Employers Looking for Actual Work Experience From Fresh Graduates
Manila, 24 March 2015 – More than ever, employers this year are looking into actual work experience either from an internship, part-time job, or even civic work when faced with the proposition of hiring a fresh graduate.
JobStreet.com conducted a survey participated by more than 400 companies in February, which reveals that during the hiring process, employers want fresh graduate applicants to highlight internship and part-time job experiences. Eighty percent of respondent companies replied internship as something they would like recent graduates to have while half of them answered part-time employment experience.
Only a year ago, the three items employers want fresh graduates to emphasize on their resume and at the interview were internship, grades, and extracurricular activities. While grades maintained its second position this year, the number of employers that think it is important dropped from 58 to 52 percent. It is also interesting to note that the number of companies wanting students to highlight community work experience increased from 14 to 19 percent.
This development may also explain a noticeable decline in the importance employers place on the fresh graduate applicants’ alma mater. In 2014, 61 percent of respondent companies claimed that the school where the fresh graduate got his or her degree is “important”. This year, the number dropped by 10 percentage points to 51 percent. While the number of companies that consider this factor “very important” also increased by 4 percentage points, the bigger increase went to companies claiming that the “school factor” is “unimportant”.
While the “Top 4″ universities – University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas, De La Salle University, and Ateneo de Manila University, still placed prominently as the institutions companies prioritize when hiring, the distribution among the four universities and fifth-ranked Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) is now more even.
Aside from the institution where the applicant graduated, actual work experience, and grades, employers are also very particular about the behavioral and functional skills of fresh graduates. Willingness to learn, initiative, and honesty and integrity continue to be the most important qualities employers consider in fresh graduates. On the other hand, the most prized hard skills in fresh graduates are communication skills and trainability.
Over 80 percent of employers claim to have hired fresh graduates in the past year, with most of them landing jobs in Accounting and Finance, Operations and Information Technology (IT).
Companies that have not hired fresh graduates in the last twelve months attribute this to having only job openings for candidates with work experience or who are highly specialized. On the other hand, companies that hired fresh graduates express concerns that their fresh graduate hires do not stay long with them, have poor communication skills, and have unrealistic salary expectations.