NEW YORK _ There are more jobs for this year's 1.2 million
college graduates but salaries for many entry-level positions are
lower and companies' expectations for their young recruits are
The rules of the job hunt _ and the jobs themselves _ are also
changing. The corporate restructurings of the past few years have
forced companies to revamp their hiring practices, making a
graduate's first job harder to get.
E.I du Pont de Nemours Co will take on 250 college graduates
this year, half with doctorates. Although that's 100 more than
last year, it's still significantly below the 1,000 recruits
DuPont hired in previous years.
Citibank will hire 25 percent more college graduates than last
year. The bank will also hire more people with bachelors degrees
than in previous years but cut the number of business school
graduates it takes on.
College placement offices see the improvement in the market.
At Smith College in Northampton, Mass., many more companies are
recruiting on campus than last year, said Barbara Reinhold,
director of the Career Development Office.
Overall, hiring of recent college graduates is up 8.8 percent
over last year, although companies are taking on only about half
the number of workers they hired in 1989, said Maury Hanigan,
president of Hanigan Consulting Group.
Despite the increase, recruiters are much more selective.
"We used to hire from among the top 10 percent in a graduating
class, now we look only at the top 1 percent," said Lew Shumaker,
DuPont's manager of college relations and recruitment.
Hanigan, whose firm advises companies on strategic staffing,
said corporate reorganizations have made employers more choosy.
"With corporate cost-cutting a focus, it's too expensive for a
company to hire and train an individual, then have them leave,"
Hanigan said. "Companies are looking much more closely at who
Now, among the biggest selling points for a new graduate is
previous job experience, recruiters said.
"It's worthwhile for a college graduate to show not just
achievement at school, but actual work experience," said James E.
Challenger of Challenger, Gray Christmas, Inc., an
international outplacement company. "Companies want a track
Corporate training programs have been casualties of
cost-cutting at many companies, Challenger said. …