Small businesses shun graduates

Small business owners are turning their backs on the graduate employee market and instead choosing to hire school leavers and other non-graduates.

Small business owners are turning their backs on the graduate employee market and instead choosing to hire school leavers and other non-graduates.

Some 54 per cent of small business owners that had hired graduates in the past find that they represent less value to their company than non-graduates, according to a study of 20,000 respondents by money saving website DealJungle.com.

More than three quarters (77 per cent) had also hired non-graduates with six out of ten claiming hiring them had been a better investment than taking on more qualified staff.

DealJungle.com founder Tom Michaels says that small businesses require productive employees but that many find graduates required more on-the-job training than their less educated peers.

‘Graduates are usually more expensive to employ and often feel they are above basic day-to-day tasks, making them less useful to a small business than a non-graduate with a ‘can do’ attitude.

‘Many of our members tell us they have been burned by employing graduates in the past. The picture we are getting is that graduates often turn up for work with lofty ideas about a glamourous career.’

Michaels adds that when graduates learn they have to start at the bottom many will resent the tasks they are asked to carry out and as a result they become far less productive than a less qualified school leaver.

SMEs are struggling in this current economy. They are providing jobs and in many ways they are still the engine room of the economy, but they certainly can’t afford to carry expensive passengers.’

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