Exploring student and graduate perceptions of the working world: Our latest findings unveiled at Milkround’s annual Insight Breakfast

Milkround Insight Breakfast 2019

We had an exciting morning on the 4th July 2019, revealing our newly launched 2019 research into student and graduate career confidence, and their concerns when it comes to entering the working world.

The findings we shared, were from our Candidate Compass 2019 report, where we surveyed over 7,000 students and graduates on a number of topics, including career expectations, company culture, mental health, and whether students feel that employers are being diverse in their recruitment processes – including gender contrasts and how this impacts their perceptions of the future.

For 2019, we partnered with Universum, a global employer branding agency, who are leading in supporting employers through delivering talent market insights. Together, we shared valuable insight on Gen Z and how young people perceive employers and what makes them attractive.  

Milkround’s Key Findings

CC_Key-Findings_2019

 

How to stand out from the crowd as an employer

Claes Peyron from Universum delivered a fantastic presentation on the topic of employer branding, sharing a selection of tips for standing out from the crowd.

With students and graduates having greater options than ever before, it becoming increasingly important to ensure you’re seen as an attractive yet authentic brand to this audience. Universum’s Employer Branding Now Survey reports that differentiation is the number one employer branding priority for the World’s Most Attractive Employers.

How to gain talent through strong employer branding

  1. Revisit your key talent definitions
  2. Become more data-led
  3. Assess your Employer Value Proposition and the activation of this – the UK as a whole is focused on: having an inspiring purpose, having respect for people but also the commitment to diversity and inclusion – which isn’t a key proposition for other countries as a whole. What is most important to your company?
  4. Set long-term goals and KPIs – do you have employee-generated content to support corporate messaging and how is this tracked?
  5. Make sure your offering isn’t too generic and similar to other brands – stand out and have your own voice.

 

Top Tips from Student Minds

We were pleased to be joined by Scott Williams, Head of Development at Student Minds, who spoke about well-being among young people and how employers can best support those entering the workforce, as well as providing insight into their Graduate Well-being Report.

How to support student & graduate well-being and stress for those transitioning into the workplace:

  • Ensure graduates have a manager who is interested in their personal development
  • Provide graduates with someone they feel confident contacting if they are struggling with their well-being
  • Make sure graduates feel comfortable taking breaks during the workday, for example, taking a break for lunch
  • Support graduates in finding the work they are doing interesting
  • Ensure graduates feel able to keep up with financial pressures
  • Check that your organisation is proactive about promoting well-being
  • Allow graduates to feel included in work-related social activities
Source: Graduate Well-being Report 2017, Student Minds

 

To read our full Candidate Compass 2019 report or any of our other research, click here. To find out more, or if you’d like us to delve deeper into our research, contact us at: milkroundmarketing@milkround.com

Increasing Diversity in Recruitment with the UK Social Mobility Awards

We were delighted to attend the UK Social Mobility Business Seminar on the 19th of March.

The UK Social Mobility Awards have been established to recognise and celebrate the achievements of those organisations that are making huge advancements when it comes to social mobility in the UK. 2019 marks the third year of this inspiring series of events, and Milkround is proud to be sponsoring the Business Seminar and launch of this year’s awards.

We heard from keynote speaker, Nadhim Zahawi MP and Professor Anthony Heath of CSI Nuffield, as well as panelist members on the day: Matthew Coats CB, Sarah Moore, Steven Cooper and Yasmine Chinwala.

Professor Anthony Heath covered both research and insight into why organisations should be caring about social mobility. With the answer being that it’s not just about social justice and a moral argument, but there is also a business case for it too – with greater diversity and less groupthink creating a better work dynamic and working environment.

There is a wastage of talent if you or universities do recruit based on your social background, rather than an ability to do the job

Professor Anthony Heath, CSI Nuffield

It is therefore important that employers are making these changes, especially those large organisations who can use their size and reach to put a stamp on social mobility and create influential change in student and graduate recruitment.

Putting this into action

Both Steven Cooper, previous CEO of Personal Banking at Barclays and Sarah Moore of PwC discussed how they are helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds get into these industries.

With Barclays struggling to recruit young people into their Cardiff regional office and a realisation that they could be doing more when it comes to diversity, they created a successful apprenticeship programme, going into the poorest and least privileged schools to promote the opportunities within the bank. From this, Barclays were able to access a significant amount of talent, creating a strong business case for improving social mobility on a larger scale.

