Jobseekers turned off by jargon in job adverts

Our newest research, where we surveyed 2,000 graduates, found that 71% of people can be discouraged from applying for jobs because of jargon.

With nearly half (48%) of grads turning up to interviews still unsure as to the nature of the role due to the language used in the job ad, employers are encouraged to reconsider including buzz-phrases in job posts, as half (50%) would be put off applying for a job entirely.

A call for clarity

So, what do graduates want to see? Well, three quarters (75%) would like adverts to be written in plain English, but it isn’t just terminology and abbreviations that can be difficult to understand… Our research shows that job titles can be equally confusing, with ambiguous labels such as ‘New Media Czar’, ‘Coordinator of Interpretive Teaching’ and ‘Conversation Architect’.

64% of graduates inevitably feel that they can’t apply for a role if they don’t understand the job description and 71% claim that business acronyms in ads, such as ‘SLA’, ‘DOE’, ‘POC’ and ‘B2B’* leave them feeling underqualified.

Most misunderstood job jargon amongst graduates:

  • Open the kimono (82%) of grads who have not heard the term
  • Cloud-first (76%)
  • Growth hacking (73%)
  • Blue-sky thinking (67%)
  • Thought shower (64%)
  • Brand architecture (61%)
  • Low-hanging fruit (64%)

Decoding the jargon – How can employers avoid this problem?

“In response to the need for clarity, Milkround has created the Jargon Decoder to offer support to candidates needing guidance in navigating job ads and guidance for employers to provide clear, concise adverts.”

Georgina Brazier, Milkround

Our jargon decoder will ensure that your job descriptions are clear, concise and attracting more candidates. Give it a try by clicking the link below!

Try our Jargon Decoder

 

*Definitions:

  • SLA – service level agreement
  • DOE – depending on experience
  • POC – proof of concept
  • B2B – business to business

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

Students don’t feel clued up on STEM careers

A third of students feel underinformed about STEM careers, according to new research carried out by Atomik Research on behalf of Centrica. Nearly half of the 1,063 students between the ages of 14 and 18 could not name a female role model in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics.

Furthermore, nearly a third of male teachers (29%) believe that STEM careers are more suited to boys than girls, compared to 16% of female teachers. 23% of the teachers surveyed do not feel confident or do not know if job opportunities exist for girls going into STEM careers.

Alongside this,  research by L’Oréal found that on average, 55% of 16-18 year old students are not studying science. Of those, 40% said it was because they don’t think science would lead to a career they would want to do, and just under a third (29%) lack confidence in their science skills.

Combining these revelations highlights the continued existence of both a skills and gender gap within STEM subjects and careers. The next question is: what is the solution to and how can employers help?

L’Oréal has unveiled a new campaign that aims to encourage female role models to visit local schools and talk to primary-school aged children to help inspire the next generation of scientists. By informing young people about the vast array of opportunities that STEM careers could offer them, it is hoped more students, particularly females, can see their own potential in these industries.

Paul Gilliam, HR Director – UK & Ireland at L’Oréal, highlights how important education on science careers is, alongside supporting women already in STEM industries to ensure they are reaching their full potential and can be guiding lights for young girls.

“It is important that we proactively encourage women who are looking to enter into science professions and support those that are already there,” he says. “We believe fostering female scientists of the future starts much earlier in life, which is why, to mark the tenth anniversary of For Women in Science, we have linked with the Inspiring the Future programme, run by UK charity Education & Employers, to inspire the next generation of scientists by encouraging both boys and girls to take an interest in science at primary school age.

“Companies have a responsibility to give back to the community and we truly believe that by encouraging more scientists into schools and opening children’s eyes to the range of careers that science leads to, we can help make scientific jobs feel both exciting and attainable and ultimately achieve a better gender balance in science.”

Gender has been a hotly debated topic in recent months; but then it has always been. It must continue to be spoken about and acted upon to ensure equal gender representation and pay in all industries.

When it comes to STEM, employers within these industries can help to educate young people to open their eyes to the vast opportunities available to them. Engaging with young people throughout their school life may be a heavy time constraint, but this technique can be incorporated within your school leaver or graduate recruitment process.

School leavers, students and recent graduates care about social responsibility and equality. By showing them you too are invested in this in all levels of your company, from recruitment to the continued nurturing of employee talent, you will attract a diverse range of top youth talent.

For suggestions on how we could work alongside you to create bespoke campaigns that can advertise your job openings, or to raise awareness of opportunities in specific industries such as STEM through events or similar, please contact info@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

Halloween is coming… do you have tips to conquer career fear?

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Spooky season is in full swing… and we’re helping our school and college leavers conquer their career fears!

16-18 year olds find the post-school decision very daunting. They have a variety of options to take- but which one is best?

Concerns range from

  • ‘How much money will I earn?’
  • ‘How easy is it to get a job or apprenticeship?’
  • ‘Will I miss out by not going to uni?’

We’d love to hear YOUR advice for school and college leavers who are having to make these life changing decisions- what piece of advice can you offer them?

Your wise words will be hosted on our advice site, sent to our database of over 49,000 school and college leavers and also our teacher database of 7,000.

Please leave your words of wisdom in the form below to help school and college leavers conquer their career fear: