of the benefits of lower living costs and other factors.

Executive director of campaigns at business group London First, Naomi Smith, notes that, “Last year, 30, 000 more millennials left than came to London and housing costs are the driving factor”.


Original story from City A.M.’s front page, Friday 27th October 2017.

Barclays to tackle high cost of graduate job hunting

Barclays claim that UK graduates spend over £500 on average in order to land their first job. To help combat this, the bank will begin offering their graduate interviewees free accommodation in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

This will be welcomed by graduates who admit they have been deterred from applying for a job because of the sheer cost of getting to interview.

Many other employers in London already offer travel reimbursement. This should be considered a necessary requirement of the application process,  if the biggest firms want to continue to break down social mobility barriers when it comes to jobs in the City.