Why New Grads Are Getting Driven to The Dole

More graduates are getting left in the uncomfortable limbo of post-degree unemployment as businesses battle to ease the tension in their tight fists.

The latest survey from Graduate Careers Australia shows an uninspiring 19 per cent of employers didn’t recruit a single graduate as part of their 2013 graduate intake. That’s a very average 7 per cent increase from the previous year and the highest recorded figure in almost a decade of surveys.


Source: Graduate Careers Australia

Obviously far from ideal economic conditions weighed heavily on this result, and 35 per cent of respondents said so.

But it’s not just a matter of teeth-clenchingly-tight purse strings holding businesses back.

More than 20 per cent of graduate employers say they would have employed a greater number of grads if better quality candidates had presented themselves.

So, what do they suck so bad at?

GCA asked employers to nominate three selection criteria – apart from relevant qualifications – they considered to be most important when evaluating applicants.

Interpersonal and communication skills was number one, passion/knowledge of industry/drive/commitment/attitude was number two and critical reasoning the third most important.

Or in other words, the ability to provide a bit of banter, know what you’re talking about and not completely misread a situation.

Unfortunately for the over-achievers out there, leadership skills and activities (including intra- and extra-curricular) have been consistently ranked as the two least important selection criteria since 2009.

So you can probably stop putting your hand up to lead the local banjo society fundraiser each year.

Image courtesy Andree Lüdtke, via Flickr