What you need to know from the gradireland Salary Survey 2019

What is the gradireland Graduate Salary & Graduate Recruitment Trends Survey?

It is the official survey of graduate starting salaries and recruitment trends in Ireland. The survey provides employers with a snapshot of the current graduate recruitment landscape and in-depth data on trends in graduate assessment, comparative annual data across sectors, graduate starting salaries by sector and scale and vacancies by sector and salary.

The survey also delves into the current graduate recruitment market and salaries, along with year-on-year comparisons by sector as well as a guide to future trends. Information about starting salaries, graduate intake, selection criteria and the application and screening process is key to Irish companies when considering HR strategy, payroll structure and budgets.

How does it benefit you?

Once you complete the survey you will then receive a hard copy of the research once all of the data has been compiled and put through rigorous checking. The only way to receive a free copy of all the data is to complete the current survey.

The survey can be used to predict the future of the graduate employment landscape as well as providing a clear view of the journey the graduate landscape has undergone in the previous years. It can be used to identify trends and to benchmark your salaries and graduate recruitment processes.

What you need to know from last year’s survey

  • Employers are eager to maintain high levels of graduate recruitment with 81% of employers stating that they plan to either maintain or increase their levels of graduate recruitment.
  • The average graduate starting salary exceeded €30,000 averaging €30,409 across all sectors. This is the first time the graduate salary has exceeded the €30,000 mark since the survey first began collecting data in 2006.
  • Graduate recruitment increased across multiple sectors. IT, engineering, retail, HR and accountancy were all very popular amongst employers with IT leading the field as 45% of employers surveyed said they were hiring graduates for this sector.
  • Internships remained a vital talent stream for recruiters. 88% of employers offered internships or work experience programmes with 13% of recruiters hiring more than 50% of their graduate intake from previous interns.
  • There were a growing number of graduate employers engaging with second-level students. 46% of recruiters said that they were engaging with students at second level to promote, identify and nurture early-stage career talent and to promote their employer brand.

The survey is not all just facts and figures; it tells a story. There is a story behind all of the data contained within the survey which is expanded upon within the physical copy. 81% of employers planned to either maintain their graduate recruitment levels or expand them with 48% of that cohort declaring they would be hiring more graduates that year.

But why? – We asked the employers surveyed and 73% said that is was due to a growth in business, 52% stated that it was due to an increase in strategic focus on graduate recruitment and 45% cited the development of a new graduate programme. *Note that employers could choose more than one option when answering this question.

How many graduates does this refer to? – The survey also breaks this down. 50% of employers were recruiting more than 20 graduates, 38% were recruiting over 40 and 13% recruited between 20 and 39. All sizes of graduate employers are taken into account with 9% declaring that they would be recruiting just one or two graduates and 16% intended to recruit between three and nine.

Is it all good news?

The survey does not shy away from data even if the figures demonstrate some challenges that employers may face in the coming year. The entire graduate recruitment landscape is covered, warts and all.

For example, 45% of employers said that they were confident of being able to fill their graduate vacancies with 50% saying that they were expecting to find graduate recruitment challenging in 2019 and a further 15% uncertain of whether they would face challenges or not.

What specific challenges will you face? – 37% of employers surveyed said that the biggest challenge they would face when it came to graduate recruitment was competition for graduate talent from other employers in their sector while 26% said that employers from outside their sector presented a significant challenge. The final fact coincides with other published research which shows that IT graduates are of interest to employers across multiple sectors as are marketing and engineering graduates. Other challenges that were highlighted were that 22% of employers felt applicants would not have the right qualifications or skills, while 9% felt that the starting salaries which they were able to offer their graduates were not competitive enough.

The breakdown

The facts and figures that are illustrated in last year’s survey cover a wide variety of sectors and are not generalised. The data is broken down into sectors so no matter what sphere your company is operating in or what degree you would like your graduates to have, it will be covered in the survey.

For example, the mean salary for graduates offered by companies hiring in IT and technology was €31,701. For retail and sales, it was, €33,600 with law offering the highest starting graduate salary with a mean figure of €40,000. The lowest mean salary in 2019 belonged to the food, drink, leisure and tourism industry with €24,000 the mean starting salary.

The process – it’s not all about salary

As we have covered, the gradireland Graduate Salary & Graduate Recruitment Trends Survey gives an overview of the entire graduate recruitment landscape including the application process and the inner workings of graduate programmes.

In the 2019 survey, it was revealed that 54% of employers expect applicants to have a minimum of a 2.1 degree and 65% wanted applicants to demonstrate certain core competencies.

The most common type of pre-screening process used by employers was the telephone interview with 46% employing that particular method. Online ability/technical tests proved to be popular with 42% engaging with that method.

In terms of the interview process itself, the most common practice used was competency-based interviews with 71% of employers stating they used this process. The next most popular interview process was the panel interview with 55% employing this technique followed by assessment centres which were used by 39% of employers.

In terms of the graduate programmes themselves, 40% of employers surveyed said that all of their intake would rotate while on the programme and when it came to the lengths of a graduate programme, 38% of employers said that their programme lasts 20-29 months with 34% declaring that theirs ran for 10-19 months.

All of the figures and trends mentioned in the article only provides a snapshot of what you will find in the published version of the survey.

How do I have my say?

If you feel as though some of the figures above do not reflect your experience of the graduate recruitment landscape, then have your say and complete this year’s survey.

To do so get in contact at piers.moyles@gradireland.com.

The information you give is completely confidential, non-identifying, and the topline trends data will only be used for the gradireland salary survey or in gradireland publications.

The survey will only take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

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