Trends in graduate recruitment in the USA

The job market for graduates will be good in 2017

By any definition, 2016 was a great year for fresh graduates when it comes to finding a job. According to a report published by CNBC, 2016 was the best year for college graduates in a long time. The report claimed that employers hired 5% more graduates in 2016 compared to previous year, which allowed 1.9 million fresh graduates to find jobs with ease.

As the unemployment rate dropped last year for fresh graduates, the things look also prettier in 2017. According to latest statistics by the “Bureau of Labor Statistics”, the unemployment rate is just 4.8% in the United States in 2017 and only 2.5% for college graduates which is even lower than 2016.

This is very promising data for the fresh graduates, estimated to be 2 million in 2017. According to a survey conducted by SocialTalent, majority of the employers, almost 56% claimed that their hiring volume will increase in 2017. Some more promising results derived from the survey are:

  • The top 3 jobs for graduates in 2017 are sales, operations, and engineering.
  • 48% of the quality hires by companies are based on employee referrals.
  • 52% of the talent acquisition budget will be consumed by traditional sources like job advertisements and recruitment agency costs.
  • The three top trends in graduate recruitment are more diversity among employees, soft skills assessment, and reliance on latest technology and innovative interviewing tools.

It is more than evident from the statistics that the year 2017 is no different from 2016, which was considered as one of the best years for graduates. But, when it comes to quality of the job and higher salaries, the competition is fierce.

Top Hiring Trends in 2017 for Graduates

We have listed some of the top trends to further explain what lies ahead for graduates in 2017.

1. More and More Businesses are Hiring Graduates

According to last year’s Michigan State’s Recruiting Trend survey, 2016 was the seventh straight year with an increase in the percentage of employers looking to hire graduates. For 2017, out of 4,350 employers, 83% rated labor market for graduates as “good” or “excellent”.

Many other similar surveys pointed towards the same fact – businesses are looking to hire more in next few years. No matter the size, small, medium or large corporate, everyone is looking to hire fresh talent which is great news for graduates.

Here is the list of top 10 industries with the fastest growth in last one year.

  1. Construction (54%)
  2. Administrative services (53%)
  3. Finance and insurance (39%)
  4. Healthcare and social assistance (38%)
  5. Accommodations and food services (38%)
  6. Government (33%)
  7. Nonprofits (28%)
  8. Utilities (23%)
  9. Agriculture (21%)
  10. Professional, business and scientific services (19%)

Here is the complete list of top 18 industries that are hiring the most number of graduates in 2017.

2. Higher Salaries, Tougher Competition

As the competition in the market between the top companies is getting fierce, the hunt for the top talent is also on the rise. All major companies or even smaller ones seek growth, with that, there is a demand for the best graduates who can contribute to this growth.

But the problem is, companies are looking for top talent, and they are not willing to compromise on anything. This means, for top jobs, there is not only a fierce competition but also no margin for error. From a top-notch resume to best communication skills, graduates will be tested at every step during the recruitment process.

It also means, companies are spending a fortune on more innovative and scientific ways to hire top talent. HR managers are becoming more innovative, using latest tools to evaluate a candidate that look more into personality and personal traits. Simply put, HR is now more focused on people analytics.

For more details on finding and securing a top job, check out this informative article and infographic by HandMadeWritings.

3. Skills, Skills, and Skills

Employers are increasingly more interested in skills you have over your educational background. This means, when writing a resume, graduates must focus more on skills compared to other information.

According to one study published in BBC, employers now prefer soft skills when hiring graduates over other things like technical knowledge and academics.

It is imperative for graduates to acquire soft skills during their college or university years. The same study claims that employers are willing to provide training for the technical knowledge if the graduates have required soft skills.

Learn more about how this new attitude by employers has even long term effects on our education system and social norms, “Degrees don’t matter anymore, skills do.

4. Experience Counts

According to a survey published in “The Atlantic”, employers are more interested in experience than in academic.

Here is the list of what employers look into when hiring graduates.

  • Internships
  • Employment during college
  • Volunteer experience
  • Extracurricular activities

When writing a resume, make sure you have included all of the above.

Above listed are the latest trends in graduate recruitment. We hope this information will help you find and secure the best job.

Illustration: Richard Dunham


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