Recruiting, Talent

Recent Graduates Are Struggling to Find Work

We’ve written before about the difficulty recent entrants to the workforce are facing as they start their careers in remote settings. But recent survey data from Monster suggest that a remote start to a career may be a nice problem to have when looking at the recent graduate population as a whole.

College graduates
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Graduate Sentiment on the Workplace

The survey asked recent and future grads questions to gauge their feelings about entering the workforce, and the results paint a bleak picture. Here are some of the more striking findings:

  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) have accepted a job out of desperation—45% because they needed the money and 20% to pay off student loans.
  • Sixty-eight percent of recent and impending graduates are worried that future employers will view gaps in their résumés because of the COVID-19 pandemic negatively.
  • On average, graduates estimate the pandemic has set back their career goals by 6 months.
  • Over two-thirds (69%) of recent and impending graduates expect lower salaries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Eighty-five percent of recent and impending graduates worry they will miss out on a positive job experience or benefit as a result of starting work during COVID-19.

Forward-thinking recruiters should be conscious of the anxieties and concerns recent and impending graduates are dealing with. This group is quite literally the future of the workforce, and companies that can leverage an understanding of their motivations and concerns will be well-positioned as starting points for potentially promising new careers.

Remain Cognizant of Concerns

For example, a company that wants to attract top talent could show recent graduates it’s cognizant of their concerns of missing out on in-person networking opportunities due to widespread remote work by implementing and advertising a robust and meaningful mentorship program. Additionally, companies with limited payroll budgets might be able to find creative means of providing nonmonetary benefits to recent graduates who have expressed a willingness to receive slightly lower salaries for the right opportunities.

As each generation enters the workforce, recruiters and HR teams need to be aware of the impact societal factors and major events have on the psyche and the expectations of those groups and adjust their recruitment strategies accordingly. The companies that continually attract the top talent year after year do so with dynamic and thoughtful approaches.