New York, NY (March 10, 2009) – Graduating seniors and MBAs who are hunting for their first post-graduate positions during one of the worst economic recessions in recent U.S. history are changing their attitudes to work and jobs, according to a Vault.com nationwide survey of campus recruiting managers and directors. Vault is the Web’s most comprehensive resource for career management and job search intelligence.
Nearly forty percent of campus recruiting managers surveyed said that "millennials," the tech-savvy generation born to baby boomers between 1977 and 2000, are demonstrating more interest and flexibility during the recruitment process. Thirty-three percent said that the percentage of students (both undergrad and MBA) accepting their offers has increased compared with last year. Some reported twenty-five to thirty percent increases in acceptance rates versus 2008. Millennials are often cited in the media for their high expectations in the workplace, yet respondents report that the dismal job market is forcing the lucky ones with offers to accept at higher rates, more quickly and with less negotiation.
"New graduates are facing the perfect storm. As one of the largest and most talented graduating classes ever, they are entering the worst job market in decades," observes Vault’s CEO Erik Sorenson. "The smartest in this highly competitive marketplace will re-set their expectations to match the job environment, be decisive with potential employers, then quickly demonstrate their value in their new companies. If they don’t, they know there are 10 people lined up behind them to take their job."
According to one respondent, students have "less desire to shop around for a job and are more likely to take the offer that is on the table." One respondent pointedly remarked, "Mom and Dad can’t solve this one for them, so we are seeing more nervous candidates." They appear "hungrier, more humble" and seem "more grateful of the offer," said another survey taker. The graduating class of 2009 "feels like they have less options," so there is "less of a ‘you would be lucky to get me’ attitude."
Recruiting Goals Fall From September 2008 Projections
While recent research from a variety of sources demonstrates that campus recruiting has fallen from 2007-08 levels, Vault asked about changes since September 2008 projections. Graduating seniors and MBAs are facing a job market in which nearly seventy-seven percent of surveyed recruiters have reduced their 2008-09 campus hiring goals – just from their September 2008 projections. Nearly thirty percent of recruiters say they have reduced those hiring goals by a third or more, since their 2008-09 projections.
Following is a specific breakdown of campus recruiting plans, when compared to their September 2008 projections:
• 6.9% have increased their hiring goals;
• 14.6% say hiring goals are flat;
• 76.8% say they have reduced their hiring goals;
o 29.2% said "very significantly" (over 33% reductions);
o33.8% said "somewhat" (10-33% reductions);
o13.8% said "slightly" (under 10% reductions).
Further, more than forty-two percent of surveyed recruiters say they have decreased the numbers of schools from which they recruit. Additionally:
- 25.8% have decreased the amount of money they invest at each school;
- 18.8% have selected schools that are geographically closer;
- 12.5% are recruiting from "better" schools because of decreased competition.
The news about starting salaries for grads and newly-minted MBAs was not encouraging. While starting salaries for graduates traditionally go up each year, fifty-two percent of those surveyed said that salary offers would remain flat year-over-year for undergraduates. Nearly fifty-one percent of respondents said that salaries would remain at 2008 levels for their 2009 MBA recruits. Only fifteen percent said that they are increasing their salary offers to MBA recruits, and twenty-two percent said that starting salaries would increase for undergraduate hires.
Since many HR professionals are not actively recruiting, they have now switched their focus to professional development, such as sponsoring on-campus networking seminars and working with professors in their classrooms. One of the challenges for recruiters is "keeping our brand on campus when we aren’t actively hiring," according to survey responders, and "maintaining relationships [with universities and with students] despite decreased positions and budgets."
The survey was conducted in January 2009, and included responses from 150 campus recruiting managers or directors in various industries across the United States.
Vault (Vault.com) is the Web’s most comprehensive resource for career management and job search information, including insider intelligence on salaries, hiring practices and company cultures. Vault features thousands of company and university profiles, information on hundreds of occupations and industries, expert articles on wide range of workplace issues as well as jobs-related video, blogs and research tools. Vault publishes more than 120 online and print books, from the best-selling VaultGuide to the Top 100 Law Firms to the Vault Guide to Schmoozing. The company’s clients include Fortune 1000 advertisers and recruiters, the country’s top universities and graduate schools – and 8 million consumers worldwide. Maintaining offices in New York, London, Mumbai, and Hong Kong. Vault was founded in 1996.