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Herman Trend Alert: Competition for Recent Graduates

Employers are showing renewed interest in fresh college graduates. For years, these young people have experienced frustrating difficulty finding stimulating and rewarding jobs after graduation. Many companies that had traditionally conducted on-campus interviews have been missing; the interest in graduates has been unusually low. Things are changing. Employers are showing renewed interest in college seniors, increasing their recruiting efforts and demonstrating stronger response to inquiries from students taking the initiative to find their preferred career-starting job.

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Herman Trend Alerts are written by Joyce Gioia, a strategic business futurist, Certified Management Consultant, author, and professional speaker. Archived editions are posted at http://www.hermangroup.com/archive.html

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From “Herman Trend Alert,” by Roger Herman and Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurists. Posted: Feb. 25, 2004, 9 a.m., EST

GREENSBORO, NC — Employers are showing renewed interest in fresh college graduates. For years, these young people have experienced frustrating difficulty finding stimulating and rewarding jobs after graduation. Many companies that had traditionally conducted on-campus interviews have been missing; the interest in graduates has been unusually low.

Things are changing. Employers are showing renewed interest in college seniors, increasing their recruiting efforts and demonstrating stronger response to inquiries from students taking the initiative to find their preferred career-starting job.

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Why are companies showing greater receptivity to new graduates? What is driving their new-found hunger for young people? There are several factors influencing this trend.

First, the growing economy has energized corporate recruiting. Employers are beginning to realize that they’re on the threshold of a serious shortage of skilled labor — people with the education, training and experience to perform the jobs that must be done. As these employers build and activate their employment strategies, recent college graduates are part of their mix of targets for a balanced, diverse workforce.

Technology issues challenge more and more employers. To address these issues and stay on the leading edge, wise employers want to hire people who are technologically-oriented, who are comfortable with creative design and change, and who can help lead the organization in a more technological future. The young people coming out of college today are significantly more electronically-oriented than their predecessors (though not as much as those who will follow them).

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Fresh ideas and the challenge of old ideas are important at strategic, tactical and operational levels of organizations. Today’s college students are learning to collaborate, to question the status quo and to look for new and different ways to get things done. They are learning flexibility as part of today’s lifestyles and the ability to adapt easily and quickly to the dynamics of corporate life in this new decade.

Employers are looking for college seniors who have proven themselves in different ways, academically and non-academically, who can grow into the jobs of the future. For the right graduates, employers will offer training, personal development and even pay off school loans. Competition will intensify.

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Copyright 2003 by The Herman Group–reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From “Herman Trend Alert,” by Roger Herman and Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurists. (800) 227-3566 or www.hermangroup.com.

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