Graduate Recruitment on the Rise in 2013

Job placement is typically the number one concern for university students in their final year of university. With the relief of making it to their third year comes the looming transition from the safe, hallowed halls of academia to a less than friendly job market. 2013 graduates face the aftermath of worldwide economic recession, heavy competition from other recent graduates and seasoned professionals alike, and an impending university tuition bill.

Although competition is fierce, there are still plenty of employers looking to recruit 2013 graduates who know how to present themselves well. The economy is slowly but surely recovering, and many businesses that were on a hiring freeze in 2012 are now looking to recruit fresh talent from the newly matriculated. Things are looking up for 2013 graduates, but they must still be prepared for stiff competition.

While companies in general are recruiting more graduates in 2013 than they did in 2012, the starting salaries offered by the country’s top recruiters remain unchanged for the fourth year in a row. This news shouldn’t dishearten new graduates, though, because although the starting salaries they receive will be the same as last year, their likelihood of earning a salary at all has increased. Over a quarter of UK employers reported receiving fewer applications from 2013 graduates than last year, which means that employers must focus more on recruiting graduates with fewer coming directly to them.

So, where are these companies recruiting graduates? Career fairs, campus recruitment events, and online job posting websites seem to be the most popular recruitment venues for companies looking to hire 2013 graduates. Final year students would be wise to attend these events in professional attire with a copy of a well-edited CV in hand and be prepared to network.

Some of the top UK schools that recruiters are targeting in 2013 include Warwick, Nottingham, Manchester, Cambridge, Bristol, Durham, Oxford, Birmingham, Bath and Leeds. While it may be too late for graduates of other institutions to switch schools, they can certainly attend fairs at these highly targeted universities for networking opportunities. In fact, taking the time to seek out open career fairs outside of one’s own institution demonstrates initiative and determination to potential employers. Those are the very qualities that recruiters are looking for when hiring new talent to join their companies.

Graduates would be wise to take notice that employers are not only recruiting students who have already graduated, but those still in school as well. In fact, four-fifths of the top employers of graduates in the UK reported paid internship programs for recent graduates and current students alike. These opportunities, while likely not the sort of permanent, traditional employment a new graduate has in mind, make up a large portion of graduate recruitment.

These paid internships allow graduates to demonstrate their work abilities and give the companies that hire them a sample of the graduate’s work. If they like the way the graduate meshes with their corporate culture and find their work to be satisfactory, hiring officials are much more likely to hire the graduate for a full-time position.

While the job recruitment market is still far from what it was before the recession, statistics show that prospects are decidedly on the upswing for 2013 graduates. By attending career and employment fairs, browsing online recruitment sites, and being vigilant in pursuit of networking opportunities, 2013 graduates can increase their chances of being recruited for a quality employment opportunity before they don their cap and gown.

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