74 Percent of Employers Plan To Hire Recent College Graduates in 2017

  • Posted by: J. Kent Gervasini |
  • 5/4/17 |
  • 4:14 PM
74 Percent of Employers Plan To Hire Recent College Graduates in 2017

What do all employers have in common at this very moment?

Answer:  A shortage of qualified and skilled talent ready to work day one.

U.S. employers and Denver staffing agencies and recruiting firms are finding it increasingly difficult to hire qualified, skilled and productive workers and, in Denver’s current business climate, our employers are experiencing the same challenge. As a result, Denver's talent shortage in now negatively impacting growth plans and profits.  Employee morale is also affected, frustrating business owners and CEO’s to include key and mid-level managers looking to lead productive teams.

So why is the Denver employer finding it difficult to hire qualified talent in 2017?  Here are the biggest influencers:

  1. The Denver Unemployment Rate
    The unemployment rate in Denver is at an all-time low, and when I say low, I really mean low. J. Kent Staffing started in July 1979, and in 38 years of recruiting and hiring for Denver companies, we have not experienced these low numbers and encountered such a shortage of qualified talent needed to satisfy the demands of our clients.
  2. Baby Boomers Moving Into Retirement
    Baby Boomers, along with their skills and years of experience, are walking out the corporate door into retirement.  Many have worked past the benchmark, age 65, for financial reasons, and some have continued to work, just because they enjoy the intellectual challenge and corporate experience—but now it’s time to move in another direction.  So, hasta la vista!
    Millennials vs Baby Boomers
    Description Colorado Denver
    Millennials (Ages 20-34) 1,107,469 176,458
    Baby Boomers (Ages 55-74) 958,289 99,095

    Did You Know?
    June 25, 2015--Millennials, or America's youth born between 1982 and 2000, now number 83.1 million and represent more than one quarter of the nation's population.  Their size exceeds that of the 75.4 million Baby Boomers.
    U.S. Census Bureau
    2013 Census Date (Most Recent Available)


  3. New Corporate Citizens Creating New Denver Jobs
    Corporate and entrepreneurial risk takers from around the globe have decided to call Denver their corporate home.  Many of these companies working in all industries and sectors are drawn to the area particularly because of our central, middle of the country location, a 21st century airport, award-winning transit and mobility, excellence in education, a regional hub for health care, a growing thriving downtown and a constant influx of newly minted college graduates. A Denver destination is a top corporate choice for every size of company whether private or publicly held.

    Therefore the demand for qualified, technologically skilled and savvy workers with an entrepreneurial bent has increased tremendously.  The shortage is felt by the entrepreneur, the Human Resource Manager and CEO alike. The shortage has also created a new employer reality—upward wage pressures. It you want to attract, compete for or retain top talent, upward wage pressures, sign-on bonuses, more frequent raises and more, and more corporate perks are becoming the norm, not the exception.
  4. Competition for Talent in Denver Increased 2017 Over 2016
    We recognize the competition for direct hire, temp-to-hire or temporary talent is now even greater than just one year ago. The Federal Reserve considers a base unemployment rate of 5.0 to 5.2 percent as "full employment" in the economy—Denver is much below that today.To illustrate this point, let’s look at the unemployment rate for March, year-over-year: 
    U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
    Unemployment Rate - March
    Area 2017 2016 (Actual)
    Denver 2.4 % (preliminary) 3.6 %
    Colorado 2.6 % (preliminary) 3.3 %
    National 4.5 % (actual) 5.0 %

Competition for Newly Minted College Grads Escalating 
But here is the good news: there are plenty of college students with caps and gowns in hand preparing for graduation.  "Competition for soon-to-be college grads is escalating to a degree we haven't seen in the last 10 years," said Rosemary Haefner, Chief Human Resources Officer for CareerBuilder.” Really, is that true?  The answer is a resounding yes.

Although not as highly pursued in the past, corporate strategies are changing and the recent college graduate, with a fresh perspective, is getting a very calculated look by corporate America.  In recognizing the talent shortage, American business faces a new reality and, in response, has taken the strategic recruiting steps to compete for and develop this new, fresh and readily available talent pool. 

74 Percent of Employers Plan To Hire Recent College Graduates in 2017
Not only is J. Kent experiencing this heightened interest by our clients in recent college graduates, a new survey from CareerBuilder has confirmed the same.  The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder between February 16 and March 9, 2017, and included a representative sample of 2,380 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.

The survey results showed:

  • 74 percent of employers say they plan to hire recent college graduates this year, up from 67 percent last year and the highest outlook since 2007.
  • Half (50 percent) plan to offer recent college graduates higher pay than last year (compared to 37 percent last year), and
  • 39 percent of employers hiring recent college graduates this year will pay a starting salary of $50,000 or more (compared to 27 percent last year).

The Information Provided Does Not Constitute Legal Advice

J. Kent Staffing is a Denver temporary staffing agency and has a world-wide audience.
 Employment laws and regulations vary from state to state and country to country.  

Therefore, employers, temporary staffing agencies, and direct hire recruiting firms should consult their own labor or employment law attorneys with additional questions or for guidance and more information specific to their country, state and workplace.


Source:  04/17/2017, Denver Business Journal, Caitlin Hendeen, “Denver is Attracting a Lot of Millennials – But Will They be Staying?”, CareerBuilder.com/collegehiring2017, denvergov.org


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