When fresh graduates embark on the journey of seeking their first job, they face a lot of challenges. Although career growth and learning remain their top priority, 66 percent of them feel underprepared for their first job. To understand the challenges faced by these recent graduates while seeking a job, Monster India conducted a survey, ‘MyFirstJob’, which has made some intriguing revelations. On the other hand, it has also captured employer’s perspective on hiring fresh graduates, giving a complete overview of the first job search process.
Here are a few insights from this survey to understand these challenges and their solutions:
Job Sites: The best job source
Most of the job seekers, 28 percent of them, found their first job through job sites. Second in line are connections of family and friends at 18 percent. Only 10 percent of the candidates said that they get their first job through campus placement. And a 6 percent of them are lucky to be placed at the company they are interning with.
Top three challenges at first job
Most graduates don’t feel work ready even after joining their first job. 37 percent of them are not ready for the work life and 29 percent feel they lack the domain expertise. While some of them face personal challenges, others find it difficult to deal with organizational challenges related to working hours and flexibility. 22 percent candidates chose reasons like long work hours and lack of flexibility as top challenges.
First Job: Stay or Quit
Jobseekers today are on a constant lookout for opportunities and are likely to stay at a job only if it offers better career prospects. 29 percent candidates exited their first job in less than one year. Professional growth and work opportunities were reasons for quitting the jobs for around 60 percent of them. On the other hand, 33 percent of them are still working in their first jobs.
In this era of instant gratification, the role of managers and constant feedback and support came across as strong indicators to retain fresh talent. Challenges with bosses and lack of mentorship have emerged as top reasons for the millennials quitting their first job.
The reality of CV
Only 11 percent job seekers feel that hiring managers want to see education and qualifications on their CV. But 70 percent hiring managers chose it as top criteria while hiring and broke this myth. Another interesting revelation is that a majority of hiring managers spend between 1-3 minutes on a resume. 48 percent of them are looking for a well written precise resume and 56 percent would focus on experience which is directly relevant to the role.
An interview is a crucial part of the selection process and cracking it is critical for the job seekers. There are some mistakes which candidates generally tend to make during this process. According to the survey, the top three mistakes were lack of curiosity, lack of awareness regarding the employer and too much focus on the salary.
To enable the job seekers to understand the expectations of the employers during the interview, the survey asked the hiring managers the questions they would want to hear at the interview. And interestingly, 60 percent of them felt it is unprofessional that candidates bring up salary instead of focusing on the job role. Here are the questions they would love to hear from them:
1. How would you describe the responsibilities of the position: 56%
2. What are the prospects for growth and advancement: 52%
3. What are the biggest challenges of the job: 41%
Mandeep Baweja, Managing Director - India, CPA Global said that job seekers shouldn’t dwell on things like benefits and perks.
CP Gurnani, Managing Director & CEO at Tech Mahindra said, “It is important to measure one’s strengths and weaknesses, doing the homework rather than focusing on mapping your on-paper qualification to the job description. At the end of the day, a degree functions no better than a passport for the interview but does not impact the outcome of the interview.”
He suggested that a thorough research on the job, the company, and the industry would not only help in increasing the chances of the interview turning positive but also enable job seekers to understand the right job one is looking for. Therefore, fresh graduates should understand that although feeling unprepared is natural while seeking the first job, it can be countered with thorough research and preparation. A prior understanding of the role and of the potential employer will give them a clear perspective and also make their candidature stronger.
This article is based on the survey by Monster India. The survey was an initiative to better understand the challenges young graduates face while looking for their first job and employers when hiring someone for their first job. More than 5000 seekers and employers participated in the survey.