‘Big Four’ Don’t Care About Your Grades

‘Big Four’ Don’t Care About Your Grades

1416 (1)There’s a big change happening in the graduate jobs sector right now. Four of the biggest UK graduate employers, PwC, EY, Deloitte and KPMG, are all starting to look beyond academics, with a shift to a system that primarily focuses only on candidate’s potential.

The message is clear from these top professional services firms; there’s a need to modernise the system they use to find the top graduate talent in the UK. It’s becoming increasingly imperative for these companies to increase their appeal to millennials, as well as improving diversity and promoting an increase in social mobility.

With the number of graduate jobs on offer finally returning to pre-financial crisis numbers, firms like EY have an increased interest in making sure some of the talented grads that might have slipped through the cracks in the past are being profiled properly. Absolutist conditions for successful applicants previously included at least 300 UCAS points (equivalent to three B grades) and a 2:1. These have been scrapped.

The focus has instead shifted to online assessments and numerical testing to ensure that only the best candidates are making it through to the interview stage. In June, PwC similarly scrapped UCAS points as a way of profiling candidates too. “A-level results vary significantly with proxies for social class — the south of England versus the north, parents who are better off and parents who went to university” says Richard Irwin, PwC’s head of student recruitment. “Those things can’t be predictors of whether you’re a good accountant or management consultant” he argues.

Deloitte have taken it to the next step, profiling applicants in a way that makes sure the socio-economic circumstances of the candidate is understood as a part of the process. They don’t think all grades are equal; someone with three B grades at a school that averages straight D grades, in fact, is highlighted as remarkable.


Refer a Friend For £100!

Refer a Friend For £100!

1251Refer a friend and the money is yours!

At Inspiring Interns we don’t mind where we get the top graduate talent from, so long as we get it! If you refer a friend and they go on to take one of our vast number of graduate jobs, then £100 will be yours.

So how does it work?

If you recommend us to a friend directly and they are asked in for an interview or to film a video CV, make sure they tell us who sent them our way.

Alternatively, if you come into our office for an interview or to film a video CV, and have a friend that wants to sign up to Inspiring Interns, pass their email on to the Talent Development Team.

How do I get paid?

Simple – If your friend lands any of our graduate jobs you’re quids in.

Just get back in touch with our team once your friend has been placed, and we’ll send you the money.

Interested? See our current graduate jobs listings to apply!

Women Asked Three Times as Many ‘Inappropriate’ Interview Questions

Women Asked Three Times as Many ‘Inappropriate’ Interview Questions


A new study by graduate recruitment app Debut, has uncovered a shocking disparity between awkward, even illegal interview questions asked to women and those asked to men.

In the study of over 2,800 individuals, it’s been uncovered that just under 25% have been asked about their future family plans, while more than a quarter were asked about their marital status.

Under UK law, employers are not allowed to ask questions with regards to love life, family plans, age or health, so these figures reveal a shocking lack of legality throughout the recruitment process.

While men are more likely to be asked about their sexual preferences, women are asked intrusive, inappropriate questions about almost everything else, including being almost five times more likely to be illegally asked about their age.

Check out the below infographics to find out more.


(Source: http://debut.careers/2016/01/07/women-three-times-as-likely-to-be-asked-inappropriate-interview-question/)

‘Choosy’ Graduates Turn Down Record Number of Jobs

‘Choosy’ Graduates Turn Down Record Number of Jobs

The UK’s top employers were left to ‘fight it out’ for the top graduates last year, according to market research company High Fliers. Their annual Graduate Market report notes that ‘over 1,000 graduate positions were left unfilled last year’ meaning a reduction in intake of almost a third for the UK’s top employers.

So in a graduate jobs market that appears to be getting increasingly competitive, why are so many sought after roles left empty? Managing Director of High Fliers Martin Birchall, thinks the problem derives from a handful of the most desirable graduates.

‘There are two distinct portions of the market. At the top end, employers have told us that the most sought-after graduates are holding four or five offers’ he said. ‘Overall we probably have twice as many graduates as there are jobs, but at the top end graduates are becoming increasingly choosy.’

With a number of offers in their hand, the top graduates are able to be considerably more selective and so increasingly the pressure is transferred to the top employers to attract their preferred candidate.

