U.S graduates in the jobs - and the money

2006

This year is looking increasingly promising when it comes to job prospects and salary increases for U.S graduates, a new survey has suggested.

The study by recruiter CareerBuilder.com found 70 per cent of hiring managers said they planned to recruit recent college graduates this year, up from 62 per cent in 2005.

Nearly one in five of the 1,000 hiring managers polled expected to hire more recent college graduates this year compared with last year and one-in-four planned to increase starting salaries.

"The increased demand for educated labour is translating into a robust hiring outlook and bigger payoff for college graduates entering the job market this year," said Brent Rasmussen, CareerBuilder.com chief operating officer.

"While four-in-ten hiring managers expect to hire 10 or less recent college graduates, one-in-five plan to recruit more than 25 and one-in-ten plan to recruit more than 100," he added. There's more good news in that more than a quarter of hiring managers anticipated raising starting salaries for recent college graduates this year and only five per cent plan to decrease them.

Thirty-four per cent of hiring managers expected to offer between $20,000 and $30,000 and 28 per cent between $30,000 and $40,000.

An additional 10 per cent said they would offer between $40,000 and $50,000 and seven per cent $50,000. In terms of recruitment timelines, 36 per cent of hiring managers said they would do the majority of their hiring in the second quarter of the year, with 31 per cent pointing to the third quarter.

The most popular positions recent college graduates were being targeted for were sales, accounting/finance, healthcare, education, customer service and administrative positions. When evaluating candidates, hiring managers looked for, in order of preference: relevant experience, good fit within the company culture, educational background, enthusiasm, offering up ideas and asking good questions, said CareerBuilder.com.

Fourteen per cent of hiring managers anticipated adding more than 50 employees in the second quarter, rising to 16 per cent planning to recruit 11 to 50 employees and 42 per cent 10 or fewer.

A third reported difficulty in finding candidates who met their job requirements, up from 25 per cent in the first quarter.

One-in-four reported that it took them more than two months to fill open positions and nearly half said it took them one month or more.