Early bird graduates get the worm

Jul 28 2005 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Graduates who leave applying for jobs until late in the recruitment calendar – i.e. now – are likely to less bright than their peers and less likely achieve levels of success in the modern workplace, according to new research.

A study by psychometrics assessment provider SHL has suggested that graduates who apply for jobs long before the late summer are not only brighter but more dedicated and more highly motivated than their peers.

They also possess more of the necessary behaviours that make a well-rounded employee.

Graduates who apply later on the other hand do tend to be more resilient – they are less susceptible to criticism from others – but are less forward thinking, less analytical, less motivated, less outgoing and less persuasive than early bird applicants.

James Bywater, occupational psychologist at SHL, said: "There is a difference in both the personality and cognitive abilities of applicants applying earlier in the recruitment cycle.

"Moreover, this research has allayed a previous concern that early applicants might be too introverted and lack the emotional intelligence to flourish in the workplace. Later applicants do have the edge when it comes to resilience, but in all other areas the earlier entrants come out on top."

The research assessed the personality traits and abilities of applicants throughout the year, to see whether earlier really is better when it comes to both intelligence and the spectrum of soft skills, such as motivation and persuasiveness.

It also built upon earlier research that showed the earliest applicants were on average much brighter than later ones.

Bywater added: "We hope that, by assessing their own application trends and making the most of the new ability and personality data available to them, businesses will be able to recruit more effectively, advertising in a timely manner and being more vigilant during typically successful recruitment periods."