For Class of 2015, Job Offers Increase While Acceptance Rates Decline

Posted By Terri Williams on August 11, 2015 at 10:18 am
For Class of 2015, Job Offers Increase While Acceptance Rates Decline

Just a few years ago, it seemed that college graduates couldn’t buy a job if they wanted one. Fast-forward to 2015, and graduating seniors are receiving – and rejecting – job offers at the highest rates in recent history.

According to the 2015 Student Survey, conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), offer and acceptance rates from 2013 to 2015 were as follows:

Graduating Seniors Offer Rate Acceptance Rate
2013 45.9% 63.9%
2014 47.9% 62.8%
2015 50.7% 58.9%

A previous survey by NACE and the Michigan State Career Employment Research Institute revealed that it’s a seller’s market for 2015 graduates, and employers who responded to the survey expressed concerns that their companies may not appear as attractive to candidates as their competitors. They also reported that candidates were reneging on offers.

What’s fueling these higher offer and lower acceptance rates? GoodCall turned to three experts to gain a better understanding.

A disconnect with employers

According to Sam Allen, Director of the Office of
 Career Services at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH, Generation Z brings a whole new set of values to the 
job search process – values that frequently clash with corporate recruiting 
strategies, cultures and work environments.

“New grads have a desire to make a difference – they have a perception that 
corporate America is negative and not creative. They are looking for a 
culture that shares their desire to make the world a better place through community service, sustainability initiatives, or 
products and services that benefit society,” Allen says.

Allen says they’re also looking for a “personal” connection: “They don’t want to be a faceless
 number in a mega-corporation with no short-term recognition for their 

Allen also blames companies for the higher job rejection rates, citing disconnected corporate recruiting strategies. He says that many organizations are using the same methods that appealed to earlier generations. “Organizations utilizing creative social media
 strategies and that have incorporated more employee perks such as 
tuition-remission, fitness centers, concierge services, and recreational
 outlets during the work day are seeing more success.”

Financial considerations

According to David Thoreau, President of The Independent Institute, a non-profit, non-partisan, scholarly research 
and educational organization, “Today’s college costs are higher than what graduates can expect to earn 
after college.
 While the total cost of going to college has doubled for public university 
students and increased 63% for private-university students since 1991,
 female graduates have seen a mere 9% increase in incomes over the same 
time period, and the median income for male graduates has actually 

So – wouldn’t that make grads more eager to accept job offers? Thoreau says that in many cases, recent graduates have to choose between starting their career or paying off their debt.

Allen adds that college debt forces many new
 graduates to move home, limiting the opportunities that could be available
 to them through relocation. “Generation Zs have depended heavily on their parents 
and support networks for decision-making and financial support. Parents are
 actively encouraging their new grads to move home and take time to ‘figure it out,'” Allen says.

Jason Dukes, a Montclair, NJ-based-career and business coach and founder of Captain’s Chair Coaching, says, “Today’s college graduates don’t have the urgency of students in the past. For one reason, the bad economic period we just had made living at home acceptable.”

Unrealistic expectations

Dukes also says new graduates are looking for the perfect job: “They’ve grown up in a heavy pop media environment that has them believing that they can find a job, work one hour a week, make $1 million, wear really nice clothes, and hang out at the beach. So they are willing to hold out until they find that, and mock the offers they receive on social media, which just snowballs the effect.”

Terri Williams
Terri Williams graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her education, career, and business articles have been featured on Yahoo! Education, U.S. News & World Report, The Houston Chronicle, and in the print edition of USA Today Special Edition. Terri is also a contributing author to "A Practical Guide to Digital Journalism Ethics," a book published by the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago.

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