Record high levels of competition for graduates

6th July 2011

The Association of Graduate Recruiters, a group that advises on job recruitment for 202 companies, has announced a record high in applications by those who have recently finished university studies.

The AGR has released its biannual graduate recruitment survey that tracks job availability for university leavers. Its survey computed an average of 83 graduate leaver applications for each job vacancy, a record high since the figure was first tracked.

Graduate applications per vacancy have sharply increased over the past three years, according to AGR findings. In 2008, 31 applications were reported per vacancy. That number rose to 49 in 2009 and 69 in 2010.

The averages reflect increased competition between graduates in an economy where jobs are scarcer. The AGR findings also indicate that quality of graduate application has increased, making the hiring process even more difficult.

The AGR survey was cautiously optimistic, however, when predicting another yearly increase in vacancies. Vacancies for recent graduates are expected to rise by 2.6% this year after an 8.9% increase in 2010.

Measured optimism was reflected by the AGR’s chief executive Carl Gilleard, who said there are “very encouraging signs for graduates.” He noted that vacancies have steadily increased and salaries for hires out of university have also risen slightly.

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