Summit on Youth in NS Economy


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The Greater Halifax Partnership presented at the Students Nova Scotia 'Summit on Youth in NS Economy' on March 20, 2014.

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  • Note that the purpose of this presentation is to provide information on what employers are looking for in recent graduates and young professionals. We at GHP are not saying that we think employers are “right” or “wrong” to hold these opinions but rather are just looking to provide a snapshot of what these opinions are. We would likely suggest that there is a need for a change of attitude among local employers when it comes to hiring recent graduates, given the need to provide entry-level employment opportunities to retain youth in the region.
  • The hiring of young professionals may not be as rare as you might think…
  • Survey results showed that a large majority of respondents expected to hire YP’s in the next five years, with 89% saying it was likely or very likely.Just over half (56%) reported they had hired people straight out of school with little or no experience in the last 12-18 months.
  • Of those that expected to hire YP’s, the majority expected to hire between 1 and 5According to GHP’s November 2013 Business Confidence Survey, “entry-level” employees accounted for approximately 1/3 of new hires that responding firms expected over the next five years.
  • Given that employers are looking to hire young professionals, what are they looking for?
  • Respondents were asked to rate the importance of several work ethic factorsThe most important factors were that the employee has enthusiasm about their work and that the employee can be counted on to produce results. Education was next most important (think technical or “hard” skills), followed by previous work experience.Note that “previous work experience” need not mean strictly employment experience, but could include any extra-curricular, leadership, or volunteer experience which helped to build and/or demonstrate “soft” skills, i.e. leadership ability, team work, ability to learn new skills quickly, project management, people skills, etc.While there was a perception that YP’s were less willing to work long hours than older workers and put more emphasis on work-life balance, these factors are shown here not to be as important to employers as an enthusiastic and dependable employee.
  • Respondents were also asked what they saw as the biggest benefit of hiring young professionals. Most frequently cited benefit was their energy and enthusiasm, finding future leaders of the organization, tech savvy, fresh ideas and ease of training compared to older workers – note that with the exception of tech savvy, these are all “soft skills”
  • While many of the factors listed in the previous slides are easy for new graduates to understand (being enthusiastic about the work or having the right education), many grads have little data to inform their expectations salary expectations.Yet, in many cases, employers will ask job candidates what their salary expectations are and maybe consider this in their hiring choice.The following slides show what respondents felt were reasonable starting salaries for entry-level employees.While this is not necessarily representative information, it is illustrative.
  • Also note that it is not necessarily the case that the respondents are “correct” in this view but that it gives you an idea of what might be considered reasonableAlso note that these are averages and that starting salaries may vary significantly depending on the position, employer, and other circumstancesOverall, 79% of employers felt that a reasonable entry-level salary was between $25,000 and $45,000, while perceptions of a reasonable 10-year experience salary were significantly more varied
  • This is just to show that while starting employer’s perceptions of starting salaries may be lower than graduates hopes or expectations, they climb over time
  • Only shows industries for which there were 20 or more respondents, note that this is not necessarily a representative sample and is only for illustrative purposes.
  • Respondents were asked which recruiting methods they used regularly as part of their hiring process (allowed to select more than one response, so the numbers in that column add up to more than 100%), and which they had the most success with (only allowed to pick one).Note that the use of social media is increasing (up 10% since the previous survey in 2011)Note that many jobs are not posted, with only 60% saying they used paid advertising (only 3% said they used free web sites like Job Bank, included in the “Other” category). In other words, young professionals need to be actively looking and building their network if they want to access many of these opportunities.
  • Note that networking need not mean going to networking events or cold calling, which many may not be comfortable with. Networking can mean researching local companies to find out who heads up relevant divisions, and sending e-mails, introducing oneself and requesting an opportunity to meet or have a phone call to discuss what opportunities for someone in your field they may be aware of (at that company or elsewhere), discuss the work done at that organization, and to discuss typical requirements of new entrants to work there. Contrary to your expectations, you will not be “bothering” them, many of them will be very happy to set some time aside to meet with young professionals, and will remember you when they hear of an opportunity in the future.Cover letters and resumes should be researched. You should know what the company you are applying to does and at last generally what your position would entail. This allows you to express enthusiasm for the work that is done there.Your experiences and credentials in your resume should be chosen to demonstrate that you are dependable and that you have the required hard and soft skills. Don’t just say you have those skills, use examples from your past to prove it.
  • Summit on Youth in NS Economy

