2012 post-secondary graduates to face flat labour market: Report

Campus recruitment reduced for third straight year

The class of 2012 post-secondary graduates will face the same flat job market as their peers from 2011, with hiring rates virtually frozen, according to the 2011 Campus Recruitment and Benchmark Survey Report.

The report, published by the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE), also found that graduates of colleges and universities will have trouble connecting with employers who are hiring because campus recruiting activities have been reduced for the third straight year.

However, those who find employment can expect to make more money, since starting salaries will climb by 10 per cent over the previous year, found the survey of 324 employers across Canada.

“Campus recruiting is a barometer for the rest of the economy,” said Paul Smith, executive director of CACEE. “A flat labour market for grads is evidence that the economy is still sluggish in a number of sectors, but growth in starting salaries shows that the employers who are hiring are competing for the best and brightest.”

While many industries are maintaining or reducing their current hiring activities, others are experiencing a different issue — they can’t hire enough talent. Skills shortages are emerging in two sectors, mining and telecommunications, which are critical to the overall health of our national economy, said CACEE.

“We have graduates who can’t find work and employers who can’t find workers, and that must be frustrating for both,” said Smith. “We have a case of mismatched supply and demand, and it looks likely to continue.”

Employers are looking for grads with strong verbal communications, analytical thinking and work ethic, found the survey.

Other highlights of the 2011 report include:

Nearly 50 per cent of reported positions for new graduate hires in 2010-11 came from Ontario. The Prairies followed, with approximately 25 per cent of all 2010-11 offers.

•The average cost per hire for the 2010-11 recruiting season was $3,923.

There is a clear trend toward more use of social networking and online job-posting sites as a substitute for on-campus recruiting.

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