Graduates ‘highly’ concerned about their future employer’s culture

A survey of recent graduates has determined what attracts millennials to their future employers.

The research was carried out by recruitment specialists, The Works Recruitment, who have offices in both Bradford and Leeds. The results identified the top employment motivators to be salary (84%), followed by location (74%) and access to development opportunities (69%).

The Works, whose client base is made up of more than 700 manufacturers, commissioned the survey in order to provide further insight into career motivators and tackle the industry’s widening skills gap.

The manufacturing sector plays a huge part in the Yorkshire economy, and desperately needs to attract talented graduates. With more than 127,000 manufacturing jobs in the Leeds City Region (highest of any Local Enterprise area in the UK) ¹, there are thousands of valuable opportunities for young people.

Along with the top three motivators, graduates were also highly concerned with the culture of a firm when applying for a job. Of the survey results, Craig Burton, managing director of The Works Recruitment said: “The results of our survey were absolutely fascinating and gave a real insight into how millennials are making their career choices and where their priorities lie. Many cited culture as a key driver and inclusivity as a really important factor to them.”

Diversity and inclusivity can be an issue for manufacturers, with some of the latest statistics identifying that women make up just 11% of the UK’s engineering workforce² and according to the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers, only 7.8% of UK engineers are from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds³. This is despite figures showing that an average of 25% of engineering university graduates are from BME backgrounds4.

In order to appeal to graduates, Craig advised that employers must first tackle these issues. “Manufacturers must modernise if they want to attract future talent. Small changes to a business, such as wellbeing programmes and flexible working, reflect a people-centric culture and can go a long way when it comes to influencing perceptions.  

He added: “There are the obvious things, like making sure that you’re advertising vacancies between April and June, when we know that most graduates are actively looking or ensuring you have an online presence given that 71% of candidates will look at a business’ website and more than half would turn to social media to determine values, ethos and personality. Then there are the wider issues, such as developing a diverse workforce that is welcoming to all.

“None of these adaptations can be taken lightly, and manufacturers must adapt in order to attract a pipeline of skilled, valuable talent.”

The research was carried out by Magpie and commissioned by The Works Recruitment. The respondents were made up of 200 graduates from across the UK, between the ages of 20-28.