PwC shared insight into their 5-point plan and why it is important to be clear on what works for your business, how you are going to get there and what you are trying to achieve. For PwC, they found going into schools really built momentum and opening an office in Bradford enabled them to reach out to students from poor backgrounds, offering a training plan and giving them opportunities to strive for.

Diversity with Milkround

We recently worked with leading accountancy and professional services firms to improve social mobility in the industry. As part of this campaign, we educated our audience through content pieces on our site, ran workshops at schools across the country and hosted a national competition for students from lower socio-economic areas of the UK.

If you are interested in attending this event or learning more about the 2019 UK Social Mobility Awards, visit: uksomo.com if you’d like more details on how you can enter, contact Paola Contessi: paola.contessi@mtl.org.uk
For more information on how we can help you to become more aware of this topic and take steps to increase diversity your organisation, call us on: 0333 0145 111 or visit recruiting.milkround.com

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: https://recruiting.milkround.com/

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

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47106711
[2] https://ise.org.uk/page/BlogBrexitImpact

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
Email: sales@milkround.com

What are candidates really looking for? Milkround revealed all at this year’s graduate Insight Breakfast

On the morning of 20th June we held our annual Insight Breakfast, presenting our findings from the latest student and graduate Candidate Compass report. We had a full room full of conscientious employers waiting to find out what students have to say about their career confidence this year.

This year we surveyed over 5,700 students and graduates, asking them about their opinions of the so-called “graduate skills gap”, salary expectations and application processes. There was a strong emphasis around gender disparities and mental health, topics both highly relevant in current news. We offered recommendations along the way which are also cited in the downloadable version found here.

We were privileged to be joined by Barbara Dischinger from WISE, who also spoke at the breakfast. WISE enables and energises people in business, industry and education to increase the participation, contribution and success of women in STEM. Barbara focused her talk on Women in STEM and the gaps that persist.

Here is a snippet of what students and graduates had to say on some key issues:

Career confidence:
41% of females believe a lack of confidence holds them back
25% of males say the same

Productivity:
24% of respondents claim flexible working hours would increase their productivity

Influences:
34% of respondents say their personal values impact their career choices

Mental health:
17% of our respondents cite their mental health as a personal barrier

STEM:
49% of females would be interested in career in technology
73% of males would pursue this route

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

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
Email: sales@milkround.com

Female graduates’ low expectations contribute to early gender pay gap

New research by Milkround has revealed that over a third of female graduates expect a starting salary of £20,000, falling £10,000 short of the median UK graduate wage of £30,000 per year.

This, coupled with The Department of Education’s Longitudinal Education Outcomes findings, shows that the gender gap exists from the beginning of graduate careers, and even increases over time. In fact, five years into their careers, women earn on average £6,500 less than their male counterparts.*

We believe it is pivotal that graduate employers are dedicated to doing their utmost to tackle this.

Milkround’s Head of Marketing, Francesca Parkinson, highlights that: “Nearly 85 per cent of female graduates do not know their own value, which may have a knock-on effect in their future earnings. As the UK’s largest graduate advice website, we feel a responsibility to empower women in the workplace, helping them to realise their worth and build career confidence”.

As graduate employers, there is much you can do to ensure female graduates know their own value and possess the confidence to articulate this. By seeing that their employers accurately recognise their value and actively  work to erase the gender pay gap, graduates will feel confident that they will receive the salaries they deserve.

Raising awareness of the gender pay gap and its implications as a matter of social responsibility is, of course, a priority. However, only through conscious action that aligns with values of equality can we implement change.

The application process

As a graduate employer, you will know that many job openings will offer ‘competitive’ salaries. You may offer them yourself. Most graduates will embark on their own research as to what range ‘competitive’  consists of for a specific role or sector, but will sometimes set their salary expectations a little lower than the average in a bid to make themselves appear more desirable.

As highlighted by Milkround’s research, this is incredibly detrimental to women, who already face issues of inequality in the workplace.  By being clearer about what sort of salary you will be able to offer, you ensure graduates have realistic expectations and are not undercutting themselves from the beginning when it comes to salary expectations.

Be open to salary negotiations

As you would expect, it is unlikely a new graduate will have negotiated salary previously. It is important to remember this if a graduate with a job offer does not navigate the conversation in quite the same way you may be used to. Of course, this does not mean that it is acceptable for them to raise the point without politeness, accurate research, and proof of their exceptional skills. Simply put, female graduates should feel they can confidently talk about salary.

