What do employers look for in new graduates?

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Mar 24 2015 04:10 PM | Updated as of Mar 25 2015 05:46 PM

MANILA – Fresh graduates looking for their dream jobs should not only bank on their passion and skills, they should also highlight actual work experience, according to online job site JobStreet.com.

Eileen Camarillo-Go, marketing communications manager at JobStreet.com Philippines, said employers are now looking into work experience either from an internship, part-time job, or even civic work when hiring an applicant fresh off college.

“Employers want college students who take their internships seriously and it matters na kung nagtrabaho na sila in the past, mayroon na silang natutunan so hindi na sila mahirap turuan kasi nandoon na ‘yung basic computer skills, and office etiquette,” she said at the launch of Jobstreet.com’s 2015 Jobs and Salary Report for Fresh Graduates.

From the 450 companies surveyed in February, Camarillo-Go said 80 percent of respondents replied that internship is something they would like graduates to have.

More than half of the respondent companies also preferred hiring fresh graduates who have part-time employment experience.

In terms of functional skills, employers consider communication skills, trainability, competence, problem solving and analytical skills, and tech know-how.

Employers are also looking for applicants that possess behavioral skills such as willingness to learn, initiative, honesty and integrity, self-motivated/self-starter, and self-confidence.

Around 85 percent of employers asked by JobStreet.com claimed to have hired fresh graduates in 2014, with most of the applicants landing jobs in accounting and finance, operations and information technology (IT).

Companies that hired fresh graduates, however, expressed concerns that their fresh graduate hires do not stay long with them.

"They feel that fresh grads are job-hoppers—they won’t stay and they’re not loyal. Mahirap sila bigyan ng full training because maybe after six months, they move on to the next job,” Camarillo-Go said.

Some also have poor communication skills, and have unrealistic salary expectations.

Those who did not hire fresh graduates, on the other hand, attribute this to having only job openings for candidates with work experience or who are highly specialized.

Does alma mater still matter?

Jobstreet.com Philippines said in its report that in 2014, 61 percent of respondent companies claimed that the school of the graduate is important, but this figure went down to 51 percent in this year’s survey.

The same top schools still placed prominently as the institutions companies prioritize when hiring.

These schools are University of the Philippines, University of Santo Tomas, De La Salle University, and Ateneo de Manila University.

Other schools that are prioritized by employers are Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Mapua, Far Eastern University, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Makati, Adamson, and the University of the East.

“Most companies say that nagha-hire na sila from all colleges as long as the candidate is trainable and they fulfill the requirements needed for the job,” said Camarillo-Go.