Find out what skills employers want and new graduates lack

Only 36 percent of college students believe they’ll have the skills needed to be successful in the workplace after completing their degree, according to a survey conducted by Gallup and Strada Education Network.

Separate research suggests employers may agree. Forty-four percent, in fact, feel recent grads could lack the real-world experience that’s necessary to perform their role, according to CareerBuilder findings.

With students, businesses and other entities expressing concern about recent graduates being able to hit the ground running once hired, employers may benefit from contemplating how they can proactively address some of the needs employees who are new to the workforce might have — such as:

Additional collaboration and critical thinking training

Thirty-four percent of senior-level corporate leaders and 44 percent of academic institution professionals felt recent grads lacked key soft skills in 2018 — such as analytical reasoning, complex problem-solving and the ability to work in a team, according to a Workday and Bloomberg report.

To address their organization’s overall skill requirements, roughly 41 percent of corporate survey respondents said they planned to invest in reskilling current employees. Fifty-five percent were considering revising job responsibilities to reflect future needs.

rawpixel-711098-unsplashHelp meeting industry and company standards

While employers rate professionalism/work ethic competencies as one of the three most essential skills for college graduates entering the workforce to have, a National Association of Colleges and Employers study found employers actually don’t feel that’s one of the top three abilities recent graduates possess — indicating additional instruction may be needed in that area, as well.

Support when candidates are being screened

In addition to a strong GPA, employers that participated in a NACE job outlook survey said written communication skills were the top proficiency they wanted to see on students’ resumes.

Only 37 percent of college students, though, feel they’ve gained the resume writing skills needed to be successful in the workplace, according to a McGraw Hill survey. Just 34 percent feel ready to interview — something companies may want to keep in mind so they’re able to manage their expectations during the recruiting process.

While research indicates a number of students are concerned they may not possess the skills employers look for in college graduates, ones in certain fields may feel more prepared than others.

Students pursuing science, technology, engineering and math degrees, for instance, are the most confident about their future prospects, according to Gallup and Strada Education Network data. Liberal arts and business majors were found to be the least confident.

For more tips on hiring and managing college graduates entering the workforce — and strengthening the recruiting process in general — our blog posts on ways companies can ensure recent graduates are good hires, 4 issues better onboarding can fix and our What Generation Z Means for the Workforce white paper can provide additional insight.