Attraction and marketing for early careers

15 May 2019

Thank you to ISE for a brilliant set of talks around attraction and marketing for early careers. Here are a few highlights!

A shrinking pool

Since 2009, the number of 18-year-olds in the UK has been declining. This means a smaller talent pool for early careers employers to target, which can only mean one thing – you need to up your marketing and attraction game!

Young people are less prepared for work, having had little or no work experience, with only 21% of 16-17 year olds currently in work. This skills shortage is a great opportunity for employers to give something back on open days, while also showcasing their graduate or apprenticeship programs.


Open days

School open days or engagement sessions are a great way to get in front of students making up their minds about their future career paths. Here are some top tips to ensure you and the students get the most out of your time together:

  • Don’t treat this day as merely a sales pitch. Teachers care about bettering their students and helping them to develop new skills – and you should too! Create an event around a particular school, for example: CV writing workshops, or things they should know before starting an apprenticeship or office job, such as how to navigate tricky situations or learn and development while on the job
  • Align your talks with the school curriculum. Are you looking for STEM students? Pick out a topic that the students are studying in those subjects and help bring it to life with real life examples of how they could use that knowledge in the workplace
  • Give clear next steps, not merely: “here’s the link, go online and apply”. You could help them to identify their key strengths, help them to pull apart job descriptions in a way that they can see whether or not it’s right for them, or recommend a follow up meeting to guide them through the process



While attitudes to apprenticeships are changing, some students still see them as a second option, or are only open to people wanting to learn a trade. Make sure your apprenticeships are a first choice comparable to a university placement by ensuring your narrative addresses the concerns and hopes for students.

  • Narrative: Students are likely to consider apprenticeships if they know it won’t harm their career, and that it will be as beneficial if not better for their career as going to uni is
  • Explain the benefits both financially (no debt) and in terms of development and responsibility
  • A major draw card of university is the lifestyle and social aspect, make sure to highlight similar benefits of undertaking an apprenticeship

If you’d like to shake up your early careers marketing, get in touch!

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