Tight market forces firms to halt graduate job plans

A quarter of employers have reduced the number of graduates they are looking
to recruit because of the deteriorating economic climate, research reveals.

The study for the Association of Graduate Recruiters shows that one in five
firms have deferred up to 60 graduate job offers.

Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters,
said the findings reveal that "these are uncertain times" for
graduate recruiters.

"The reduction in graduate jobs suggests that we are in for a much
tighter graduate market. Recruiters are still active, but are unsure about and
unwilling to quote numbers," he said.

According to the survey of 166 employers, eight out of 10 companies have
deferred graduate jobs for 12 months. One in 10 firms have withdrawn job

Graduate Recruitment in an Uncertain Labour Market finds that although 13
per cent of organisations are increasing graduate intake, there has been an
overall 5.5 per cent decrease in the number of graduate vacancies.

Gilleard urges employers to defer rather than withdraw job offers whenever
possible. He said, "Not withdrawing the offer still gives them the
opportunity to get back some return on their investment, as graduate
recruitment is an expensive business.

"When I entered the labour market over 30 years ago, I had a job offer
withdrawn and I have never forgotten it, although I’m sure that companies only
withdraw an offer when they have no alternative."

Gilleard warns recruiters to keep a high profile in the graduate recruitment
market so they are ready to attract the best talent when the economy recovers.


By Paul Nelson

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