2013 College Graduates Enter an Improved Job Market, but Employers Express Concern about Their Skills, SHRM Research Shows

Jun 11, 2013
ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 11, 2013 — This year’s college graduates and post-graduates are entering an improved job market, but employers have noticed a mismatch between the skills of those applying and those required for positions, according to the new Hiring 2013 College Graduates Survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The survey, conducted in March, showed that 53 percent of employers planned to hire 2013 college graduates.

A lack of current openings was the most common reason cited by the organizations that had not hired or don’t plan to hire graduates (68 percent). Twenty percent of organizations said they had not yet hired graduates or don’t plan to because graduates are under-qualified for open positions.

Almost one-half of organizations (49 percent) believed that 2013 college graduates are lacking the knowledge and basic skill of writing in English (grammar and spelling). Eighteen percent believed they are lacking in math skills, and 13 percent believed they are lacking in English speaking skills.

Organizations have become hesitant when hiring 2013 college graduates because of potential deficiencies. According to the survey, one-half (50 percent) of employers believed 2013 graduates lack work ethic and professionalism, 44 percent noted a lack of business acumen, and 35 percent cited a lack of written communication skills.

Although the number of college graduates and post-graduates entering the workforce has increased over the years, more than one-quarter of employers reported that it was “very difficult” to fill positions in the engineering field (27 percent), high-skilled technical and programming fields (27 percent) and the skilled trades fields, for example, electricians, carpenters and plumbers (26 percent).

Of the graduates hired, 71 percent accepted full-time positions, and 70 percent were offered “about the same” compensation (salary and benefits) compared to college graduates during the past three years.

The survey includes responses from 468 randomly selected HR professionals from SHRM’s membership.

The poll is available on shrm.org at http://shrm.org/Research/SurveyFindings/Articles/Pages/Hiring2013CollegeGraduates.aspx Follow SHRM Research on Twitter @SHRM_Research.

Media: For more information, contact Gabrielle Pidal of SHRM Media Relations at 703-535-6072 and gabrielle.pidal@shrm.org or Kate Kennedy at 703-535-6260 and kate.kennedy@shrm.org.

About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 260,000 members in more than 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has 588 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at shrm.org and follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.

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