Designed to… attract graduates

Designed to… attract graduates

graduate attraction

Does your company want to attract graduates for recruitment? If so, now is the time of year to think about how you are going to go about it.

Remember, a graduate is looking to start their career – not get a job! And you are most likely looking for someone who can grow with your company. You both need to make the right choice. It’s a long-term commitment for both sides – employer and employee.

Judi and I have been working with companies for many years now who attract graduates. We have found that although the method of graduate attraction changes – how much is online and offline – a number of constants remain.

It’s all about finding the perfect match

Because finding out about a person or a company is ridiculously easy now, as an employer you need to be up to scratch (OK – same goes for the graduate!). Nothing will discourage potential candidates, or customers for that matter, more than an organisation falling short of boasts or promises.

So what will a graduate be looking for? In our experience, to varying degrees they’ll typically be after the following qualities in a potential employer:

Graduates want:

  • to know what they will be doing day-to-day
  • an identified training programme
  • clear professional progression and future prospects
  • friendly orienteers, buddies or mentors
  • variety of work
  • to feel valued
  • to have travel opportunities
  • to join a company that behaves ethically
  • to join a company with a responsible environmental footprint
  • to make friends

Did you think money was going to be in the list? Surprise! Although it’s obviously important, that’s NOT always a top priority!


Tips on attracting graduates

Be honest – or you’ll be found out! If you are a small company, you most likely won’t be able to tick all of the ‘want’ boxes, but that’s OK – just be clear about what you are offering. And if you’ve had bad press, get that dirty laundry out and wash it in public – everyone makes mistakes.

Don’t try to be hip – unless you are a company of recent graduates and that’s just the way you are. It’s like dad-dancing – don’t go there!

Be concise – a graduate needs to be able to make an informed decision.

Choose the right media platform – you need to be where your graduates are. This isn’t being trendy, it’s about being accessible. Being on social media platforms means that you are open for dialogue and collaboration – honesty and transparency are what graduates are looking for.

Write well – match the tone of your writing to the graduate – whether that’s on your website, Facebook page or in a brochure or exhibition stand. Write with your reader mind. Think about what they need to know, not what you want to tell them!

Show them what your organisation is like – use real (not stock!) images of people at work. Pay attention to aesthetics because that may be what first attracts an individual to look at your company.

We have examples on this site of graduate attraction projects – most recently for Baker Hughes, and also BP. If you’d like to find out how we can help you attract graduates, please get in touch!

If this, then that – wow!

If this, then that – wow!


I first looked at IFTTT – ‘If This, Then That’ when a fantastic plugin I used called ’LinkedIn Include’ – which pulled your articles (not your profile or stream) from LinkedIn onto your WordPress site – was eventually blocked by LinkedIn (hey –ho!).

I discovered that IFTTT is quite frankly – brilliant!

IFTTT has a bank of prepared ‘Recipes’ you can use, or you can make your own. A Recipe is a connection between products or Apps. Recipes come in two types: DO and IF. DO Recipes run on your device triggered by personalized button – you can do things like; trigger a call to get you out of a meeting (US only); email someone to let them know you are on your way home; turn up the heating for when you get home! IF Recipes run automatically in the background and are connections between Apps, If this (ie a Twitter action), then that (ie a Dropbox action).

I wanted to do more on Instagram, and I’m not a great self publicist, but I am working on a long-term project for myself I’ve called #treetwoproject so that seemed the perfect way for me to use IFTTT. So I take a picture of a wonderful Oak tree on my morning walk – which I will eventually present animating to show how the countryside in that snapshot changes. From Instagram I run three IFTTT ‘Recipes’, one posts the picture I have taken as a native Twitter image (everyone should do this), one sends the posted image to my Dropbox, the last puts it onto Pinterest (this one is a bit flaky).

OK – that’s good, but what else can it do?

Well, pretty much anything when you have two Apps that are connected to you! For example:

  • Collect Tweets or blog posts from a particular user to a Google spreadsheet
  • Set up a Twitter search for key phrases like ‘I need a designer’
  • Your Google Calendar appointments can be sent as text alerts
  • If you are following a particular hashtag, when it’s used have that user added to a Twitter list
  • Send your WordPress posts to LinkedIn
  • Create scheduled and recurring Trello cards
  • Unmute your ringer in the morning (oh yes!)

LinkedIn in only works one way, so I cannot replicate LinkedIn Include, but I have streamlined a lot of my day!


Sky-blue-pink is the new black?

Sky-blue-pink is the new black?

the new black?

Colour is an important part of how we express ourselves. Colour can make us feel more comfortable, more assured, more attuned.

First impressions count, and colour is the first thing you notice in a logo or visual footprint – 80% of visual information is related to colour* – it does so much work to tell your story before even getting to your logo, typography, image style, use of white space, your tone of voice, and use of language.

You may not like pastels and they may not be appropriate for your business, but each year there are trending colours. I tend to stay away from pastels as they are notoriously hard to colour match on-line and in print (your logo colours should always be colour matched to appear the same on-line in RGB, and when printed as Pantone and CMYK), but if you are a fashionista, ‘Rose Quartz’ and ‘Serenity’ are the trending colours for 2016 from Pantone.

Two colours were selected this year, which is a first for Pantone. They were chosen to connect with the zeitgeist for gender blurring, along with the idea that using two colours reflects ‘a soothing sense of order and peace’ (Leatrice Eiseman/Pantone). What do you think – did they hit the mark? Is your colour palette colour matched for use both on-line, and in print?

