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Recruitment company sees marked change in graduates’ attitude

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There has been a stark contrast in the attitude of this year’s crop of graduates toward prospective employers, according to specialist recruitment consultancy Media Contacts.

Compared to graduates leaving university 3 or 4 years ago, when most job seekers looked for a job from the standpoint of ‘What can I offer a potential employer?’ These days the stance adopted has generally been ‘What can a potential employer offer me?’

The consultancy, which has a dedicated Graduate Contacts division, recruits from a wide range of disciplines for entry-level positions in media sales, journalism, magazine production, web design, exhibition sales and recruitment consultancy for many of country’s leading newspapers, magazines, broadcasters, new media and exhibition companies.

Jessica Beattie, who heads up the graduate division, accounts for this marked change in attitude because of the sustained period of economic growth, fuelling demand for graduate trainees which has outstripped the supply despite growing numbers leaving higher education. This year’s applicants were decidedly more confident than in years gone by, with raised expectations of what they demand from employers.

“Students graduating this year saw themselves entering a buoyant job market, with a lot of opportunities and numerous options available to them,” said Beattie, adding, “Three or four years ago, there were less opportunities and most graduates felt they were up against a much high level of competition from their peers looking for their first job.”

Media Contacts reports that graduates these days need to be convinced that they are ‘making the right choice of career’ and cite money, training, job satisfaction and career progression as the most important factors when deciding when to accept a position.

Media Contacts warns employers that many new starters only expect to stay a year in their first job, unless the package of pay, fringe benefits, training, promotional prospects is to their liking.

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