Three-quarters of Firms Rejecting 2:2 Graduates

Three-quarters of businesses are dealing with the high numbers of graduate job applications they receive by binning any who don’t have a 2:1 degree or higher, research from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) has found.

According to the AGR’s survey of 200 businesses of all sizes, 78% filtered out those who have not received at least a 2:1 when recruiting graduates between October 2009 and June 2010.

The previous year, only 67% of employers said they would sift CVs based on whether they had a 2:1. The survey also highlighted that there are more graduates going for fewer jobs — with vacancies down by seven per cent.

“Recruiters are under intense pressure this year dealing with a huge number of applications from graduates for a diminishing pool of jobs,”

said AGR chief executive, Carl Gilleard.

“It is hardly surprising then that the number of employers asking for a 2:1 degree has shot up. However, while this approach does aid the sifting process, it can rule out promising candidates with the right work skills unnecessarily.”

“Graduate recruiters should be looking for employability as well as academic attainment. The current degree classifications fail to give a full picture of a student’s achievements and experiences while in higher education.”

However, small business recruitment agency Remarkable Recruitment founder, Darren Simmons, said that small firms were more likely to focus on personality and skills than degree classification.

“Small firms will happily employ someone who has received a 2:2 or less if they are the right fit for the company. If someone has done a sandwich degree or has done some work experience in the summer holidays, but got a 2:2, and another candidate has a 2:1 but no experience, a small firm is more likely to take the former one who knows how the working world operates and won’t need as much training.”

Simmons added that small firms which receive a lot of job applications should filter them based on their relevant experience and commitment to the industry.

“If you still have a lot of candidates after that, the presentation and structure of their CV is also important. If it’s a more technical role, such as an engineer, qualifications become more important, but employers should still balance that by looking at their hands-on experience and their character.”

For further information read the business advice article: Graduate Recruitment.

Three-quarters of Firms Rejecting 2:2 Graduates

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