2016 will see a move towards logos that lend themselves to animation, as video content becomes a more important factor on websites and social media (think of the new Channel 4 graphics, rather than the new BBC 3 logo!). For example, take a look at the logo Angie designed recently for the Milner Therapeutics Institute. It’s based on the idea of a Möbius strip with a bit of Escher influence – a three dimensional structure with two ‘faces’ that are separate but inter-dependent, representing the symbiosis of research and industry facilitated by the institute. With its building block, three dimensional form, it’s perfect for animating. The colours represent the mix of creativity (orange) and stability (dark blue).

Milner Therapeutics Institute

How is your company logo standing up – does it still match your business purpose? Does it need refining? Is your colour palette working for you? Does it need a seasonal tweak? Or consider adding some accent colours. I’m not saying go pastel! Have a think, and then contact us to discuss!

This is how Instagram tweaked its logo and added colour


More reading on logo colour

20 x 20 PowerPoint presentations

20 x 20 PowerPoint presentations

20x20 Powerpoint
One of things we quite often get asked for, is help with a PowerPoint presentation. This can vary from setting up a template that reflects our clients’ – quite often new – look and feel, or translating complicated slide content into something visual and easy to understand, to transforming a ‘death-by-PowerPoint’ presentation into something the audience would find engaging. We have been given raw presentations of 50 plus slides (no kidding!). The client knows this isn’t looking right (thank heavens!), so comes to us for help. More often than not, the detail can go into the notes (or the bin). We then go back with a stripped down version – but all the creative writing the client has done is hard to let go, so we will end with a compromise. But – Hurrah!! – the audience gets to stay awake!
How to make a better presentation – think differently!
For those of you who write PowerPoint Presentations, have a look at PechaKucha – it is how you would want a PowerPoint presentation to be if you were in the audience. PechaKucha is a format devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture, and has grown virally into a global social phenomenon. The idea is simple – the PechaKucha 20×20 format – 20 slides, preferably as visual as possible, with an end-to-end story delivered by the host, each shown for 20 seconds. It is engaging and captivating. Go to the site and check out a few; PechaKucha, it could change the way you construct your next presentation!

Do you need help with your PowerPoint presentation? Does your PowerPoint template reflect your company brand? Having trouble distilling information into a graphic – for PowerPoint or anything else? Get in touch if the answer is yes!

> See more posts on LinkedIn

Why Snapchat’s Only Non-Ephemeral Content, The Profile GIF, Is A Big Deal

Why Snapchat’s Only Non-Ephemeral Content, The Profile GIF, Is A Big Deal

Not everything on Snapchat disappears. As much as the app wants memories to span just 10 seconds and live for just 24 hours, one piece of content doesn’t self destruct. The profile GIF. And through its permanence, Snapchat has found a way solve a major problem with its identity system and social graph.

Snapchat Profile PageSnapchat quietly added the profile GIFs in July alongside the flashier shift from tap-and-hold-to-view to tap-to-view. When you swipe down from the Snapchat camera to the profile screen you’ll see your Snapcode QR code that others can scan with their Snapchat camera to follow you. But if you tap on the QR code, you can shoot a series of 5 selfies that Snapchat turns into an animated profile GIF. This appears inside the normally white body of the Snapchat ghost icon inside your Snapcode.

At first, the point seemed to be to customize your Snapcode. This encouraged people to share it more widely, getting more users following each other. This strengthening of the social graph is critical for the company, since following people fills its app with content that keeps you coming back.

But since then, I’ve realized there’s another important purpose for the profile GIFs. They appear  in the Added Me list when you follow someone. Here’s why that matters.

Before, when someone added you on Snapchat, you knew nothing but their username. Due to the app’s inherently anonymous nature, younger user base that’s less interested in tying all their online identities together, and its racy reputation as a sexting app, many people’s usernames provide little hint to who they are. You often can’t even tell the gender or language of someone by their username.

This is a much bigger problem for Snapchat than other apps like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter where people typically have some public content or a real name available that informs whether you want to follow them.

Added Me GifsThe only thing you could do on Snapchat was to add them, then check to see if their Story was interesting (if they’ve posted in the last 24 hours) and then decide whether to unfollow them. That’s a lot of work. I’d bet a lot of people just never follow back rather than put in the effort. This is especially troublesome for more popular Snapchatters and creators that promote their accounts publicly and let anyone follow them. If you receive lots of new followers each day, there’s no efficient way to decide if you want to follow back.

But the profile GIF provides more transparency to someone’s identity.

Now in the Added Me list, you’ll see the profile GIFs of anyone who’s created one. Immediately, just the fact that someone has a profile GIF tells you they know their way around Snapchat, and they’re probably better at creating content. You’ll also get a peek at their identity. Selfies can tell you someone’s age, gender, and more. Personally, I find really little kids send me more low-quality snaps than older teens and young adults, so I don’t follow them back. And finally, you get a little taste of their style. Did they do something funny with their GIF? Did they try to tell a tiny story?

As Snapchat evolves to provide more forms of content, communication, and utility, the profile’s significance is sure to grow. I hope Snapchat introduces group video chat, and the profile GIFs could work well as a holding screen while you wait for people to join the call. Though the app began as bare-bones ephemeral messaging, it’s becoming the hub of youth communication. Permanent GIFs give profiles the substance necessary to be a foundation of that hub.