Graduate Employers Survey

Welcome to the 2022 AHECS Graduate Employers Survey. This survey is an annual snapshot of graduate recruitment across Ireland. The University of Limericks Cooperative Education and Careers Service Division (CECD) compiled the research results on behalf of the Association of Higher Education Careers Services (AHECS).

The participants of this survey are active graduate employers who have engaged in graduate recruitment in 2021/22. These include local, national and global companies, multinationals and SMEs, and not-for-profit from all sectors and disciplines. Three hundred and forty-five graduate employers participated in this year’s survey (2022), the third year of the survey. Feedback from the organisations proves to be highly beneficial in preparing our graduates for their future careers.

The survey captures placement and graduate recruitment trends, including

  1. Employment by sector.
  2. Employment by location.
  3. Job vacancies.
  4. Average Salaries.
  5. Recruitment levels.
  6. Disciplines in demand. 
  7. Recruitment processes. 
  8. Top technical and soft skills, ranked by employers. 
  9. Recruiter challenges. 
  10. Covid-19 impact. Employment sectors – overview of top five

2022 AHECS Graduate Employers Survey (GES) Trends:

 Graduate Recruitment Levels

  1. The graduate jobs available in 2022 reveal the highest percentage of positions are in the East region at 43%, followed by the South-West at 20%, the South-East at 18% and the Mid-West at 14%. 13% of the jobs are national, and 29% are global.
  2. 84% of respondents indicate they will recruit approximately the same number of graduates as last year, possibly more; this is an increase from the previous year (75%), and 5% will recruit less than 2021.
  3. 11% of employers do not know how their graduate recruitment numbers will change for 2022. 

Salary Ranges

The average graduate salary for Undergraduates is €29,287, Postgraduate Master’s degrees is €33,299, and PhD graduates is €34,082.

 Who should apply?

  1. Of the companies surveyed, 48% are looking for engineering graduates, 30% for business graduates, and 25% for ICT and electronics graduates.
  2. 11% of companies surveyed will accept applications from any discipline.

 Application & Selection Tools 

  1. Results highlight the importance of having an excellent CV and cover letter, with 87% of respondent employers indicating the requirement for a CV and cover letter at the application stage.
  2. The survey results reveal that 48% of the organisations use competency/ behavioural-based interviews.
  3. Virtual and telephone interviews remain widespread, with 77% and 40% of companies surveyed using this method in their recruitment process.
  4. 18% of respondents use presentations and 10% use assessment centres. 32% of organisations use strengths-based interviews.
  5. Other recruitment screening methods include reference checking (48%) and social media checks (13%).

 Graduate Recruitment Challenges

The most significant challenge for employer respondents is the competition for graduate talent from employers within their sector, followed by the number of available graduates from specific degrees/skill sets and graduate expectations at entry-level. 

Top five global technical skills 2022:

  1. Self-motivated
  2. Analytical thinking
  3. Collaborative
  4. Flexibility
  5. Qualifications related to job

Top 5 Global Soft Skills 2022:

  1. Positive attitude and energy
  2. Ability to cope with pressure
  3. Work ethic
  4. Seeks opportunities for continuous learning
  5. Reliability