This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

August 1, 2007

Discrimination in Hiring?

According to the "2007 Graduating Student Survey" conducted recently by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), white males had an easier time finding full-time positions upon graduation than female and minority graduates. Although there were no gender- or ethnicity-based differences in the percentage of students actively pursuing full-time positions, those factors did play a big role in which graduates landed jobs following graduation.

More than 56 percent of male graduates applying for jobs had secured full-time positions before they graduated; by comparison, only 48 percent of female graduates who had applied for positions had jobs after graduation.

Overall, 53 percent of white/Caucasian-American graduates who had formally applied for full-time jobs had landed positions compared with 34 percent of African-American graduating applicants, and 43 percent of Hispanic-American graduating applicants. Asian-American graduating applicants tended to land full-time jobs at nearly the same rate (52 percent) as their Caucasian peers.

Do the differences reflect discrimination or something else? Looking at gender differences, NACE's study found that males were more likely than females to leverage the resources of their campus career centers. Consequently, they had more job offers.

Yet, a combination of factors appears to cause the ethnic differences. For example, like females, Hispanic applicants (male and female) used their career centers at a lower rate than white applicants and received fewer jobs.

However, African-American males used their career centers and received job offers at the same rate as white males, but accepted job offers at a lower rate. Asian-American males used the career center and received and accepted jobs offers at the same rates as white males.

These results demonstrate that using campus career centers' resources can mean the difference between having a firm job offer following graduation versus having to continue to search. And we believe these results have clear implications for career centers' outreach as well.

What isn't detailed are the differences between young people studying business versus liberal arts. Are employers taking advantage of the broad backgrounds of liberal arts graduates or taking the easy way out and hiring those with business backgrounds, thinking that they are better prepared?

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