The job market for fresh graduates appears set to pick up in 2021 following a year of dismal unemployment rates and financial uncertainty as the Covid-19 pandemic battered economies around the world, a survey by recruitment firm Talentbank reveals.
The survey titled “Employers’ Top University Choice”, conducted in October among to assess job market conditions for fresh graduates in the new normal, showed that 73.41% of respondents intend to hire graduates from both public and private universities in the year to come.
Meanwhile, 21.97% of respondents were unsure and 4.62% said they were disinclined to hire.
The survey saw the participation of respondents in mainly senior positions in mid-sized to large organisations (80.35%), of which 33.53% comprised public-listed companies.
Job prospects appeared promising for fresh graduates with backgrounds in accounting, business management, marketing, computing and IT, human resource management, mechanical engineering and electronics and electrical engineering, among others.
Monthly salaries offered to fresh graduates from all fields average between RM2,501 and RM3,000, while internship allowances average RM1,000 per month.
Talentbank CEO Ben Ho said this was good news amid the volatility and uncertainty caused by the pandemic and also meant that universities were producing graduates “with the right set of skill sets needed by the industry”.
“We asked employers if they placed a greater emphasis on attitude or academic results when hiring fresh graduates and the responses came as no surprise.
“A majority of 91.91% of the respondents chose good attitude over academic results while the remaining 8.09% stressed on academic results over good attitude. These results point to a growing demand for talents who are versatile, able to pick up new skills and to take on new responsibilities thrown at them,” he added.
Earlier this month, Deputy Human Resources Minister Awang Hashim said nearly 100,000 workers had been laid off since January including highly skilled workers comprising managers, professionals, technicians and associate professionals.
But Talentbank’s survey showed an optimistic future for fresh graduate employment as far as 2022, with 76.3% of respondents saying they would be hiring then as well.
The survey revealed that employers’ top five hiring sources for fresh graduates are from job sites, company career pages, university career fairs, social media channels and career fairs at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Center.
The top 10 recruitment metrics used when hiring fresh graduates are career readiness, extra-curricular activities, university reputation, recruitment processes, cumulative grade point average, salary range, time to hire, cost to course applications, employee retention and students’ international exposure.