As an employer, it is key to establish a good relationship and appear approachable to your potential employee so that they can feel confident raising questions not only about the role itself, but about their salary expectations. Often, graduates will give a range for their salary expectations (for example, “somewhere between £23,000 and £25,000”) because they might assume by specifying only one figure, an employer will consider them too demanding. This fear of asking “too much too soon” contributes to the continued existence of the pay gap, and is commonly attributed to women more than men.

Be constructive and offer feedback and recognition

If a recent graduate asks for a raise following an acceptable period of time in your employment, or their salary expectations are higher than you anticipated prior to accepting a job offer, acknowledge that you understand the points they have voiced. Hearing that a raise is not possible will be disheartening, but if employers make it clear that an employee’s request has been thoroughly considered, the response  should be accepted and taken onboard. If you can, use data to reiterate your pay package is on par with the average.

Milkround continually see highly qualified and enthusiastic candidates; our recent Society Awards was host to a number of female students with incredible talent. As a result, it is alarming that young women not only have the glass ceiling to contend with, but also a ‘lead floor’. Without active employer influence, female graduates will remain wedged between the two.

We must continue to raise graduate confidence so they understand their own value and can articulate this. Far from feeling entitled, graduates need to know that even at entry level, they will be respected and listened to during salary negotiations. Maintaining self-worth, especially in female graduates, ultimately forms a self-aware workforce where individuals know their own value. Graduate employees should be able to trust that this is recognised by their employers, who are not only aware of the existence of the gender pay gap, but actively counteract it throughout the recruitment process.

If you’d like to learn more about our research into graduate salary expectations and the gender gap and the graduate market generally, download our whitepaper.

To speak to us about job postings or creating a tailor-made campaign, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0333 0145 111, or drop us an email at info@milkround.com. We pride ourselves on our graduate knowledge, because it comes directly from our audience!

*https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/619512/SFR_18_2017_LEO_mainText.pdf

Writing an effective recruitment email

We know that choosing and writing email content for you the marketer is not always the simplest of tasks.

But here at Milkround with a little analysis of our own we’re here to provide you with some top tips to get you the engagement you need to ensure that return on investment.

So first things first…

1. There is no one size fits all policy

  • What works well for one company may be a washout for another so it’s important to always keep the audience being targeted in mind.
  • For some of the more recognisable names, placing the brand name in the subject line can be a simple solution as that initial affiliation makes the reader want to know more.
  • For those less well known, it’s important to be direct and tell the recipient exactly what they will be getting. The golden rule is to be short and concise. The use of over complicated language or sentence formatting will almost instantly cause all attention to be lost.
  • These two small factors have seen emails exceed open rates of 30% compared to our overall average of 16%.

2. Make that subject line entice what’s inside

  • As our audience have signed up to the website themselves, this already tells us they want to engage with what we offer.
  • Think of it as a shopping experience where the recipient is choosing which kind of job they would like. You choose your targeting  which matches their choices so all that remains is delivering a key message which must relate to the offer.
  • There are no worse performers than those making a generic statement.
  • Why would someone who has signed up to receive tailored job alerts open an email aimed at many?
  • Simply stating what’s enclosed tells the recipient what they are going to get which is important as it’s relevant to what they want.

3. But make it snappy!

  • A mobile user will typically only ever see the first 4 words of the subject line on their device.
  • With 65% of our audience opening emails this way it’s crucial the key component of your message is stated from the start.
  • The same rule applies for the content of your message.
  • Ultimately, your email message should lure candidates to click through to find out all the information they need to know. This should be presented in a bite size and digestible format.
  • Consistently, our top performing emails follow this logic and achieve anywhere from2-6% CTR’s compared to the overall average of 1.4%.
  • The stats don’t lie…

We love your input – love ours to

We like to think we’ve been doing this long enough to really help you get the best from your targeted email sends.

Through using software which enables us to make sure your email is 100% deliverable and will not end up in the dreaded junk folder; we can combine your key recruitment message with our insight expertise.

Building your brand in the student market

Increasing your brand awareness can be a long process, especially among a younger audience. Ask any young person, and they will have most likely heard of many of the UK’s large blue chip fashionable companies, so how do small to medium sized businesses increase their presence in this audience?

Social MediaGet online.

