Women now make up half of the national workforce and earn more college and graduate degrees than men. However, in the STEM industries a gender gap still exists and is in danger of increasing. Just 15% of Engineering graduates are female, 19% for Computer Studies and 38% for Maths (WISE). A change needs to happen now before the talent pool of female workers grows even smaller.

There is currently a continuous effort to encourage girls to take STEM subjects as they progress through secondary education. However, many organisations are still not seeing this translate into increased applications for their Graduate schemes.

We spoke to our Talent Director, Debbie Edmondson, to see what can be done to encourage more females into traditionally male-dominated Graduate roles.

Reaching out to women

• Talent acquisition to include female-friendly images – showcasing day to day situations.

• Ensure your careers pages include profiles and real-life case studies of female employees. Help them to find out what it’s really like to work in your organisation.

• Engage with emerging talent by finding where they hang-out online. For example, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram- if you can tap in to a suitable site, joining discussion and interacting with female focused groups will widen your reach.

• Raise your profile as an employer by hosting competitions or offering rewards for the best female student of a particular degree subject or for a particular stand-out achievement.


• Engagement should begin from the outset, primarily in schools, following onto colleges and continuing to Universities. It is important to make any events you run female friendly, having positive female role models from the business can highly promote jobs roles.

• There are schemes at Universities which specifically look to increase diverse applications, for example ‘The Sprint Programme’ – check them out and see if you can get involved!

• Companies can offer mentorship and support during University- demonstrating commitment and care prior to the application process. This process gives individuals an insight in to what they can expect of the role post-graduation.

• Gamification may be worth considering, in order to offer potential female employees a chance to gain an understanding of real-life projects. Simulating work in this way or offering young people a chance to learn through employer designed material online, is a great engagement technique.

• Does your organisation run open days or events, offer internships, work experience opportunities, apprenticeships or industrial placements? If not then it might be time to think about implementing this – having an engaged pipeline ahead of your Graduate intake will undoubtedly save you time and money in the long term (as well as increase retention)


By reaching and engaging with the right people, you are making an investment in to your future.

The implementation of a robust recruitment strategy should always result in greater retention rates. By applying any of the above you will be improving your employer brand and giving, not only an excellent candidate experience, but a great onboarding one too.

Ultimately, you want to reach out to the best candidates (whether male or female) and your selection process should be designed to discover who this is. However, it is imperative to let all candidates know the opportunities open to them, and where you do struggle to attract female applications put appropriate measures in place to engage with them.

Download our free eBook ‘Your Diverse Workforce’ and find out what diversity means within the workplace and how a diverse workforce can be beneficial for your organisation. – Boost the talent pool and drive economic growth


Written by Josephine Lester, Marketing Executive


Last year Cohesion partnered with Lafarge Tarmac to implement campaigns for the recruitment of graduates and apprentices. In March, a number of assessment centres were run to find the right people for Lafarge Tarmac’s graduate programme.

We spoke to Emma Whitehouse, Senior Manager of Organisational Development, to find out more about her experience of the assessment centre and working with Cohesion.

“We decided to outsource our graduate recruitment last year due to a lack of internal resource and, after working on a number of roles ourselves, went to an external provider to fill the rest. But for this campaign we were looking for an expert recruitment partner with a track record of delivering excellent results.

We outsourced specifically to Cohesion because they have the expertise that we want. The teams we’ve worked with have been very personable and are clearly passionate about what they do.

There is a willingness, on Cohesion’s part, to meet with us frequently and work in partnership with us. They’ve been to one of our sites and seen first-hand what we do, this was great to see and shows their commitment to understanding our business.

We’ve built a great partnership and I feel totally comfortable going to the team at Cohesion if there’s an issue or a question I need to ask.

Late last year we began working with Cohesion to recruit 35 graduates and, after seeing such great results so early on, my expectations were high when it came to assessment centre stage. Our previous assessment centre relied on our Learning and Development and HR teams being heavily involved and they organised the entire thing; this year was very different and very structured- Cohesion absolutely delivered.

Amongst other things, having a proper recruitment campaign has meant that a lot of poor quality candidates were filtered out. The quality and calibre of candidates appears higher this year. Everyone has been thoroughly pre-screened and prepared by the recruitment team at Cohesion. Last year some of our candidates turned up without the relevant documents and should have been eliminated from the process. I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen this year- in some cases we’ve had too many great candidates and not enough roles to offer!

