Are Underemployed College Grads and Struggling Recruiters a Perfect Match?

graduatesAccording to a 2012 AP survey, 50 percent of young college graduates are either unemployed or holding jobs that do not require a college degree. Many graduates find themselves working in food service or entry-level administrative positions, if they are working at all. Theories abound regarding why this is the case, but it is difficult to say for sure. This epidemic of underemployment coincides with many human resources professionals reporting that they have difficulty finding qualified candidates for positions they are trying to fill.

Research by shows a gap between job seekers’ perception of the employment market and what recruiters experience. While those looking for work perceive the job market as very difficult, those looking for workers find that they aren’t talking to enough candidates to fill positions. This, too, is a complicated case with many possible factors. However, the unemployment and underemployment of recent graduates, combined with the difficulty of finding good candidates, suggests that recruiters may want to target young people freshly out of college. While recent college graduates certainly cannot fill every difficult position, some may be very good fits.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Fill Ratios and Time-to-Fill Statistics

How to Recruit Young People
For recruiters who are not accustomed to working with college students and recent graduates, focusing their talent acquisition efforts on this demographic may at first prove difficult. There are a few easy ways to connect with young people as candidates that can help pave the way. First, it is important in digital recruitment to post job openings where millennials tend to look. Many young people may not have a LinkedIn account like their older counterparts, for example. They are very likely to participate in other social networking sites like Facebook, however, and recruiters can consider posting opportunities on social media. Further, young people may not have the professional experience many recruiters are used to seeing from candidates. Being open to considering work done as part of college courses and internships, as well as part-time summer work, is important. This can help recruiters identify skill sets and talents they may otherwise overlook.

Unemployed and underemployed college graduates are a large pool of potential talent for recruiters who may have trouble finding good candidates. Tapping into this existing market of job seekers can be a great idea for many talent acquisition professionals. It may be that underemployed young people and recruiters looking for top talent can benefit one another.

MORE: Leveraging the 21st Century Workforce 


Joseph Azzata

Joseph Azzata
Joseph J. Azzata is the founder of eCareer Holdings, Inc. From 2002 to 2010, Azzata was CEO and co-founder of Medical Connections Holdings Inc.

Joseph Azzata

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