The marketing world is known for its love of hiring interns but with unemployment rates on the rise, are internships really going to lead to new jobs for graduates? And what are employers looking for?

A new study by Millennial Branding and Experience reveal an employment gap between employers and students. Even though 91% of employers think students should have between one and two internships before graduation, 50% haven’t hired any interns in the last six months. In fact, over three quarters of employers have hired 30% fewer interns into full time positions of late.

As for social media, currently only 16% of employers look to social media to recruit and 35% use those networks for background checks. The majority of them looking to LinkedIn and Facebook in the hiring process. Thankfully, for those twitter addicts out there, only 2% check Twitter…for now.

What exactly are these employers looking for in entry-level talent? Jennifer Floren, Founder and CEO, Experience found the results rely less on education.

Of all the things employers look for when hiring entry-level talent, it’s the so-called ‘soft skills’ that are valued most: communication, teamwork, flexibility and positive attitude are by far the most sought-after skills. Employers understand that everything else can be taught, so they look for the most promising raw material to work with.

This study is interesting for those looking at how we are hiring in this digital age. Keeping these results in mind, employers need to look at evolving their hiring processes and graduates may need to be more targeted at how they approach the opportunities they take before joining the workforce. 

Heather Taylor

Published 14 May, 2012 by Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor is the Editorial Director for Econsultancy US. You can follow her on Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

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Comments (2)



Nice, clear infographic (if a little dull).

There are a few errors on the penultimate pane – "The Focus on Skills" – the icons for "Positive Attitude", "Teamwork Skills" and "Strategic Thinking & Analytics" under "What skills are hardest to find but most important to you" are against the wrong categories!

over 6 years ago

Edarabia Isciler

Edarabia Isciler, Content Manager at Edarabia

In the ideal case, you - the job candidate - can show that you have both education and experience which equip you to better perform in the job you want to get.

over 2 years ago

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