A graduate mortar board hat

Are you looking to hire a grad?

29 May
by Suzie Business Owner & Senior HRBP

As we enter exam season, a recent study reveals that 57 percent of UK employers are hiring fewer graduates this year compared to previous years. This trend is making it tough for young professionals to enter the workforce.

The impact on graduates is significant. Not only are they often saddled with a big debt, a staggering 62 percent of recent graduates are finding it hard to secure relevant professional roles. Over half of them describe their job search as ‘extremely difficult.’ Some have been looking for over six months, and nearly half are still without a job.

According to Adzuna, there has been a nearly one-third drop in graduate positions across the UK, which is double the decrease seen in overall job vacancies. This trend, combined with stagnant entry-level pay from last year, paints a bleak picture for new graduates.

A tougher economic climate means companies are reducing or even halting their graduate intakes. While this might save costs now, it could lead to talent shortages in the future, causing higher competition and costs for certain roles, similar to what happened after the Covid

pandemic in sectors like accountancy and law.

Despite Gen-Z being expected to make up over a quarter of the global workforce by next year, 57 percent of UK employers are cutting back on hiring graduates. Among them, 26 percent are hiring slightly less, and 31 percent are hiring significantly less. The reasons cited include tighter hiring budgets, reduced training capacity, and a shift towards hiring more senior talent.

Graduates are feeling the squeeze. Only a small minority find their job search easy. Many are struggling to find positions in their field of study as employers are holding onto their current workforce, while new graduates keep entering the job market at the same pace. This results in a growing number of graduates competing for a shrinking pool of positions.

Employers are also raising their expectations for entry-level roles. A study by StandOutCV found that more than half of these positions now require an average of 2.7 years of prior experience. Yet, employers still value a willingness to learn above other qualities like being a team player, prior work experience, and academic achievements.

Tips for graduates to boost their job search success:

Leverage social media and personal networks to find job opportunities outside traditional channels.

Enhance your CV with recession-proof skills through voluntary work or by learning relevant technologies.

Stay informed about market trends and key employers in your industry while thoroughly preparing for all interviews.

In conclusion, while the job market is tough for graduates right now, strategic efforts in networking, skill-building, and thorough preparation can help improve their chances of landing their first professional roles.

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