Young people spend so much of their time online- whether at school, university or work. It is crucial to have a strong online presence in order to popularise you brand among this audience. Optimise your website by making sure your SEO is updated and relevant. Run a PPC campaign to make sure you’re getting your name out there (while hopefully generating some ROI).

And, equally as important as your website, get on social media. It is one of the most effective (and cost effective) ways to promote you business and enhance the visability of your brand. Pick a platform, and use it well. Engage with your followers, promote competitions, discounts or vacancies, and highlight your brands personality through your posts and image style.

Top tip: ‘behind the scenes’ or ‘a day in the office’ posts are an engaging way to show potential candidates what it is like to work for your company.

 

 

Get offlineGet offline.

If you’re looking to hire school leavers, students or graduates, make the effort to personally visit them. Visit employability fairs, go on campus and spread the knowledge of your brand. Take to these events the opportunity to get hired, or to have an interview or CV clinic. Organise an internal event where students or graduates can spend a day in the office or on the worksite shadowing an employee. (A few freebies never hurt either!)

 

 

Get offlineGet creative.

Visual appearance of your brand is crucial in order to stimulate a positive reaction. Explore with display advertising, presenting your brand online or in print, on youth brands. If this is out of your budget, reap the rewards of social media advertising, in which you can set your own spending budget. In addition, the Youtube and Vine phenomena has made video content extremely popular, and offers companies another fantastic, cost effective, branding opportunity.

Top tip: Present information in an infographic. Transform company research into a captivating experience for your audience.

Building our student & graduate audience

Find out how Milkround attracts candidates from top universities, and maintains an exclusive, quality database.

First day on campus

First choice from the first day on campus

We engage with students from the start of their university life. We visit Fresher fairs across the country and provide on-going career support until after they have graduated. Our links with careers services ensure we are a trusted brand on campus.

 

Career Confidence survey

Milkround’s Student and Graduate Career Confidence survey and report

As well as running surveys and polls to provide snapshots of student and graduate views and job hunting trends we also produce an annual Student and Graduate Career Confidence Survey. Read our most recent report here.

 

A trusted network of on-campus student supporters

A trusted network of on-campus student supporters

At Milkround we have a network of brand ambassadors across the UK that work on our behalf, registering students to Milkround and pointing them in the direction of our career advice.

 

An exclusive, protected database of 500,000 usersAn exclusive, protected database of 500,000 users

We have built our database over a number of years and never sell to third parties, ensuring your jobs are sent to an exclusive database of engaged candidates, keen to be targeted by you.

 

Supporting students through their graduate job hunt

Supporting students through their graduate job hunt

We support students throughout their university life with targeted emails to help their studies. We have exclusive content to allow students and graduates to research their career options and find suitable internships or placements.

 

Building effective partnerships

Building effective partnerships

At Milkround we aim to build effective partnerships with other leading student websites, societies and services to increase our reach to students via trusted brands. This supports our mission of providing students and graduates with career confidence.

 

Building candidate relations throughout the yearBuilding candidate relations throughout the year

We maintain a high profile on campus, attending career fairs and campus days to meet students and graduates face-to-face, whilst promoting client vacancies and gaining feedback on our services.

Advertorial writing guidelines

Milkround has one vision, to build career confidence in students and graduates. As part of this it is important to ensure that all content written for our website is inspiring and full of knowledge for our readers..

Advertorial

Here are some top tips to make sure your article stands out and is appealing to our readers:

Be inspiring.

Inspiration is difficult to define, especially when communicating with hundreds of thousands of students and graduates across the country, as everyone is influenced by different factors.

In essence, being inspiring is filling someone with a feeling of positivity, and with this the urge for them to do something positive too.

Publish statistics and news stories. Either telling good news about the graduate recruitment market, or reporting on negative stories, but following them up with advice on how candidates can take this information and use it to their advantage. Alternatively, report on the achievements of students and graduates as an inspiration for others. Giving examples of real-life professionals and how they developed their careers is a great way of inspiring Milkround’s community.

Be knowledgeable.

The easiest way to boost the credibility of what you’re saying is to back everything up with some statistics. You could also use quotes from industry experts, current employers or respected figures, anything that reiterates the point you are trying to make with a level of evidence and authority.

Be Friendly.

Try to add charisma and personality to your writing without falling into the trap of being too ‘zany’ by having a conversational rather than formal tone.