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UK graduate recruiter confidence hit

UK graduate recruiter confidence hit by the recession but employers are still open for business

Many employers are still accepting job applications from graduates despite the fact that confidence amongst recruiters has fallen, according to a survey published today (30 April) by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).

The snapshot survey of recruiter confidence follows the AGRs in-depth vacancies survey in February in which employers predicted a 5.4% decrease in the number of graduate jobs for 2009.

The 124 graduate recruiters who responded to todays survey came from a wide range of industry sectors including banking and financial services, law firms, and engineering and industrial companies.

Four in five graduate recruiters said they felt either the same or slightly lower levels of confidence about the UK economy than they did three months ago. 60% of respondents said they had adjusted their target number of graduate recruits downwards since this years recruitment round began in October 2008 (and 57% said that they would be recruiting slightly or many fewer graduates in 2008/9 compared with 2007/8). When asked what they felt the biggest threat to their future recruitment plans was, 73% pointed to the economic environment, both in the UK and globally.

However, despite low levels of confidence, one third of employers surveyed said they were still actively seeking applications from graduates in 2009. The AGR has published a list of some of these employers today on its website (also see Notes to Editors).

Carl Gilleard, Chief Executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, said: It is really important that graduates coming into the market this year do not despair and assume that there are no jobs whatsoever out there. As todays snapshot survey shows, though there is certainly nervousness amongst recruiters about the impact of the recession on their business, not all have shut up shop by any means and a very significant number are still looking for bright graduates to take on. By providing details of exactly which employers are still hiring we hope to make life a little bit easier for both recruiters and graduates at what is a difficult time in the graduate jobs market.


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