On Wednesday 8 March, at Brasserie Blanc, the Bright Network hosted a Research Breakfast where they launched their paper - What Do The Brightest Candidates Want to a room of talent acquisition experts and recruitment professionals. 

The research lifted the veil on the graduate market and their expectations when it comes to careers. 

Specifically, areas that were looked at included: attributes they seek in an employer, career perceptions, salary assumptions, application process and diversity and inclusion expectations. The findings were broken down by gender, economic background, year of graduation and ethnicity. Over two thousand students from universities across the UK took part in the survey, which ran from December 2016 - January 2017.

The findings sparked much interest from the group. The research revealed that when students were asked, 'What are the biggest barriers to pursuing any career path you wish?' 60% of respondents said that strong competition from other graduates was the biggest barrier to pursuing the careers path they wanted. This ranked in the top position, followed by lack of relevant experience and lack of contacts. 

This gave attendees excellent insight into why students might be put off from pursuing a career in their industry.

Another of the significant findings that generated the most discussion amongst roundtable members was salary expectations. The research revealed how male and female graduate salary expectations differed by over £10,000. Interestingly, women had a more realistic view of what their salary would be, but questions were raised amongst the group, including how are these expectations formed and how can we change these thought patterns?

The conversations were so thought-provoking, that we created a white paper to follow up the event, encapsulating all of the anecdotes, thoughts and opinions shared amongst the roundtables. 

You can get a copy of the Bright Network Research paper here and if you would like a copy of our white paper - What Do The Brightest Candidates Want? - The Employers' Discussion, please get in touch Ross.Davies@aia.co.uk, who will be happy to send it to you. 

Do let us know what you think once you've read it, we would love to hear your thoughts.

Bids & Marketing Executive

Josie co-ordinates TMP's marketing efforts across Europe. She is responsible for managing EmployerBrand.com, implementing the agency's social strategy and co-ordinating events around the UK and across Europe.