October 15, 2020 / Hiring

Unicode: Embracing the Change in Campus Recruiting


One of the many jobs/industries impacted this year has been Graduate Recruitment. Usually, campus recruiters would currently be at the peak of their powers, Starbucks (other coffee suppliers available) in hand and ready to make the journey to yet another university careers fair.

In 2018, employers were marketing their vacancies at an average of 22 universities through recruitment presentations, local careers fairs and skills training. This year, employers have instead had to rely on online events and platforms.

Early Careers specialist Jessica Booker posted on LinkedIn about her initial scepticism around the effectiveness of online fairs, but how she now can't see organisations wanting to go back to the old format with the added flexibility and efficiency of online events.

So, with university engagement shifting online, and mindsets changing when it comes to the effectiveness of online campus recruitment, there's never been a better time for a platform like Unicode.

Unicode is an online engagement platform, with thousands of the brightest tech graduates from across the globe going head-to-head in coding challenges. With students from over 80 universities competing, Unicode gives you the power to leverage your brand and engage with the future of great tech talent online, through sponsoring a challenge.

One of the biggest reservations with online campus recruiting seems to be the reach. Naturally, you'll reach fewer grads at a careers fair that doesn't involve them looping around for multiple slices of free pizza (we've all been there), but Unicode gives you that captive audience of tech talent.

To them, it's not a careers fair; it's fun. It's an opportunity to showcase their ability, regardless of background, compete in a team and win various prizes; for companies, it's a chance to promote their brand as they would at a careers fair, but with the added bonus of creating a great candidate experience, without really having to do anything.

A crucial thing to highlight is the 'regardless of background' factor too. According to a Bright Network report, 1 in 4 students believe their background has hindered them in an application process, with Unicode we're looking to help change that.

It takes the emphasis off background, experience and academics; highlighting the technical ability of each Unicoder instead. Whether the top teams and coders are from Coventry, Cambridge, Durham or Sunderland is irrelevant – they're judged and ranked only on their coding ability.

It also means that as a recruiter, you're not limiting your options as you usually do with campus recruiting. As mentioned previously, companies only target 22 universities on average – despite there being over 100 universities in the UK.

For office-based roles, it may be a case of targeting specific locations, but with this year proving how effective remote working can be, there's no excuse for narrowing your search so much, especially when it comes to tech.

The skill gap is a real issue in the industry, but you're not helping yourself if you're neglecting talent from 80% of UK universities. Unicode has students from over 80 unis competing, giving you the option to widen your talent pool massively and find out which universities produce the best tech talent.

So, if the future of campus recruiting is online – or at least more of a combination than it has been in the past – then Unicode is the ideal tool to engage tech talent. You can find out more about the competition and sponsoring a challenge or subscribe to fixture updates to see which universities come out on top!

Alex Adams
Marketing Executive

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