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Study: Younger Candidates (Recent Grads) Not Prepared to Succeed

Matt DeutschAre new graduates making the grade in today’s fast-paced business environment?

According to a recent study by the Global Strategy Group (on behalf of architectural firm Woods Bagot), the answer to that question is a firm “No!”

The study included the opinions of 500 senior managers and C-level executives, the kind of business people who know what it takes to get the job done.

Let’s start with the skills that these executives value the most in new graduates (and potential new employees):

  • 49%—Problem-solving
  • 43%—Collaboration
  • 36%—Critical thinking
  • 31%—Ability to communicate clearly and persuasively in writing

Okay, but what about social media skills and recent graduates’ proficiency with technology?  Those should be valued, too, right?

Wrong.  Only 5% of the senior managers in the survey rated those as highly sought-after attributes.

These results are somewhat surprising, especially if they’re indicative of seniors managers at companies everywhere—because what new graduates and younger candidates are bringing to the table are not what these managers are craving in new employees.

As you might expect, those who participated in the survey are less than impressed with recent grads.  Here are the numbers to prove it:

  • 65% indicated that people applying at their company right out of college are only “somewhat prepared” for success in business
  • 40% indicated that these people are “not prepared at all”
  • 47% believe that just 21% of new grads will advance past an entry-level position

These are sobering statistics, to be sure, especially since logic would dictate that these types of candidates will be more difficult for recruiters to place, no matter how much of a rock star they were at their institution of higher learning.

What’s been your experience with recent graduates?  If you haven’t had any, did what the senior managers say they value in this study correspond with what your hiring managers say they value in new employees?  If they differ, how are they different?

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(Matt Deutsch, the Communications Coordinator at Top Echelon, is a regular contributor to the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Blog.)

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