TORONTO — As graduation season approaches, what kind of job market will the Class of 2023 face? New research from talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half reveals five trends for university and college graduates planning to launch their career:
1. Multiple interviews — Employers typically conduct about four interviews with an entry-level candidate before extending an offer. But the process moves fairly quickly, with companies taking five weeks on average to make a hire.
2. Questions that gauge soft skills — 14 per cent of managers attribute their hiring mistakes to placing too much weight on technical skills. To avoid making the same misstep, employers are asking situational questions to learn more about a candidate’s traits and interpersonal abilities, such as self-motivation and collaboration, which are especially critical in hybrid and remote work environments.
3. Preparation and follow-through — Beyond skills, managers said the following actions can tip the scales in an applicant’s favour:
- Researching the company (62 per cent)
- Maintaining a respectable online presence (56 per cent)
- Sending a thank-you note after an interview (51 per cent)
4. In-office time — While remote work gained prominence during the pandemic, just under a quarter of entry-level jobs (24 per cent) are advertised as hybrid or fully remote.
5. Hiring bright spots — Graduates can increase their chances of finding work by exploring industries and roles with the most jobs available, such as software developer, accountant, IT, public relations specialist, and HR specialist.
“The Class of 2023 has many exciting job opportunities awaiting them, though some companies are starting to take a more strategic approach to hiring. While there may be more competition, new job seekers can set themselves up for success by ensuring they are prepared, and understanding the work they need to put in to land the right job,” said David King, Senior Managing Director, Robert Half, Canada and South America. “Targeting your job search, networking effectively, tailoring applications, and knowing how to answer common interview questions are crucial to navigating a job search and a rigorous hiring process.”
King offers three critical job search tips for new grads:
- Pinpoint your priorities. Figure out what matters most to you in a job, so you can focus your search. Consider deal makers and breakers, and potential compromises.
- Request an in-person interview if the role requires in-office work. This will give you an opportunity to get a feel for the commute, company culture and your potential colleagues, which are critical to ensuring a good long-term fit.
- Prepare to negotiate. The job market continues to favour skilled workers. Ask for the salary you deserve and other non-monetary perks you value before accepting an offer.