The top concerns of employers hiring new college grads

shutterstock_interviewSummer is here, which means a new batch of college graduates is gearing up to join the workforce. For the majority of employers, the seasonal influx of new talent is welcome news, as 57 percent of companies plan to hire new graduates this year, according to a new study from CareerBuilder and CareerRookie.com*.

 

But are new graduates as prepared for the real world as they need to be? Twenty-four percent of employers surveyed say no, indicating that they don’t feel today’s institutions are providing adequate preparation for the jobs they need to fill. Some concerns cited by employers include:

 

  • There is too much emphasis on book learning vs. real-world learning (53 percent).
  • Entry-level roles are becoming more complex (26 percent).
  • There is not enough focus on internships and apprenticeships (16 percent).
  • Technology is changing too quickly for academics to keep up (16 percent).

If your staffing firm is recruiting new graduates, ensure you are hiring candidates that today’s employers will find attractive. That means looking for graduates with a good mix of academic and real-world experience.

 

While job history and internships are important factors in hiring decisions, today’s companies place a high value on candidates who can bring real-world knowledge and learning to their roles. This relevant business experience could come in the form of volunteering, extracurricular activities, travel abroad or other activities that show personal efforts.

 

The same goes for graduates who take steps to hone their skillset for a particular field outside of the classroom. Such candidates are not only more desirable to employers who are looking for employees who are proactive, but those candidates also prove they are prepared to adapt to new technologies, whether it’s by attending technical workshops or maintaining a blog about industry trends.

 

(*The online survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,138 hiring managers and human resource professionals ages 18 and older between Feb. 10 and March 4, 2014.)