Australian graduates taking longer to find jobs

The majority of graduates in Australia have no trouble landing a job within months of graduating – but this rate has dropped sharply from previous years, a survey reveals.

In the latest edition of its annual Graduate Destinations report, Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) revealed that in 2013, nearly three-quarters (71.3 per cent) of new bachelor-level graduates in the full-time labour market managed to find a full-time role within four months of completing their degree. Graduates in the “full-time labour market” are defined as those either in or seeking full-time employment.

While this may seem like a relatively high proportion, it represents a significant fall from the 76.1 per cent recorded the previous year. GCA attributes this stagnant rate of employment to the lingering effects of the global financial crisis, from which much of the world is yet to recover.

Dr Noel Edge, executive director of the GCA, stressed that graduates are still not looking and thinking long-term enough in terms of their career, and what they'll do beyond their first job.

“All our research shows that unemployment is not a long-term concern for graduates and it's important to understand that getting a degree is not just about the first job after university,” he said.

“It's about a life-time of advantage in the labour market as well as the potential for huge personal growth.”

Likewise, employers should be taking a long-term approach in their recruitment and selection of graduate employees. Instead of looking narrowly for those who seem like good short-term fixes, graduates should be viewed as investments that your organisation would want to develop and prime for internal leadership roles down the line. Tools such as the Graduate Talent Assessment can help you dig deeper into your graduate talent, empowering them to tap into their strengths, address their weaknesses and unleash their leadership potential.