SOURCE: GradStaff


September 10, 2014 09:27 ET

New Survey Finds 88 Percent of College Grads Seek Employment With Small to Medium Business

GradStaff's Entry Level Job Seeker Survey Finds That Most College Grads Are Unsure of Where Jobs Are or Where They Fit in the Workforce

MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(Marketwired - September 10, 2014) - Graduating from college is one of the most significant rites of passage into adulthood. With that degree in hand, grads venture into the land of unemployment seeking that perfect job. A new survey from GradStaff, a Minneapolis-based leader in outsourced college recruiting services for companies from 50 to 2,000 employees, reveals that college graduates aren't necessarily prepared to navigate the complex world of job hunting, with 64 percent surveyed revealing they are often unsure which job opportunities are a fit for their newly acquired skillset.

With survey respondents being on the job hunt for an average of 3-4 months, college grads were asked what they believe to be the most significant obstacle in finding a position. An overwhelming 88 percent stated a lack of work experience was the primary obstacle to landing that first full-time role.

"The job market can be a challenging place for new graduates to navigate. Even though many employers are open to entry-level candidates, most job postings state a preference for some level of prior experience in the same or similar role, which can discourage new grads from applying," says GradStaff CEO Robert J. LaBombard. "Rather than focusing on the level of experience preferred, new grads should focus on the transferrable skills required in the position. Specifically, new grads should think about work and life experiences where they've developed those skills."

Small is the Perfect Fit

Survey findings also illustrated that job seekers are looking for a more personalized experience with 88 percent stating a preference to work for a company of 1,000 employees or less. And 31 percent of survey respondents said they would prefer to work for a company of 100 employees or less.

"We know from our work with clients that most entry-level positions aren't advertised and often are filled using internal referrals," added LaBombard. "Our service helps college students learn about these positions and identify the skills they bring to the table to fit that open role."

Personal Connection Matters

While it comes as no surprise that 99 percent of those surveyed primarily applied for positions online, only 45 percent reported using personal networking very often. Based on GradStaff's own experience in coaching new grads, as well as feedback from career services directors, most new grads tremendously underestimate the importance of personal networking in conducting a job search.

"College grads need to understand that networking, online and face-to-face, is one of the most important job search skills," shared LaBombard. "About 75 percent of new jobs being created in the economy are created by employers of 500 employees or less. These hiring companies typically don't interview on campus and often don't advertise their entry-level openings. As a result, they often rely on referrals from employees, clients, vendors, consultants and recruiters, which underscores the importance of networking."

LaBombard added, "The good news is that, with 88 percent of survey respondents stating a preference to work for a company of 1,000 employees or less, new grad job seekers are interested in the types of companies that are hiring."

Survey Methodology

GradStaff's Entry Level Job Seeker Survey was conducted from May 1, 2014 to August 16, 2014. GradStaff received anonymous responses from 528 respondents nationwide. Respondents were given the opportunity to participate in the anonymous survey as part of GradStaff's interview process.

About GradStaff, Inc.

GradStaff is an innovative outsourced college recruiting firm that helps clients fill entry-level professional positions across the U.S. As a national company with an unmatched college recruiting network, GradStaff enables clients to hire the best college graduates anywhere in the country, at any time of year. For the college grad job seeker, GradStaff provides job search coaching and access to job opportunities with hiring companies. The company's unique, proprietary on-boarding process helps reduce turnover and allows clients to significantly reduce entry-level recruiting costs. Visit to learn more.

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