Graduate recruitment is showing “signs of optimism” as one-third of employers increase their intake of university leavers.
This is according to the 2010/11 XpertHR annual graduate recruitment survey, which also found that 71.6% of companies are currently recruiting graduates and 84.2% predict that they will do so in the future.
Since the recession, employer demand for university leavers has fallen, with graduate unemployment recently at its highest level in 17 years.
Despite large numbers of graduates looking for entry-level jobs, the survey found that the second most common problem encountered by employers recruiting them was too few applicants, rather than too many.
Employers identified poor-quality candidates as the biggest barrier they faced in hiring university leavers.
Report author Rachel Suff explained: “The drop in employer demand for graduates has significant implications for how, and if, employers take on graduates.
“The large pools of potential graduate recruits that employers are now fishing in do not necessarily make it easier to catch high-quality trainees.”
The survey also found that four employers in 10 had made significant changes in the way they tried to recruit graduates in the last two years.
Although many employers still worked with universities to attract graduates, they considered internet platforms, such as corporate websites or job boards, as the most effective tool for recruiting them.
XpertHR surveyed 190 companies collectively employing more than 800,000 people.
For more information on the findings, read the full XpertHR report.