When it comes to hiring graduates, employers say they favour work ethic over work experience when looking for their next student recruit.

Almost three quarters (69 per cent) of respondents to a poll conducted by Anne Corder Recruitment said work ethic and personal ability ranked way above work experience when it came to offering the job.

Transferable skills (31 per cent) were also favoured – with work experience scoring 0 in the online survey.


Covid-19 and work experience

“The results of the poll are really pleasing, with employers recognising that work experience has been affected in the last couple of years, meaning young people may not have been able to gain part time jobs in the retail or leisure sector for example, or through voluntary placements in their chosen fields,” says Recruitment Partner, Judith Broughton.

“They are eager to start their first ‘proper’ job, have fresh ideas and new talents to offer an employer, come with a willingness to learn and are filled with enthusiasm.

“It is encouraging to see that employers are shifting the emphasis when it comes to traits they are looking for when recruiting for their next graduate role, which in turn will help with retaining enthusiastic young talent.”

“While the pandemic has impacted many areas when it comes to jobs and employment, and employers are taking into account that many young people have not been able to attain high levels or any work experience, there is still plenty graduates can do to make themselves employable and get ahead of the game when employers are looking to fill roles” adds Ms Broughton.


The skills shortage

Hiring graduates on work ethic may help to end the current skills shortage if employers invest in training programmes.

This is apparent considering a nationwide survey commissioned by Lifetime Training, which reveals that nearly half (46%) of respondents think that good training and skills and career progression were the most important factors when considering a new job role.