Recent research showing that graduate salaries have suffered an 11% drop, in real terms, in the period 2007-2012 have prompted comments from the AGR (Association of Graduate Recruiters) on the message we should be relaying to our students and graduates.
The full details can be read here and highlights the AGRs concerns that, at present, the picture we are painting is too bleak and dismissive of the fact that many graduate recruiters do, in fact, struggle to fill their vacancies.
This does raise various questions to us as advisers. Are we, in fact, demotivating our students by giving them a view of the current situation that emphasises the competitiveness, the fact that many will be starting entry level non-graduate roles, the fact that salaries and opportunities have been hit hard by the economic climate? Or does this actually work as a motivating factor and the ‘kick up the backside’ that they may need? Should we, as the article suggests, be focusing more attention on the positives and on letting them know that there will always be opportunities out there that struggle to recruit? Or is this lulling them into a false sense of security? Perhaps we should we be spending less time focusing on promoting the Top 100 grad recruiters (we know, after all, that these vacancies will be filled and they will continue to get applications by the bucket-load) and concentrate efforts on forging relationships with the SMEs, the lower profile industries, the more rural employers etc, in the hope that our undergrads will not only feel more positive, but will have a broader view on what’s available and more realistic chances of success?