Study: Technical recruiters, employers seeking out more college grads

Kids haven't stopped going to college and coming out of secondary education with an increasingly heightened skill set. This is in spite of the fact the jobs market has been pretty rough on millennials ready to enter the workforce during a significant economic downturn. A recent survey by Generation Opportunity, a non-partisan group advocating millennial employment, found the unemployment rate for those aged 18 to 29 was 10.9 percent in November. The rate is significantly higher than the national average.

However, both employers that are looking to inject fresh talent out of school via recruiting agencies and students set to graduate in 2013 received some good news after a new study projected hiring for recent grads is trending upward for next year.

Employers look to continue hiring graduates
Michigan State University's "Recruiting Trends Report" said students graduating in the near future can expect a better jobs market and a greater number of employers looking for a varied skill set.

The report found employers responding to the survey rated the strength of the college labor market at 2.38, with "2" being fair and "3" being good. It might not seem like much, but the rating follows an upward trend since the economic collapse and put 2011 on par with 2008 pre-recession levels.

Employers who hired during the last academic year also showed strong intentions of hiring next year: 78 percent hired new graduates last year, compared to just 22 percent that did not. Additionally, 50 percent of businesses that hired said they plan on hiring more graduates moving forward and 21 percent have preliminary targets.

Even those that did not hire are expressing more optimism in regard to the state of college labor. Only 8 percent of employers said they would not hire this year, a "noticeable drop from last year."

Employers looking at bachelor's earners, engineering sees opportunities
Businesses are increasingly looking at varying levels of degrees obtained by recent graduates. Employers indicated students who received bachelor's degrees were prime targets for hiring. The average number of hires among these students was 24.5 in 2011 and is expected to increase to 26.2 in 2012, a 6.9 percent year-over-year change. Ph.D. recipients were also on the upward track. The average number of hires in 2011 was 6.6 and the projected number for 2012 is 7.4, a 12 percent year-over-year bump.

Technical areas were also pegged to see strong jobs growth next year: "Accounting, most engineering disciplines, finance, and supply chain are expected to do well this year," the researchers said.

Employers that will hire new graduates can improve their chances of landing the best and newest talent in the workforce by using recruiting agencies to collect the most skilled applicants.