Employers are increasingly using potential recruits’ social media profiles as additional indicators for selection, a report says.
Graduate Careers Australia’s (GCA) latest Graduate Outlook reports that one-third of recruiters reported having delved into social media profiles.
For some applicants that might be a positive – for many others it may mean their application is binned.
“Graduates may have greater job prospects if their social media profiles present an appropriate image when they prepare their graduate applications,” GCA’s Executive Director Dr Noel Edge said.
“Today’s employers are looking for graduate candidates who convey professionalism both in person and online.”
The report also highlights that almost one in five employers did not recruit any graduates in 2013, as they remain cautious in the post-financial crisis economic climate.
Graduate Outlook 2013 figures show that 19.3 per cent of surveyed employers recruited no graduates in 2013, compared with 12.5 per cent in 2012.
Most surveyed employers blamed financial considerations for this decrease in hiring, with 34.9 per cent citing economic conditions as the primary influence on their graduate recruitment intake, and a further 26.4 per cent naming budgetary constraints.
“These new findings suggest that the recruiters of graduates remain cautious in their hiring plans,” Edge said.
Edge stressed that the long-term outlook for university graduates remains bright.
“There is typically a lot of attention paid to the percentage of graduates who secure full-time employment immediately after graduation.
“Our research has consistently shown that graduates experience strong growth in employment rates in the first few years after the completion of their studies.”
When asked about the selection criteria they use when recruiting graduates, interpersonal and communication skills were ranked by employers as the most important.
“While technical expertise is important, graduates wielding strong communication skills will have greater employment prospects,” Edge explained.
Graduate Outlook 2013, now in its ninth year, is an annual investigation into recruitment practices and trends in the Australasian graduate labour market.
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