Beforehand there was nervousness from some of the assessors as they like to have contact with candidates before the assessment centre, but the whole thing has been extremely well structured and Cohesion have played such an active role in the process that I think any sceptics have been really bought in. A couple of the managers have emailed to say how impressed they were with the professionalism and general structure- they couldn’t fault it.

Working with Cohesion has been a pleasure. The best thing about working with them is their people. Everyone is so helpful- I’ve worked with a number of different graduate specialists, and each one of them has brought something different. The people I’ve been working with have made this a really enjoyable experience.

I would definitely recommend Cohesion as a recruitment outsourcer. Working with them has taken the pain out of the recruitment process- I haven’t had to worry so much about the schedule or where everyone needs to be. It’s been great to be able to step back- I’ve been able to talk to last year’s grads, this year’s candidates and line managers, which I couldn’t have otherwise done. The attention to detail, structure and overall efficiency has been something to behold.

We are confident in Cohesion’s expertise, they listen to us, they’re really flexible and very consultative- it really is a pleasure to work with them.”

Hiring Managers

The Hiring Managers at Lafarge Tarmac were so pleased with the results we produced, that they got in touch with Emma to provide further feedback on the work we’ve done:

“The calibre of candidate was very high and we identified candidates for all A&A vacancies across operations, logistics, commercial, land & natural resources. There were further high calibre candidates meaning there were difficult choices to make on who to offer the jobs to.”

“Cohesion made a very positive impression on the assessors in terms of their input to the process, their challenges during the wash up session. The feedback was unanimous that involving Cohesion was a very positive move

“The assessment centres were very well organised and ran very smoothly in terms of timings etc which presented a very professional image of our business and impressed the candidates.”

Video interviewing has been described as a new form of technology used across a variety of different roles and industries to boost the recruitment process and to achieve a face to face response to predetermined questions. These are ultimately aimed at saving time and money.

However, is this method really beneficial for your business, or is it a fad with no added value?

At Cohesion, our recruitment experts believe that this could add increased value to your business by reducing time within the interview process. Using this method to reach out to candidates can immediately eliminate people who are not willing to go the extra mile to secure the role. Video interviewing adds convenience as answers are recorded and therefore can be reviewed at any time. Signs can also be taken from non-verbal actions which often reveal personality traits.

A robust recruitment process is essential when it comes to retaining the right people! Using video interviewing as a selective tool gives the opportunity to remove candidates who are not able to perform when required.

There has been some doubt on this topic: some believe that the process is unnatural and is judging a candidate’s ability to perform when talking to a pre-recorded programme. And this method doesn’t work for everyone. However, in an increasingly more technologically advanced world is this the new stepping stone into a standard recruitment process? It could be something that aids the evolution of new and innovative recruitment strategies.

So, whether you are a recruitment manager who is all for the use of video interviews or you’re sceptical about the application of this new technology and wish to find out more information, please contact our recruitment team to discuss whether this would benefit you when working reach, engage and retain the best candidates for your business.

Written by Maxine Sher, Specialist Recruiter

Recruitment Outsourcing is a common tool used in today’s business market. Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is a great way to tackle recruitment issues- many organisations don’t have the time or resource to implement a recruitment strategy that really works and that’s where we come in.

At Cohesion, we believe the only way to achieve this is to create a solid and unified partnership between ourselves and the client to deliver great results by reaching out to great people who will stay longer. Trust is a major factor which is required on both parts to enable optimum results and to create a unified team with the same goal: to recruit the best and be the best

Our expertise lends itself to a recruitment experience like no other.

We took some time out to ask the opinions of our Directors and Client Relationship Managers to find out what sets us apart from the rest…

1. “We aren’t driven by money- our recruiters don’t earn commission, so we actually care about your business and getting the right candidate. This is proven by us focusing not only on filling roles but also on retention rates.”

2. “We want to help with the long term solution, this is why we review interview techniques and make valuable recommendations directly from our experts! We are in constant contact with the organisation, gathering feedback and making sure we are doing the best job possible”

3. “We build up talent pools for clients– candidates who didn’t quite make the cut last time might be perfect for another role in the future! We store these candidates’ details on our applicant tracking system so we have a constant stream of great people and, once they’ve applied for a role with one client, we won’t share them with any others.”

4. “Cohesion offers an excellent candidate experience – we walk them through the process helping them out at every stage to add confidence and structure to their journey.”

Outsourcing your recruitment to Cohesion will not only have a great impact on you, your business and your candidates, but a long-lasting one too. We truly care about working in partnership with you and ensuring that your people stay with you for longer.