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Graduate Perspectives: So How Do Graduates View Your Industry?

Graduate Recruiter’s Breakfast Seminar 7 (BS’7)
Hosted by Bloomberg

The seventh Breakfast Seminar for members of the Graduate Recruiters Disability Café Club (GRDCC) was held on 26 April 2013 at the offices of Bloomberg. The focus of this seminar was to better understand how disabled candidates perceive different industries and sectors. This understanding helps inform recruiters about their decisions concerning branding and outreach, allowing recruiters to better articulate their disability agendas and in turn engage with disabled students.

In small-group discussions, representatives from a variety of companies spoke with disabled speakers about their perceptions of various industries generally, as well as attitudes toward specific companies and firms. The speakers researched the companies of representatives in attendance, so their perceptions were informed by information gathered from corporate websites, graduate recruitment websites, university careers services, and personal interactions. Speakers identified key aspects of branding that led to positive and negative perceptions, highlighting ways to attract disabled candidates.

Regarding websites and online marketing, the speakers identified with profiles of recent hires, and felt more positive toward companies that displayed profiles or blogs of disabled employees. Integrating disability information with other information, such as within an FAQ section, was also favourable, as it normalises disability and provides better access for disabled candidates who otherwise would hunt for information. Also, the sensitive and personal nature of disability led speakers to prefer companies who emphasised the role of one-on-one mentoring. The speakers felt more positive about companies with fully integrated websites, with continuity between corporate pages and recruitment pages.

Regarding personal interactions, the speakers preferred companies with well-informed representatives at university careers fairs, and having a named contact for disability-related questions was favourable. Where representatives are aware of disability-related CSR initiatives and networks, perceptions of the company are more positive as this suggests a company-wide awareness of disability.

The common theme emerging from these discussions centred on clarity of communication, and how companies can better articulate their attitudes toward disability to attract disabled candidates. The speakers at this seminar provided GRDCC members with insight into how their companies and industries are perceived by disabled individuals, which will inform future decisions about branding and outreach.