SCSU survey shines light into 2015 job market

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Contributing article by Nicholas Erickson

St. Cloud State’s Career Services sheds light onto the job market of 2015. The Minnesota College Job Outlook survey looks specifically into employers who are actively recruiting in Minnesota for new college graduates.

“Job Fairs are the number one source for employers looking to hire college students, so students need to take advantage of them,” said Andrew Ditlevson, associate director of SCSU Career Services.

The survey said that 53.9 percent of companies are planning to increase hiring in 2015. This is an 18 percent increase from 2014.

There were 103 employers that took part in the survey, and 45.1 percent reported that they will maintain hiring. The survey claims only 1 percent of companies plan on decreasing hiring.

The good news does not stop there for soon-to-be graduates, because the survey also indicates an increase and maintenance in compensation. The survey stated that 76.2 percent of employers plan to maintain their salary scale. While, 22.8 percent of employers plan to increase employee salaries.

The survey also asked employers what recruiting methods they are using to hire new graduates.

Job fairs were not only the most selected method of recruitment on the survey, they were also the most effective according to the recruiters.

A majority of 95.2 percent of companies attended job fairs as a method of recruiting, while 29.1 percent believed it is the most effective method of recruiting. Recruiters on campus at this weekend’s job fair believe this to be because it resembles an interview and it allows the most interested students to come to them.

Social media may be an good option for students looking to gain an edge in a growing market. The Minnesota Job Outlook Report found that social media has jumped 10 percent from last year as a recruiting tool.

“For our MN employers, 70 percent said they are using social media as a recruiting tool. Nationally, as many as 95 percent of employers say they use social media,” said Ditlevson.

“We use social media as more of a tool,” said Sarah Mihalow a recruiter for Xfinity Cable Company. “We want to see that candidates are a good fit for the company, and that they have the necessary experience to last at our company.”

Graduates looking to gain an edge in the employment process can use social media to express their interest in working for the company.

“Following companies on Facebook and Twitter tends to impress the employers who you want to work for,” said Ditlevson.

“LinkedIn is the primary tool for actually recruiting” said Ditlevson. “You can use it to make contacts, introduce and promote yourself, and build relationships with potentially thousands of employers, especially if you participate in ‘discussions’ on groups.”

Mihalow said that LinkedIn is Xfinity’s primary recruiting website and that providing skills, interests, related experience to their profile that expresses a fit within the organization can make a candidate stand out.