The Graduate Market 2016 report, is a study of the country’s top 100 employers graduate schemes, conducted in December 2015.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • The top 100 intend to expand their graduate recruitment by 7.5%, showing an increase for the fourth consecutive year, and taking graduate recruitment beyond the 2007 pre-recession peak for the first time.
  • More than 90% are offering paid work experience programmes for recent graduates for 2015-16, with an record 14,058 places available.
  • Graduate starting salaries are set to remain at median of £30,000, while 8 of the country’s best known graduate employers will be offering salaries in excess of £45,000.

Interested in applying for the top graduate jobs? Check out Inspiring Interns for graduate jobs London and graduate jobs Manchester.

Eight ways to find accommodation in London as an intern

Eight ways to find accommodation in London as an intern

By Sian Sullivan

Since starting as an intern for Liberty Living I have had the chance to be a part of a successful company in a fantastic location in London, living alongside students and other interns, both all year round and for the summer, in Liberty Living’s student accommodation.

During my time here, I have not only experienced many aspects of the company including data analysis, marketing and sales, but I have also gained an in depth insight into what is REALLY important when looking for accommodation as an intern and I would like to share them with you!

1. Location, location, location. This is one to consider carefully. If you have managed to bag yourself a placement year or internship in London (or any other major cities for that matter) then make sure you make the most of it and live close to all the action! Having the opportunity to live in zone one is something that students and interns can to do through private providers like Liberty Living that not many others get to experience.

2. Price. Work out your budget carefully allowing for accommodation, food, socialising etc. Choosing accommodation that is fully inclusive of all utility bills and internet makes life a lot easier – It also saves you money and the shock of big bills at the end of the month! Remember that your accommodation is where you will be spending a lot of your time so it is definitely worth spending that bit extra to be in a great location!

3. Staffed 24 hours a day. Now that you are working full time, it is likely that you are going to be out of the building during normal working hours. It is extremely useful to live in accommodation that is genuinely staffed 24 hours a day to allow you to speak to a real person no matter what time of day or night whether it is maintenance, signing for your parcel and keeping them secure or having someone to let you in if you forget your key! Not to mention the added layer of security it provides.

4. Demographic of the building. Chances are that when you move to London for your internship you will be doing so on your own therefore, it will be important to find accommodation that will introduce you to like-minded people (who preferably won’t wake you up at 3am). Staying in Liberty Living’s student accommodation is great for this. They not only accommodate first year students in certain buildings but also postgrad students and other interns.

5. 24/7 on-site laundry. Now this may be a slightly dull one but it is a necessity! No one wants to be walking down the road to a laundrette to do their washing. Having a laundrette on-site that is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week is extremely convenient. Taking the leap from being a student or unemployed to full time employment is a big one so convenience is the key.

6. Flexibility with rent instalments. If you have been to university before then you will know that the ‘three instalments’ method of paying is great as it matches up with the student loan payments. However, now that you are working, it is unlikely that you will be able to pay in three instalments or up front. At Liberty Living, when you provide proof of when you will be paid, a payment plan can be set up to suit you at the discretion of the management team.

7. 24/7 on-site gym. If you can find accommodation with a free on-site gym or access to a free gym then this is not something to pass on! Gym memberships in central London can cost up to £100 per month. If this is included in your accommodation’s rent then that is a lot of money you are going to be saving. I find being able to use the on-site gym is a great way to relax and keep fit after work.

8. Local amenities. At some point you are going to have to go food shopping so it is important to remember to look for accommodation that is in close proximity to food stores and other shops. Staying at Liberty House which has a Waitrose and Tesco two minutes down the road is definitely a life saver after a long day of work.

There are many other aspects and criteria to consider when searching for accommodation but these are my top eight to look out for. Liberty Living provides student accommodation, including summer accommodation, in 17 university cities across the UK, including Bedford, London, Stoke plus many more.

Sian Sullivan works as an intern for Liberty Living and staying at Liberty House in London.

Budget 2014: companies hiring graduates over apprentices to pay premium

Budget 2014: companies hiring graduates over apprentices to pay premium

By Alex Townley

The minimum age for contributions to National Insurance is set to be raised to 21, announced George Osborne today in the Budget 2014.

George Osborne presents the Budget
George Osborne presents the Budget
Hiring graduates is a costly business. Once you take into account the expenditure of searching for the right person, dedicating members of staff to interviewing and selecting the best candidate, and the initial training period, taking on a new employee is an expensive business.

