Employers may be more optimistic about hiring new graduates this spring.
According to a recent report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers expect to hire 7.2% more new graduates from the Class of 2021 than in last year's class. This marks a recovery from fall 2020, when employers predicted 0.1% fewer hires from the Class of 2021.
"The recovery in hiring rates suggests optimism on the part of employers, fueled by expectations around the reopening of shuttered companies, the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and the addition of jobs to the economy," the NACE report said. "While not at the pre-pandemic hiring level of 2019, the overall increase indicates a strong move in a positive direction."
The report, "Job Outlook 2021 Spring Update", which includes a total of 207 respondents, is the product of the NACE's annual spring survey on this topic, the latest conducted in the fall of 2020. The fall 2020 survey was conducted from July 27 to September 11, 2020, said NACE research manager Andrea Koncz.
"In the fall, we specifically ask," What are the main factors that contributed to your hiring decisions? "In this report, it's much shorter, so we didn't specifically ask," Koncz said. But in the fall, they were more uncertain about what would happen with the pandemic, whether their recruitment would remain remote and virtual. And there were certain hiring sectors or industries that had better prospects at the time and there were those that had worse prospects at the time, which actually improved when we ran the survey this time. "
Other findings in the report note that 29% of employers who respond will increase the number of new graduate hires, up from the response rate of 16.5% in the fall of 2020. About 8.0% of the respondents indicate that they will reduce the number of new graduates, an improvement from 31.0%. in the fall of 2020.
Another finding related to how many employers screened candidates for GPA (grade point average). The report's findings show that the number of employers doing this has fallen to 56.6%, the lowest in eight years. It was 67.5% in 2018, 73.3% in 2019 and 63.0% in 2020.
“We asked employers, 'Do you screen candidates by GPA?' And the percentage has gone down over the years,” said Koncz. screening by GPA. And in this report that is only 57%. "
Employers expected to hire 6.3% more new graduates from the Class of 2020, but the survey was conducted from February 12 to March 16, 2020. Former President Donald J. Trump declared a national emergency due to COVID-19 on March 13, 2020.
Optimism exists among many employers, said Nicole Gasaway, associate professor in Columbia University's School of Professional Studies, in the Human Capital Management program.
"First, I think there is an optimism that many employers are now experiencing," said Gasaway. "I agree with the (report) suggestions that I think are due to the fact that certain industries are starting to revive, the increased availability of vaccinations. And so I sense a sense of optimism in many rental companies. I think, however, that it is true that that optimism may still be a little disparate between industries and functional disciplines. So maybe industries like healthcare, pharmaceuticals and certain types of retail may actually be more optimistic, while I think some other industries, including hospitality, probably still lagging behind. But I think that optimism is there. "
Arrman Kyaw can be reached at [email protected]