Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

New Grads: Struggling to get hired??

Posted by sweens on February 25, 2009


I was sitting here in my office today wondering what I could blog about. I got to thinking and what I ended up focusing on was how ‘new grads’ are likely the largest group within the candidacy pool who will have the greatest struggle finding IT employment in the coming months or years. I personally do not monitor a lot of ‘new grad’ opportunities as it is not an area of focus for my firm, however from a business perspective, I can see this group having a difficult time.

As the candidacy pool grows during the recession – the volume of experienced professionals will clearly rise in correlation. And of this increased candidacy pool you will have two types of candidates:

1. Those who are unwilling to lower their salary expectations to compete in the market
2. Those who are willing to lower their salary expectations to compete in the market

Those who are willing to take a pay cut and are already of the beginner/intermediate experience level will directly challenge new grads for entry level positions.

IS THIS A GOOD THING?

Honestly I do not really know. I can see both sides of the coin here. First, it would seem beneficial to take the experienced professional over the new grad. The experienced professional will take less time to ‘ramp up’ and will likely make a greater impact on your organization in a shorter time. I would suspect that these candidates who are going to lower their salary expectations during the recession will also be the first people to leave for higher paying jobs when the recession is over.

That is where I see the problem of hiring the experienced professional over the ‘new grad’. Employee retention has to be on the mind of every hiring manager. Opting for the quick impact may not be the best long-term investment to make when a hiring decision is made. Employers also need to be cognisant of this situation and not take advantage of the recession in terms of compensation packages.

While offering a candidate a weak compensation package may help the company out now, it will likely send the employee out looking for a new opportunity once the market comes back around. The labour market certainly has changed in the sense that it is not uncommon for candidates to switch positions 4 or 5 times within their careers, rather then sticking it out with one company for 20 or more years. Employers need to be thinking about how to keep their employees rather satisfying their current needs.

Filling a small leak now with larger then required plug may cause a bigger leak once the plug is removed…

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