It’s graduation Season. Across the country Colleges and Universities are graduating a new crop of prospective employees who are about to begin their search for the perfect job. The good news for these grads is that 67% of employers surveyed by CareerBuilder said they plan to hire recent college grads this year. The numbers haven’t looked this good in almost a decade. Although employers report that they plan to pay these new hires more than they have in the past, even with this increase more than half of those entry level positions will start at $40,000 or less.
Much like in years past, employers are still concerned about the skills their new prospects are graduating with. More than 42% of employers surveyed felt that graduates did not have enough leadership skills, while 37% found that communication skills, both oral and written, were lacking. While creative thinking, project management, research, math and technical skills were all on the list of items employers felt were lacking in new grads, the overall consensus was that there are not enough real world skills taught in the classroom.
If new grads aren’t up to par, why are so many looking to hire them? According to Rosemary Haefner, CareerBuilder’s Chief HR Officer, “In addition to an improving economy, we are beginning to see a rising number of retirements, which is creating more room for advancement and creating more opportunities for entry level candidates.” As reported in SHRM’s Aging Workforce study earlier this year, now that the Baby Boomer generation has reached retirement age, businesses are faced with the reality of losing many workers with key talents, experience and skills. The challenge of dealing with skills shortages as many older workers retire and developing the skills of a younger workforce are on the minds of business leaders across the nation. Many hope that new hires can learn from the Boomers before they go.
The national CareerBuilder survey was conducted online by Harris Poll between February 10 and March 17, 2016, and included a representative sample of 2,186 hiring managers and human resource professionals in the private sector across industries and company sizes. The CareerBuilder press release with survey information can be found here.