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Lucie Mitchell

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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Quarter of graduates quit job within a year, study finds


One in four graduates anticipates leaving their first job within 12 months of starting it, according to new research.

The global report by advisory firm CEB revealed that 20% of graduates take jobs they don’t want just to “fill their CV” while they look for the career that interests them, and two in three regret accepting job offers as soon as they start in the role.

UK employers spend £1bn a year in attracting the best graduate talent, yet are still struggling to do so, according to the research, which examined the global graduate recruitment landscape.

This has led to recruiters chasing their notion of ‘top’ graduates, just to fulfil application quotas, rather than identifying candidates who are a strong fit for their business, it added.

Employers then face “sunken costs” on their graduate recruitment programmes, as they pay a premium to attract graduates, and then downstream costs to replace them when they move on after a year.

Eugene Burke, chief science and analytics officer at CEB, warned that today’s graduate recruitment market is stuck in a vicious circle.

“Graduates are struggling to wade through generic company messaging to find their way to the right job, while businesses are wasting millions chasing high numbers of graduates who leave within the first year,” he said.

“We estimate that in the UK, this amounted to a sunk cost of approximately £112 million in 2013.”

Burke is urging employers to “rethink” their approach to graduate recruitment, starting with ensuring their recruiters are delivering the talent that will drive the business forward.

“Employers need to break down the silos between recruitment and learning and development functions to maximise their investment in acquiring and developing graduate talent.

“Many firms simply lack clear intelligence on their graduate talent to know what is going to make them stay and be high-performing employees.”

A new model of graduate recruitment is needed, that will drive a stronger return on investment and ensure the business becomes a graduate employer of choice, he added.

“Continuing with the current game of roulette will just perpetuate a poor return on the investment in graduate recruitment,” he said.

The report also examined what really makes graduates tick, and it found that salary was not as important as some employers may think. Achieving career goals came top of the list, followed by opportunities to learn and develop, the chance to demonstrate talents, and recognition of doing a good job.  Material reward and salary came fifth.

One Response

  1. i want to thank who make this

    i want to thank who make this research possible because i am also a graduate and there is no proper model to evaluate the new talent of graduate.A new model of graduate needed that will drive strong return on investment.

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Lucie Mitchell

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Lucie Mitchell

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