Campus Employers Share Insight into College Hiring for 2021-2022

November 1, 2021

Hiring and Wages Expected to Climb

The job market for new college graduates is bouncing back after a decline last year for the first time in more than a decade during the COVID-19 economic slowdown.

Phil Gardner, author of Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute annual Recruiting Trends survey, noted in this year’s 51st survey that employers who had to sit out last year, along with those who were only able to partially fill their hiring needs, have rushed back into recruiting. “Add to this the historically high quit rate – and many employers are eager to find new talent,” Gardner stated.

“This research is significant to employers and career services professionals nationally, as the scope and scale of this research is unmatched. Unlike many other sources, it is without bias because it is conducted following academic research requirements,” said Jeffrey Beavers, executive director for MSU’s Career Services Network within the Division of Student Affairs and Services. “The insights are also significant, especially this year, as we seek to understand the post-COVID college labor market and supply and demand of entry-level and early-career talent.”

While much of the report is positive, there remain some unknowns since many employers were still working on hiring goals for this year and could not report them due to supply chain problems, staffing issues and concerns about inflation, Gardner explained. A known that was supported by the survey is that digitally enhanced recruiting – virtual and AI assisted – are here to stay.

“This shift will require more self-discipline and self-management of the recruiting process by students who will have to schedule their interviews, manage career fair appointments and directly connect with employers,” Gardner said.

In addition to these notable findings, insights from the 2021 Collegiate Employment Research Institute annual Recruiting Trends survey, include:

  • Outlook for 2022 is the highest since 2008 recession.
    • Among the top five sectors are health services, education services, agriculture, transportation and construction.
  • Bachelor’s degree hiring is expected to be up 15%.
  • Master’s and MBA hiring appears to be weak and remains mostly at last year’s levels with 42% of employers planning to reduce hiring targets and 40% increasing those.
  • 53% of starting salaries will increase in 2021-2022.
  • 46% of employers are planning for new hires to work onsite and 28% are planning for hybrid.
  • On average, employers are conducting seven to eight interviews before making a single offer.
  • Nearly 30% of employers expect the tenure of their new hires made during COVID will be shorter than pre-COVID hires.

Recruiting Trends 2021-2022, the largest annual survey of employers in the nation, marked its 51st year with this year’s report. A complete summary of the report is available online at

See more coverage in MSUToday.

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