Guess Who Employers Are Looking For

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Chicago — April 29

The college graduating class of 2013 will enter a stronger job market than in the years immediately following the recession. However, young professionals entering high-skill fields may have a decided advantage, according to a new study from and

More than half — 53 percent — of U.S. employers plan to hire recent college graduates in 2013, on par with 2012 — 54 percent — and up significantly from 46 percent in 2011 and 44 percent in 2010.

The nationwide survey — conducted online by Harris Interactive from Feb. 11 to March 6 — included more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource (HR) professionals across industries and company sizes.

Employers in industries that generally demand more high-skill workers are also more likely to recruit recent college graduates. According to the survey, information technology (IT) employers rank ahead of all industries, with 65 percent of hiring managers and HR professionals planning to hire recent graduates.

They are followed by financial services employers — 63 percent — and health care employers — 56 percent. Moreover, the survey found that employers in IT and financial services are the most likely to recruit workers for hard-to-fill jobs — both at 37 percent, respectively — prior to graduation.

Of employers who plan to hire recent college graduates, 27 percent expect to offer higher starting salaries than they did in 2012, the survey found, with nearly half reporting that starting salaries will range between $30,000 and $49,999.

However, strong percentages plan to extend offers at the low and high ends of the pay scale as well:

• Less than $30,000 — 25 percent
• $30,000 to less than $40,000 — 29 percent
• $40,000 to less than $50,000 — 20 percent
• $50,000 and higher — 25 percent

Recruiters will be primarily looking for recent college graduates to fill two types of jobs: front-line customer and client-facing roles such as customer service and sales, and roles that require specific technical knowledge or hard skills, such as IT, finance or health care.

Source: CareerBuilder

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