    1. 1. WHAT DO NS EMPLOYERS WANT IN RECENT GRADUATES? Presented by Robyn Webb to the Summit on Youth in the Nova Scotia Economy
    2. 2. DATA SOURCE • Based on results from the Young Professionals Employment Survey • A survey of 364 responding employers in HRM conducted in December 2012 and January 2013 • Conducted by GHP in partnership with Fusion Halifax and Clear Picture • 92% of all respondents had input into the hiring of new staff, with 73% in top management positions • Responding firms varied broadly in industry, size, and average age of workforce
    4. 4. 61% 28% 4% 3% 3% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Very Likely Likely Unlikely Very Unlikely Not Sure/Don't Know Likelihood of Hiring Young Professionals in the Next Five Years
    5. 5. 61% 19% 5% 14% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 1 to 5 6 to 10 11 to 19 Over 20 Quantity of Potential Young Professional Hires in Next Five Years
    7. 7. 4.7 5.1 5.9 6.6 6.6 7.6 7.6 8.9 9.2 0 2 4 6 8 10 Minimal requirements for time off Willingness to work long hours Available to work evenings or weekends Salary expectations Referrals from friends or colleagues Previous work experience Education Can be counted on for excellent results Enthusiastic attitude about their work Average Rating of Important Factors in Hiring Young Professionals
    8. 8. Benefits of Hiring Young Professionals Energy and enthusiasm, 32% Finding future leaders of the organization, 23% Savvy with new technology, 13% They have fresh ideas, 12% Potentially easier to train, 9% Other, 5% Networking connections to a younger cohort, 4% Few existing loyalties, 1%
    9. 9. This tells us that employers are looking for young professionals that are: • Enthusiastic and positive about their work • Dependable to get the job done • Have the required technical or “hard” skills • Have “soft” skills as well
    11. 11. 4% 39% 40% 13% 3% 1% 0% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% <$25k $25k-$35k $35k-$45k $45k-$55k $55k-$65k $65k-$75k >$75k Average Employers Perceptions of Reasonable Starting Salaries
    12. 12. 0% 2% 12% 21% 22% 21% 23% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% <$25k $25k-$35k $35k-$45k $45k-$55k $55k-$65k $65k-$75k >$75k Average Employers Perceptions of Reasonable Salaries for Person with Ten Years of Experience
    13. 13. Industry $26-$35K $36-$45K $46-$55K $56-$65K $66-$75K Government/Public Sector ● ◊ Finance/Accounting ● ◊ Manufacturing ● ◊ Health Care ● ◊ IT ● ◊ Education ● ◊ Consulting ● ◊ Average Employers Perceptions of Reasonable Starting and Ten-year Salaries for Select Industries ● =Salary Range for Entry-Level Position ◊=Salary Range for Person with 10 Years of Experience
    15. 15. Recruiting Methods Which do you regularly use as part of your hiring process? Which do you have the most success with? 2013 2013 Networking/Word of mouth 81% 35% Paid Advertising (print, web, radio) 60% 24% Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) 45% 4% Co-ops and internships 43% 9% Recruiters 33% 7% Campus Recruiting 28% 5% Succession Planning 26% 2% Local Employment Office 20% 4% Other 15% 9% Which Recruiting Methods do Employers Use in Their Hiring Process?
    16. 16. TIPS FOR SUCCESS
    17. 17. • Build your network o Many opportunities are not posted or advertised o Building a network will help to ensure word of mouth opportunities make their way to you • Your cover letter and resume should communicate your enthusiasm, dependability, hard and soft skills o Resume and cover letter should be well researched and customized for each application o Should address all of the requirements in the job posting
    18. 18. QUESTIONS?