Alberta and Ontario employers hire most grads: Survey

Average starting salary for honours grads $48,885

Alberta and Ontario employers accounted for the majority of all campus hires in 2008 and nearly all new graduate hires remained with their first employer for at least one year, according to a new campus recruitment and salary survey.

Campus Hire Salary Survey 2008, by the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE), surveyed 200 organizations across Canada and found 80 per cent of graduates were hired for jobs in Ontario and Alberta and 97 per cent of new graduate hires stayed with their first employer for at least one year, though that proportion is lower in smaller companies.

The goal of the survey is to provide a province-by-province breakdown of full-time and internship recruitment of new graduates and help employers with campus recruitment efforts, said Markey, executive director of CACEE.

"The results show many discrepancies in recruitment practices and their effectiveness, as well as significant opportunities and challenges for specific geographical regions and industry sectors," said Markey.

The mining sector had the toughest time recruiting new graduates with an offer-acceptance rate of just 59 per cent, compared to the average acceptance rate of 82 per cent, and health services firm reported a significant problem filling vacancies, even though they had an offer-acceptance rate of 78 per cent.

Survey highlights:

•Alberta and Ontario accounted for nearly 80% of all campus hires.

•On average 97 percent of new graduate hires remained with the initial firm after one year of employment, although smaller companies have significantly lower retention rates than larger companies.

•The average starting salary for new hires with an honours degree was $48,885, ranging from $43,000 (health services) to $60,000 (investment banking).

• Only 15 per cent of employers offered a signing bonus to campus recruits.

•Professional services jobs topped the list of full-time job offers, followed by oil and gas, retail and telecommunications.

•Nearly 50 per cent of all reported hires this past year were for accounting, followed by engineering.

•Acceptance rates for jobs offered to new graduates was 82 per cent.

•Sectors that faced the greatest challenges hiring students were mining (59 per cent acceptance rate), retail (74 per cent), education (75 per cent), non-transportation manufacturing (76 per cent) and health care (78 per cent).

•The median cost per hire is $5,150.

•2009 recruiting is projected to be lower than in 2008.

•The most effective recruiting tools are job postings on websites (75 per cent effective rating), information session (65.2 per cent), and career fairs (61.2 per cent)

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