When you then factor in salary and National Insurance, which currently stands at approximately 13.8% of the salary, and businesses’ reticence to expand their workforce is understandable.
It is, therefore, welcome news that National Insurance will be scrapped for under 21s from April 2015. Young people have suffered disproportionately during the recession (youth unemployment is still hovering around 20%, above the national average of 7.2%) so any move to address this imbalance is to be welcomed.

Inspiring Interns is, however, disappointed to hear that this announcement is limited to under 21s. As a result, a large proportion of graduates will be still be subject to National Insurance,, potentially creating a two-tier youth employment market where university leavers become ‘second-class employees’.

Ben Rosen, CEO of Inspiring Interns, said:

“George Osborne’s abolishment of National Insurance for workers under the age of 21 will help countless small businesses across the UK. But limiting this move to under 21s, and potentially punishing many graduates, is a confusing message while the Government to continue to tout the benefits of higher education to young people.

“In our experience at Inspiring Interns, a business’ most valuable asset is the people it employs; hiring a graduate over an apprentice or school-leaver should not carry a premium price – especially as apprenticeships already enjoy far greater political and financial support than equivalent graduate schemes. We have worked with over 800 companies across the UK and place graduates into meaningful internships globally: this tax is a slap in the face of many start-ups and growing businesses who wish to employ someone with a degree and does nothing to ensure graduates are employed in meaningful jobs.”

Inspiring Interns is the UK’s leading intern recruitment agency. We match ambitious graduates with growing companies across the UK. We work with companies ranging from big multinationals to brand new start-ups across the UK from our offices in London and Manchester.

Alex is the marketing manager at Inspiring Interns. He enjoys sport, cinema, admiring sharks from a safe distance (on TV) and supports Arsenal. Alex occasionally blogs on plainhelvetica.com, tweets @agtownley or you can add him to your circles on Google+. He is currently training for the London Marathon! Track his progress here: http://plainhelvetica.com/running-with-asthma/

Competition: create a short film for Sundance London

Competition: create a short film for Sundance London

You may remember a few months back our partnership with Talenthouse on giving you glorious grads the opportunity to enter their 3D Design Competition in partnership with 100% design and iMakr?

Well we’re back! We’ve taken our friendship with Talenthouse to the next level in 2014 and are pleased to announce our latest competition for you to get involved in. This one’s for all the fresh students and graduates out there interested in film making.

In association with #SundanceLondon, we bring you the opportunity to have your film screened as part of Sundance London Film and Music Festival, a curated event for students who love film, recognised as one of the most prestigious events in the film calendar! We’re inviting filmmakers and directors alike to submit a short 3-5 minute film inspired by the theme ‘Making A Go Of It’. For more details on the creative brief and how to get involved, take a look below.

Know any film fanatics keen to gain industry exposure? Share this blog post with them on Twitter, Facebook or link back here from your own blog and help us spread this competition! Success in an opportunity like this could not only boost your CV, it presents a fantastic opportunity for budding filmmakers to showcase their skills and talents on an exciting platform in front of potential employers and partners. Previous winners have been picked up by various directors and institutes, gaining prestigious recognition and a huge helping hand in the film world!

Hannah is a Digital Marketing Executive at Inspiring. She tweets about all things golden here: @hlcroberts and pins all things pretty here: gildthelilly. You can also connect with Hannah on Google+

Internships are a force for good but SME contribution under-recognised

Internships are a force for good but SME contribution under-recognised

“Record numbers of graduate jobs will be reserved for students who have completed placements at Britain’s leading companies,” today’s Telegraph article begins. Seemingly this is good news for graduates, but does it paint the whole picture?

We at Inspiring Interns worry that the survey, conducted by High Fliers Research, only took into account the opinions 100 leading employers across Britain, effectively ignoring the majority of graduate employers.

A recent IntaPeople survey showed that these ‘major’ schemes employ just 4% of graduates. This means that 96% of graduates will not enter a graduate scheme with one of Britain’s leading companies but start their careers in a junior role at a smaller company.

It is frustrating to see a survey that ignores the opinions of the hiring majority across Britain receive such extensive media coverage. With SMEs responsible for 71% of jobs created in 2009-10, surely they deserve a voice in the graduate unemployment landscape? What’s more, many SMEs that are ready to take on a graduate often struggle to attract applicants due to limited advertising budgets and in turn, many graduates are unsure where to look for these opportunities – only a certain number of companies can hope to be found by Google when they publicise vacancies on their website.

