LONDON, July 26, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- -- Employers Discuss Salary Expectations, Skills Shortage, and What Influences Them to Hire One Candidate Over Another --

UK college students approaching graduation will be entering into an improving, but highly competitive job market, according to a new survey. Twenty-three per cent of UK employers said they plan to hire recent college graduates in the next 12 months while 77 per cent will be placing recruitment plans for this segment on hold until further assessment. Of those planning to hire, 67 per cent anticipate that starting salaries will remain the same compared to 2009 while 6 per cent expect compensation to be higher and 11 per cent expect it to be lower. The study was conducted from 29 April to 7 May 2010 on behalf of and included more than 100 UK business leaders across industries.

Twenty-eight per cent of UK employers plan to offer recent college graduates starting salaries ranging between 20,000 pounds sterling and 30,000 pounds. Fifty per cent will offer salaries of less than 20,000 pounds while 6 per cent will offer salaries of more than 30,000 pounds. Others declined to answer.

While we are seeing more jobs posted on our site in the UK, the job market will remain challenging for those entering the workforce for the first time, said Tony Roy, President of CareerBuilder EMEA. It's important to be flexible. You may not get your dream job right away, but look for those opportunities that will afford you good experience and expand your professional network.

Skills Shortage Among College Graduates

When assessing skill sets from recent college graduates, 36 per cent of UK employers reported they saw the biggest deficit in the area of communications. Twenty-nine per cent felt there was a lack in critical thinking skills while 21 per cent pointed to a shortage of overall business skills. Both IT and Maths were cited by 7 per cent of employers.

What Employers Look for in Candidates

Thirty-nine per cent of UK employers said the candidate being a good fit for the company culture was the most influential factor in their decision to hire a recent college graduate. This was followed by the candidate's ability to show relevant experience (23 per cent), educational background (15 per cent) and level of enthusiasm (8 per cent).

UK employers emphasized that relevant experience can come in different forms, including:

-- Part-time jobs in another area or field - 64 per cent -- Internships - 50 per cent -- Volunteer work - 36 per cent -- Participation in sports - 21 per cent -- Involvement in managing activities for sororities and fraternities - 21 per cent -- Class work - 14 per cent -- Involvement in school organizations - 14 per cent Three Tips for Recent College Grads 1. Draw a connection. Even if you don't have years of professional work under your belt, be sure to include other related experiences - like community involvement or campus activities - on your CV. Employers value a wide range of different experiences and it's important to demonstrate how yours is relevant to the position at hand. 2. Leverage social media. Promote your personal brand on different social networking sites, so you can reach the widest and most diverse audience of networking contacts and potential employers. Remember to clean up any digital dirt to ensure you convey a professional image. 3. Do your homework and ask good questions. Research the company, competitors and overall industry outlook to showcase your level of knowledge. Ask the employer where they see the greatest growth opportunity for the company over the next five years and how your role can contribute to the success of the organization.

Survey Methodology

An online survey of more than 500 business leaders in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden was conducted in a range of organizations between 29 April and 7 May. Business leaders included C-level executives, directors and senior managers with recruitment responsibilities. The survey was conducted online by Shape the Future, a market research agency based near London which specialises in high speed online research.

The total sample size in the UK was 106, giving a margin of error of 9.52 per cent at 95 per cent confidence. The survey was conducted strictly according to the code of conduct of the UK's Market Research Society.


CareerBuilder UK is one of the most visited online jobs sites in the United Kingdom. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. , Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company and Microsoft Corp. , powers the career centres for hundreds of UK sites that reach national, local, industry and niche audiences. For more information about CareerBuilder products and services, visit

Media Contact: Laura Gillen LEWIS Public Relations +44-(0)-20-7802-2626


CONTACT: Laura Gillen of LEWIS Public Relations, + 44-(0)-20-7802-2626,, for