College graduates may find a job market more receptive to hiring grads in 2015 compared to 2013, though the new workers will likely see salaries that changed little in the past five years.
However, if they want to enhance their chances of being hired and separate themselves from their competition, new graduates should brush up on their writing, critical thinking and people skills as well as business acumen and other abilities.
Those are among the valued skills potential employers find new graduates lack, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s “The Hiring of 2015 College Graduates” survey of 452 HR professionals conducted in March of 2015.
Writing, including the cornerstones of grammar and spelling, was the basic skill most interviewers found new graduates didn’t possess, the survey found. Improving their reading would also help the graduates.
The category of professionalism and work ethic was the applied skill in which the largest percentage of HR professionals said applicants fell short.
These are the top five basic skills companies said graduates lacked in 2013 and 2015:
However, nearly three in 10 companies surveyed said they found new grads were not lacking in any of the basic skills. And, the 2015 graduates seem to have improved in most of the necessary job skills compared to graduates in 2013.
For applied skills, 2013 and 2015 comparison:
The 2015 graduates could have a better chance of landing an entry-level job than those in 2013, according to the SHRM survey.
The most recent survey found 71% of companies planned to hire 2015 graduates, compared to 53% in 2013.
Paychecks for the new workers, though, may not change much compared to salaries going back to 2010, based on the two surveys.
In 2013, 70% of companies said their pay was about the same compared to the previous three years, or 2010. In 2015, 81% of companies in the survey said compensation was about the same as the year before.
Companies in 2015 are finding it more difficult to find some types of workers in 2015 than in 2013, including scientists, engineers and technicians, but slightly easier to fill positions for managers and HR professionals.
The difficulty finding administrative staff support workers and accounting and finance professionals remained unchanged.