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How to create a powerful graduate recruitment campaign

Attracting the best and brightest students and graduates is not down to chance. Creating a powerful campaign and clear and meaningful job descriptions has an important role to play in achieving this. Here we discuss ways you can further enhance your graduate campaigns and our tips for implementing these actions and processes.

There are a variety of ways to engage with students and graduates and promote your employer brand or understand where communication issues may be faced and straighten out the wrinkles.

We offer bespoke campaigns that are specifically tailored to your needs. There are also online tools available that allow you to fine-tune the wording of job advertisements to ensure your job advertisements are not off-putting to potential candidates who might otherwise be interested.

Bespoke campaigns

Bespoke campaigns are highly advantageous in helping firms attract the crème de la crème of potential job applicants from universities. We are in a strong position to help with this. Working with us also helps you pinpoint why you may be facing challenges communicating with students effectively or raising employer brand awareness. All companies face different issues, and bespoke designs are cultivated uniquely to help you address the specific problems you face. We are experts in the student and graduate recruitment field and can tailor campaigns accordingly with consideration to intake sought and budget available.

Tips for Employers

  • Consider the use of bespoke campaigns in targeting graduates to ensure the process is customised to achieve your specific goals
  • Identify creative ways of attracting candidates to your brand, such as through advertorials

Junk the Jargon

Jargon in job adverts is detrimental to attracting candidates and encouraging them to apply for your roles. The use of wording that may have been designed to appeal to graduates can backfire, as it may well not be understood.

We wanted to understand the impact that jargon has on job advertisements, so we undertook a survey of 2,000 recent graduates. Our research showed that jargon was off-putting for 71% of respondents, discouraging them for applying for roles. In addition, almost half of all respondents reported that they went to job interviews without completely understanding what the role entailed due to the jargon making the job description unclear.

Following on from the survey, we analysed 32,000 job advertisements to find jargon within them. The findings showed that on average every job advertisement has 4.1 examples of jargon.

To help companies address this problem, we have developed a Jargon Decoder. This helps companies produce clear communications that candidates can understand. It can also be used by candidates to gain a better understanding of what advertisements mean. The text checker provides an indication of the percentage of readers that are likely to not understand specific words, to help with addressing and rectifying problem areas.

Tips for Employers

  • Use our Jargon Decoder to identify jargon
  • Edit job advertisements to remove jargon as it is not understood, and it may put off great candidates

Gender Bias Decoder

Unconscious bias is a real problem in job advertisements. The words included in an ad can attract more men than women or vice versa due to the way that some words are associated with stereotypes of male and female. This influences the actual number of applications from different genders.

Our sister company Totaljobs has created a Gender Bias Decoder that checks any written text for hidden gender bias. Job advertisements can be copied into the tool, and it analyses the words for hidden meaning. The Decoder flags words that may be perceived as masculine or feminine. As an example, it shows that the words “analyse” and “aggression” are words that people associate with masculinity, and that “understand”, and “compassion” are words that are linked to femininity. Using the tool allows the job advertisement writer to quickly see any bias towards male or female wording and to address it.

Totaljobs has used its Gender Bias Decoder and has analysed nearly 350,000 job advertisements. Within these more than two million gendered words were identified. The study showed that 35% of ads were male-biased and 45% female-biased, with only 20% unbiased. This is part of a wider problem of gender bias in the workplace, which impacts negatively on the potential of achieving equality at work. Science-based and leadership roles were far more likely to be male-biased while social care and assistant roles were much more female-biased.

Why is this important for employers?

If job advertisements are written in a manner that is biased towards one gender over another, then that advert may not attract some of the best applicants for the role.

Tips for Employers

  • Raise awareness in your recruitment team that some words have male connotations and some female, and that this affects job applications
  • Copy your job advertisements into the Gender Bias decoder and reword them to make them more balanced