Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
STUDENT LIFE / AUG. 27, 2014
version 4, draft 4

Two-thirds of Graduates Regret Taking the Job as Soon as They Start


Two out of three graduates regret the first job they take when they start work according to a global survey conducted by the leading advisory firm CEB. New degree holders use their first job as a stepping stone to secure employment after graduation as well as fill their CV while looking for the career they really want. On the other hand, it seems that employers are investing a great deal on graduate recruitment campaigns in vain, as they can’t really spot the right talent.

The survey called Driving New Success: Strategies in graduate recruitment was based on the responses of almost 4,000 employers across a variety of sectors. In brief, the main highlights of the research are:

- One-quarter of graduates leave their first workplace within one year of joining

- One in five graduates are applying for jobs that do not match their interests

- Just one in three say that they made the right decision when accepting a job offer

- Only one in four understand day-to-day work when they start their employment

- A third of graduates spend less than five hours researching the company they end up working for.

The chief science and analytics officer at CEB, Eugene Burke stated

Today’s graduate recruitment market is stuck in a vicious circle. Graduates are struggling to wade through generic company messaging to find their way to the right job while businesses are wasting millions chasing high numbers of graduates who leave within the first year.” He also added that “today’s graduates want to understand what opportunities there are to develop and grow, demonstrate the talents they have and progress in the organisation”.

Companies use the wrong recruiting strategies

Meanwhile, the report highlighted that employers across the world face a problem with filling graduate vacancies. There is a mismatch between ‘companies attraction strategies and the qualities that candidates value in organisations’. Half of graduates select employers according to their brand and reputation, but firms only invest 5% of their recruitment budget in this area.

According to figures, UK companies spend almost £900m a year in order to hire the brightest candidates, but fail to fill application quotas.  This is mainly because graduate recruitment strategies appeal to the masses, focusing on attracting many ‘top’ graduates rather than targeting candidates with the right skills. On top of this, firms lack the necessary know-how that will help retain graduate talent.

The costs of replacing those who leave the company because they realised that they are not doing the job they want, amounted to roughly £112m in 2013.

Mr. Burke, commented on the disappointing return on investment of employers’ graduate recruitment strategies:

Organisations and the recruitment industry have a simple choice: carry on with the same old practices that do not work yet expect things to change, or adopt a more intelligent model that will drive a stronger return and build a more effective brand as the graduate employer of choice".

All in all, it seems that both graduates and firms play a game of roulette, as the former are gambling on whether their choice for job employer are right, while the latter use broad recruiting strategies that fail to target the right fits for the jobs they advertise. 


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