New Grad Hiring Outlook Good Despite Economy

July 11, 2008 ( - The uncertain economy and labor market do not seem to be affecting hiring plans for new college graduates, according to a recent Korn/Ferry International survey.

The Korn/Ferry Executive Quiz found nearly two-thirds (65%) of executives surveyed say their organization is planning to hire recent graduates with either a bachelor’s or master’s degree this year. More than one-third (35%) say they are hiring the same number of new graduates this year than in recent years, and 30% say they plan to hire more.

The interview process was cited as the most critical element in the hiring decision by the vast majority of respondents (71%). Past internship or work experience (21%), reputation of the school (5%) and references (4%), were other cited factors in hiring decisions.

The survey found that, according to respondents, during the interview phase, the most common mistake candidates make is not doing their homework on the position and the company (59%) followed by applying for a position beyond their ability (18%), lack of professionalism (12%), and overemphasizing salary and title (11%).

Executives were also asked how closely related their current job was to their college degree. Almost two-thirds (64%) said very closely related, while 36% said it was not related at all.