At Inspiring Interns we predominantly work with small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and our experience is that more and more businesses are looking at hiring graduates. Often this is done through internships, which give the company a chance to train up a candidate and see them in their workplace; on the other side of the coin it allows a graduate to establish if a role and a company is right for them. Because these roles are not specifically designated for graduates and SME activity is notoriously difficult to measure you will not find these jobs appearing in many official reports or surveys. But they do exist and they represent the reality of the graduate job market.

The figures speak for themselves: 66% of graduates that come to Inspiring Interns end up with a permanent job at the company where they have interned.

So while you should take heart from the latest High Fliers Research survey and acknowledge that you are much more likely to receive a job offer with some work experience under your belt, remember that working for one of Britain’s leading companies is not the be-all or end-all.

For a full list of our roles including marketing internships, advertising internships and PR internships check out these specific pages or check out ourLondon internships page.

Alex has been at Inspiring since December 2010 and manages the marketing team. He enjoys sport, cinema, admiring sharks from a safe distance (on TV) and supports Arsenal. Alex occasionally blogs on plainhelvetica.com, tweets @agtownley or you can add him to your circles on Google+. He is currently training for the London Marathon! Track his progress here: http://plainhelvetica.com/running-with-asthma/

The future of university: traditional vs. online?

The future of university: traditional vs. online?

If you were to ask a lecture hall full of university students where they saw the future of higher education going you’d probably expect the vast majority to say it’s going online. Our opinions of online learning are largely based on what we’ve seen so far; in other words, the widespread rise of online classes.

When we talk about technology-enabled learning, most people probably think of online classes, which have had mixed results so far. On one hand, online courses can make higher education much more affordable and accessible. On the other hand, not all students can stay engaged and successful without regular feedback and interaction with their instructor and other students. Even the best online classes cannot hope to duplicate the rich spontaneous interactions that can take place among students and instructors in the classroom.

Time, distance and affordability are just a few of the reasons why online classes can’t currently match the setting of a classroom or lecture hall. But these limitations will almost certainly be overcome, especially considering the pace of change in technology. With this in mind where would the current tech-savvy, Generation Y cohort actually prefer to study? The results of a recent survey may surprise you:

When students were asked what they perceived the future of education to be like, 39 percent claimed it would be more virtual with 40 percent blaming their reliance on technology for negatively affecting the growth of their interpersonal skills. But it was the 78 percent of students who still contend that learning in a classroom is easier than online that was really surprising.

Despite this revelation that seems to indicate that current students would rather learn in the physical classroom environment compared to virtually, those surveyed still acknowledged the benefits of learning online:

• Only about half of students polled thought that they truly needed to attend a class in a physical setting in order to get a good education
• The vast majority of students were willing to try out getting a professional experience online
• 84 percent of students use a computer in a classroom setting already

“Millennials understand that the future of education is online and since they were brought up with the internet, they are prepared for that change,” explained Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding. “Education should not be a one size fits all model because everyone learns differently, regardless of age, occupation and location. More online courses should be offered to cater to those who learn better in a virtual classroom.”

Clearly, the battle lines for the future of University have been drawn. Where do you think it’s heading: Traditional or Online?

Here’s a few thoughts shared on the subject on Twitter:

Sources: The Huffington Post | InTheCapital

Keep up to date with the launch of GradQuiz – check them out on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

Design a 3D printed product for 100% Design – competition

Design a 3D printed product for 100% Design – competition

Continuing our partnership with Talenthouse, the world’s platform for creative collaboration, we are pleased to showcase their latest 3D design competition in conjunction with 100% Design and iMakr, the world’s largest 3D printing store. 3D printing is the future of design, so now is a great time to get involved.

We’re looking for creative designers to design an item (furniture, lighting, tableware, technology or any accessory) in 2D or using 3D software. Five winners will have their designs printed in 3D and displayed at the 100% Design exhibition in September and one will win a 3D printer, worth £800! You can enter right here on the blog. You must submit your design by August 19th to enter.

Know any creative designers interested in embracing the future? Share this blog post with them on Twitter, Facebook or link back here from your own blog and help us spread this competition! Winning a competition like this could help boost your CV and hence your career, not to mention getting you in front of potential employers that might be interested in your work at the 100% Design show.