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Graduate career aspirations - a retention nightmare?

Published: Tuesday, 12 April 2005   Category: Graduate recruitment | Life after graduation

A new Young Professionals (or 'Second Jobber') survey conducted by Hobsons as part of their annual Graduate Recruitment Review has found that no less than 91% of graduate recruits leave their first 'career job' within two years.

This statistic is in marked contrast with undergraduate expectations that they will stick with their first career job for an average of four years.

And it isn't just a question of making a corrective career change after that first job, evidently. More than three-quarters of graduates in their second job plan to move again within two years, while a third intend to move within just one year.

The survey also noted plenty of career movement between different job sectors. While the majority of 'first jobbers' start out in sales, IT, marketing, advertising and PR, 'second jobbers' are more likely to be found in finance, the public sector and HR.

The survey's findings have clearly highlighted the scale of the retention problem facing many graduate recruiters. Respondents cited two main factors for leaving their first job: 'not being paid enough', and 'little or no training'. Given that it's difficult enough to recruit good graduates in today's competitive marketplace, it has to be worth nurturing and developing them once you've got them on board!

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