Report: Companies Plan To Hire More ’18 Grads

A new report points to evidence of a positive job market. This time, the beneficiaries are soon-to-be college grads from the Class of 2018.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), a nonprofit that links college career services professionals and employers of new college grads, surveyed more than 200 of its member employers and found that companies expect to hire 4% more college grads from the Class of 2018 than they did from the Class of 2017.

While this projection is lower than last year and the year before, it’s a favorable sign for new grads entering the job market at the end of this semester.

NACE Job Outlook 2018: Hiring Projections

CLASS YEARFALLSPRING
20184.0%NA
20175.8%5.0%
201611.0%5.2%
20158.3%9.6%
20147.8%8.6%
201313.0%2.1%
20129.5%10.5%

Source: Job Outlook 2018, National Association of Colleges and Employers

There’s more good news for this year’s grads. Results from NACE’s Job Outlook 2018 also show a year-over-year uptick in the number of organizations that individually said they plan to increase new grad hiring.

Meanwhile, a reduction is seen in the number of companies that expect to cut back on hiring new grads. In the ‘16-’17 recruiting year, 11.6% said they would do less new college grad hiring than the year prior. For year ‘17-’18, that number has fallen to 9.6%, another good sign for college students getting set to enter the working world later this year.  

The bases for these projections, the report says, are that companies are experiencing growth, a retiring workforce, and the need to fill entry-level roles.

Companies that took the survey also offered some insights into what they’re looking for in job candidates. According to the report, a high GPA is great, but students who have had an internship with the company may be more likely to get their deal sealed quicker than others. And, of the top three attributes employers are looking for, the report found that companies are mostly seeking problem-solving, team players with stellar written communications skills.

NACE Job Outlook 2018: Influencing Attributes

ATTRIBUTE2018 AVERAGE INFLUENCE RATING*2017 AVERAGE INFLUENCE RATING*2016 AVERAGE INFLUENCE RATING*
Has completed an internship

with your organization

4.6N/AN/A
Has internship experience

in your industry

4.4N/AN/A
Major3.84.04.0
Has held a leadership position3.73.93.9
Has general work experience3.7N/AN/A
Has no work experience3.4N/AN/A
High GPA (3.0 or above)3.43.63.5
Has been involved in extracurricular activities (clubs, sports, student government, etc.)3.33.63.6
School attended2.82.92.9
Has done volunteer work2.72.62.8
Is fluent in a foreign language2.22.12.2
Has studied abroad2.22.02.0

Source: Job Outlook 2018, National Association of Colleges and Employers. *5-point scale where 1=No influence at all; 2=Not much influence; 3=Somewhat of an influence; 4=Very much influence; 5=Extreme influence.

Data for the Job Outlook 2018 survey were collected from NACE’s employer members from August 9 through October of 2017. The survey is conducted twice a year, in the spring and fall, and the full report is available for a fee on the NACE website.

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