The COVID-19 Pandemic is Affecting Recent College Graduates

You probably know a recent college graduate who is struggling to find a job right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt to many companies’ hiring plans. For those graduates who have been fortunate enough to secure a job before or even during the chaos, it probably looks a lot different than they imagined.

How will COVID-19 affect the next class of graduates entering the workforce? What new struggles are recent grads facing now that weren’t present a year ago? And how are you, as an employer, responding?

This past month thousands of new graduates entered the workforce (or at least tried to). With the uncertainty of the world right now, it has been very difficult for many of those new graduates to even find a job opening in their field. Many companies that would normally be eager to welcome new grads have been forced to suspend all hiring for the time being. Some have even had to rescind the offers they made before the coronavirus pandemic, according to CNBC. Abigail Hess claims in this article that recent grads are entering “the most hostile labor market since the Great Depression.”

For some, the pandemic has provided experiences students and graduates may not have otherwise encountered. According to an article from SHRM, a class of human resources students at Quinnipiac University used COVID-19 to create real-world scenarios such as employee engagement strategies. “Some of the key concepts emerging from the pandemic are the need to assess, adapt, innovate, listen, communicate, engage and put people first,” said Cheryl Serra. Many new employees are starting their careers remotely and gaining telecommuting skills. These skills will likely come in handy as the world continues to adapt to new ways after the pandemic.

As an employer looking to hire recent graduates, it is important for you to remember what new graduates have been through this year – from having their senior year cut short, to losing graduation and struggling to find their first job. An article from Forbes provides tips for graduates in this tough position: “Start with a game plan. Figure out the type of job and companies you’d like to work for, so you’ll have a focused and organized approach.” The article also recommends that Gen-Z graduates practice their phone interview skills, since that is most likely how interviews will be conducted for the foreseeable future. Employers will also be able to better identify with these young professionals by taking into account the skills they have attained during the uncertainty and being considerate of the anxiety they feel about entering the workforce.

For more information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, check out the Apex COVID-19 resource page.