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Grads poor communicators

Twenty-five percent of employers say recent college graduates lack key
communication skills which are hindering them in the workplace, according to a
survey released today.

The problem was the most common singled out by recruiters with 36 percent
saying it was an issue. Twenty-nine per cent felt there was a lack in critical
thinking skills while 21 percent pointed to a shortage of overall business
skills. Both IT and maths were cited by seven percent of employers. Nearly
One-in-Four UK Employers Plan to Hire Recent College Graduates in the Next 12
Months, According to CareerBuilder Survey.

Despite the problems, UK employers say those students approaching graduation
will be entering into an improving, but highly competitive job market,
according to the new survey. Twenty-three per cent of UK
employers said they plan to hire recent college graduates in the next 12 months
while 77 percent will be placing recruitment plans for this segment on hold
until further assessment. Of those planning to hire, 67 percent anticipate that
starting salaries will remain the same compared to 2009 while 6 percent expect
compensation to be higher and 11 percent expect it to be lower.  The study
was conducted among more than 100 UK business leaders across industries.

Twenty-eight per cent said they planned to offer recent college graduates
starting salaries ranging between £20,000 and £30,000. Fifty per cent will
offer salaries of less than £20,000 while 6 per cent will offer salaries of
more than £30,000.  Others declined to answer.  “While we are seeing more jobs posted on our
site in the UK, the job market will remain challenging for those entering the
workforce for the first time,” said Tony Roy, President of CareerBuilder EMEA.
 “It’s important to be flexible.  You may not get your dream job
right away, but look for those opportunities that will afford you good
experience and expand your professional network.”

What employers look for in candidates
Thirty-nine per cent of UK employers said the candidate being a good fit for
the company culture was the most influential factor in their decision to hire a
recent college graduate.  This was followed by the candidate’s ability to
show relevant experience (23 percent), educational background (15 percent) and
level of enthusiasm (8 percent).

UK employers emphasised that
relevant experience can come in different forms:

Part-time jobs in another
area or field – 64 percent

Internships – 50 percent

Volunteer work – 36 percent

Participation in sports – 21

Involvement in managing
activities for sororities and fraternities – 21 percent

Class work – 14 per cent

Involvement in school
organizations – 14 percent
Survey methodology
An online survey of more than 500 business leaders in the UK, France,
Germany, Italy and Sweden was conducted in a range of
organisations between 29 April and 7 May.  Business leaders included
C-level executives, directors and senior managers with recruitment
responsibilities.  The survey was conducted online by Shape the Future, a
market research agency based near London which specialises in high speed online
research. The total sample size in the UK was 106, giving a margin of error of
9.52 percent at 95 percent confidence.

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