Employers are gradually hiring more recent college graduates this year, according to a survey of 2,878 hiring managers and HR professionals in the United States. Forty-six per cent of respondents said they plan to hire recent graduates in 2011, up from 44 per cent in 2010 and 43 per cent in 2009.
Of these, 26 per cent reported they will offer higher starting salaries than they did in 2010, an improvement from 16 per cent in last year’s survey and 11 per cent in 2009, found the CareerBuilder survey.
Thirty-one per cent of employers plan to offer recent college graduates starting salaries ranging between US$30,000 and US$40,000. An additional 21 per cent will offer between US$40,000 and US$50,000, and 24 per cent will offer US$50,000 or more. Twenty-four per cent will offer less than US$30,000.
“Employers are more optimistic overall and, as a result, are looking to bring in entry-level workers to build their workforce for the future,” said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. “Companies are adding jobs in a variety of areas and need fresh, educated talent to fill those roles.”
The most sought-after skill sets from new grads are:
• Strong written and verbal communications (69 per cent)
• Technical skills (57 per cent)
• Project management (44 per cent)
• Research (30 per cent)
• Math (31 per cent)
• Knowledge of using mobile applications and technologies (21 per cent)
• Public speaking (20 per cent)
• Basic accounting skills (21 per cent)
• Adept at using social media (16 per cent)
• Bilingual (15 per cent)
While work experience is one of the most influential factors in the decision to hire recent college graduates, found the survey, other activities qualify as relevant experience:
• Internships (68 per cent)
• Part-time jobs in another area or field (51 per cent)
• Volunteer work (41 per cent)
• Class work (34 per cent)
• Involvement in school organizations (33 per cent)
• Involvement in managing activities for sororities and fraternities (20 per cent)
• Participation in sports (12 per cent)
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