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



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

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

Milkround’s latest insight into the school leaver market

Our Insight Breakfast

On Wednesday 15th November, Milkround offered our latest insight into the school leaver market. At our annual Insight Breakfast, we launched the findings from our most recent report, the School Leaver Candidate Compass 2017.


Lizzy Hunt and Ellie Green from Milkround’s marketing team share our report findings


It was a pleasure to be joined by The Prince’s Trust, who offered their own insight into social mobility in the school leaver market and how they actively tackle this, as well as how we as employers can all do more.


Russell Knight from The Prince’s Trust shares insight into student social mobility


We were also joined by two amazingly talented apprentices from Jaguar Land Rover and Grant Thornton – thank you Lucy and Holly! It was great to hear the positive impact apprenticeships can have on our young people and how these individuals have smashed barriers and challenged misconceptions held by some of their peers.

Key Findings from the Report

Our survey received over 3,200 responses, with the vast majority of these students studying AS or A Levels currently.

73% of school leavers believe the GCSE reform is a negative change. A third worry that employers will not understand the new system.

70% of our respondents do not believe it is crucial to have a university degree in order to have a successful carer.

98% say they are primarily told about the university as a career choice in school or college.

19% of our respondents who received free school meals had differing views on their future careers than their non-free school meal counterparts.

Download the report.

Milkround’s School Leaver Candidate Compass Report 2017

Download your free copy of Milkround’s School Leaver Candidate Compass Report.

This year, over 3,200 school leavers gave their voices to our report, offering their opinions on apprenticeships, how they decide on a career path, how confident they are about their future careers, as well as their perceptions of the soft skills they possess versus the skills they think employers are looking for.

We also spotlight how socio-economic factors may affect the opinions of school leavers when it comes to choosing a sector to begin their career in.

sl cc

If you have any questions about this report or our research into the school leaver or graduate market, please get in touch: info@milkround.com



Social mobility in the student and graduate market

As businesses continue to strive for diversity in the workplace, Milkround took a look at how socio-economic factors alter the decision-making process undertaken by students and graduates when considering their careers.

Measuring socio-economic factors

In 2017, Milkround launched our annual Candidate Compass survey, delving into the career mindsets of over 5,300 students and graduates. In order to measure how socio-economic factors may impact career-based thinking, we asked our respondents whether they had received free school meals; 18% had.

Our resulting report revealed differences in career perceptions of students who were eligible for free school meals during their education and those who were not.

Why does socio-economic diversity matter?

As an employer, diversity must always be highly prioritised. A diverse workforce is one that is representative, inclusive and from a business perspective, ultimately more productive. Therefore, it’s essential your recruitment process appeals to a wide spectrum of candidates. Crafting a recruitment strategy that is inclusive of students and graduates from lower socio-economic backgrounds relies on the awareness that socio-economic status affects career decisions.


Free school meal respondents (FSM) placed weight on different influences when it came to deciding on their future career paths, in comparison to non-FSM students.

41% of our FSM respondents claimed their family significantly influenced their career decisions. The role family played was a close second to a candidate’s personal interests, at 43%.

In comparison, a larger percentage (63%) of non-FSM students listed their own interests as their biggest influence. 40% also listed their degree topic and 39% claimed reading job descriptions online impacted their career choices. The discrepancy between family and a candidate’s own interests was much greater for non-FSM students, at 28%.

top career choice influences.JPGFrom this, we can infer that FSM respondents rely more heavily on their family for information when it comes to jobs. They also place greater weight on their careers service (40%), showing they actively seek a broad range of opinions when making their own career plans.

Career confidence

It also seems socio-economic background has implications for career confidence. Only 19% of our FSM respondents are optimistic about their future career prospects, versus 56% of non-FSM respondents. 67% of FSM respondents also feel pessimistic about their future salary.

Be part of the solution

The best ways to reach candidates from lower socio-economic backgrounds, who may have been the first in their family to attend university and consider the career options this route can offer, is to make real connections with them.

By hosting or attending events inclusive of individuals from traditionally low-income areas of the country, or specific schools and universities, you can educate and engage students who may not have considered certain career paths previously.

Read the full report

To find out more about advertising apprenticeships or graduate roles with Milkround, or to discuss a tailored, inclusive recruitment campaign, give us a call on 0333 0145 111, or email info@milkround.com.

School Leaver Candidate Compass Insight Breakfast 2017

You’re invited to Milkround’s School Leaver Candidate Compass Insight Breakfast.

When: 8:30-11:00am, Wednesday 15th November 2017
Where: Foyles, 107 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DT

Book your FREE place here.

Join us to explore the mindsets of the school leaver market following our latest Candidate Compass report, containing findings from our survey of over 2,000 16-18 year olds.

How can you attract and recruit school leavers? What are their opinions on apprenticeships, and has this changed? What are their concerns when applying for their first jobs? Which soft skills do they believe they have, and which do they need support with?

Register on Eventbrite by 20th October to secure your place!

Any questions?
Email: ellie.green@milkround.com

Call: 0333 0145 111


Milkround’s Candidate Compass Report 2017

Our recent survey of over 5,000 students gave us some great insights into the current mindset of the graduate market. This year’s Candidate Compass report touched on reneging job offers (a surprising 70% of graduates would be willing to withdraw after accepting a role), graduate salary expectations and self-confidence surrounding soft skills.

Our Candidate Compass report is available to download:

Milkround Candidate Compass Report 2017


cc 2017

Help our candidates shape their careers

We recently conducted a survey with over 5,000 students and graduates, to gain some insight into their feelings about the current job market, future career prospects and expectations of prospective employers.

From our research we found that 70% of candidates thought reneging on job offers was acceptable! We are keen to find out your opinions on this, and more. Support our candidates with their career development, by completing our anonymous survey here.

As a ‘thank you’, you will be entered in to our prize draw to win a £100 John Lewis voucher!

Missed our Millennial Insight Breakfast?

Milkround’s ‘Inside the Minds of Millennials’ report is a fresh look in to the minds of millennials told to us by the millennials themselves.

With this piece of research, we’ve gained an insight into this generation which, according to the BBC, will make up 75% of the global workforce by the year 2020.

We look at some common misconceptions around this generation of young workers and ask for their perspective on themes such as professionalism in the workplace, home ownership, travel, employer loyalty, and their close relationship with social media.

To see the key takeaways from the report, click here!


For more information, or to see the full report, just get in touch!


How do you engage with Career Development Professionals and School Leaver parents?

Image for Milkround School Leaver Career Confidence Report 2015

We want to find out if engaging with key school leaver influencers is part of your recruitment strategy. We would really appreciate you taking the time to fill out this really quick, two paged survey.

If you leave your name and email at the end, you may also win a £100 Amazon voucher!*

Click here to take part.

*Winner will be chosen at random and contacted on 6th June 2016.