Are Recent Graduates Ready to Work? HR Professionals Say Yes.

By  Ashley Mowreader and published by

A new survey from Handshake and SHRM finds a majority of those in human resource positions believe young people entering the workforce are ready to succeed in their organization.

Despite graduates’ skepticism on their preparation for life after college, recent survey data finds HR professionals are mostly confident in early career professionals’ ability to succeed in their organization.

The survey, conducted by SHRM and Handshake, found that 67 percent of recent graduates believe they have the skills they need to succeed in the workforce from the start. A slightly greater percentage of those in HR, 70 percent, believe emerging professionals are prepared to succeed in their first year.

To best prepare current students to achieve their career goals and feel confident in their abilities in the workforce, higher education practitioners can learn from what HR professionals believe is important for a young worker.

Methodology: The report defines emerging professionals as early career individuals with less than three years in their chosen field, including soon-to-be college graduates and recent graduates.

The survey included responses from over 1,100 HR professionals at organizations that hire emerging professionals, surveyed through SHRM’s membership, as well as 2,122 current college students and recent graduates. The survey was conducted during summer 2023.

Employers say: The most important skill a graduate can hold is adaptability and a willingness to learn (89 percent), according to HR respondents. Other top-rated skills are strong work ethic and reliability (87 percent), communication (81 percent) and teamwork (78 percent).


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author avatar
Celia French

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