Just graduated? Here's how to navigate the job market
With graduation season looming, what sort of employment landscape can the graduating class of 2023 anticipate? New research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half has identified five emerging patterns that college graduates should take into account when embarking on their professional journey.
- Multiple interviews — Employers typically conduct four interviews with an entry-level candidate before extending an offer. But the process moves fairly quickly, with companies taking five weeks on average to make a hire.
- Questions that gauge soft skills — One in five managers attribute their hiring mistakes to placing too much weight on technical skills. To avoid making the same misstep, employers are asking situational questions to learn more about a candidate's traits and interpersonal abilities, such as self-motivation and collaboration, which are especially critical in hybrid and remote work environments.
- Preparation and follow-through — Beyond skills, managers said the following actions can tip the scales in an applicant's favour:
Researching the company (67 per cent)
Maintaining a respectable online presence (51 per cent)
Sending a thank-you note after an interview (49 per cent)
- In-office time — While remote work gained prominence during the pandemic, less than one in three entry-level jobs (29 per cent) are advertised as hybrid or fully remote. However, off-site opportunities are more common for technology and finance and accounting positions.
- Hiring bright spots — College graduates can increase their chances of finding work by exploring roles and industries with the most jobs available.
Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half said that while there are plenty of opportunities for the class of 2023, upcoming graduates should prepare for a rigorous hiring process. "Landing the right job requires patience and persistence. It's important for first-time job seekers to target their search, tailor application materials, network and be proactive throughout the process."
McDonald shares three pieces of advice for recent graduates who are job hunting:
- Pinpoint your priorities. Figure out what matters most to you in a job so you can focus your search. Consider deal makers and breakers, and potential compromises.
- Request an in-person interview if the role requires in-office work. This will give you a chance to get a feel for the commute, company culture and your potential colleagues, which are all critical aspects of ensuring a good long-term fit.
- Prepare to negotiate. The job market continues to favour skilled workers. Ask for the salary you deserve and other nonmonetary perks you value before accepting an offer.
The results are derived from an online survey that involved 2,175 hiring managers in the US, and a proprietary examination of almost 2 million entry-level job advertisements (that require a college degree and 0-2 years of experience) across over 1,000 autonomous job boards and company websites all over the US in 2022.