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iCIMS May Workforce Report: College graduate job market

May 31, 2023
3 min read

Despite recent fluctuations in the job market, the May Workforce Report illustrates relatively healthy hiring activity. In general, job openings and hiring remain at a similar level to the start of the year.

State of the Talent Market, iCIMS Workforce Report, May 2023

However, hiring for HR roles has significantly dropped since April last year. This is disproportionately due to the high number of layoffs over the last six months – with hiring down 57% since last January. Who will fill these new roles once hiring freezes begin to lift?

And with college graduations around the corner, how are new grads navigating today’s job market? Let’s look at the latest labor market trends for the class of 2023.


The search for stability

Entry level applications, iCIMS Workforce Report, May 2023

Application volume for entry-level roles has gone through the roof as new grads look for their first full-time jobs post-college. But this year’s new grads aren’t looking for just any jobs. They’re looking for stable jobs.

The graduating class of 2023 has been dealing with uncertainty and instability for awhile now. They were early in their college careers when the global pandemic hit. Now the economic outlook is uncertain – it’s no wonder this graduating class is telling us that they’re looking for roles in industries they consider stable. They also don’t plan to job hop at nearly the same rate as their older peers.


Disproportionate entry-level salary expectations

New grad salary expectations, iCIMS Workforce Report, May 2023

It isn’t all about job security though. Salary is a big factor for many grads when considering whether to accept a job offer. Interestingly, new grads’ salary expectations are higher than what employers expect to pay for entry-level positions.

Additionally, there are uneven salary expectations between men and women. On average, male college seniors expect to earn almost $5,700 more than their female counterparts. This is the eighth year in a row that our annual Class of 2023 Report shows that female grads expect less than their male peers.


AI and the application process

With ChatGBT and other AI bots on the rise, artificial intelligence has disrupted the job market. Whether this is the greatest innovation since air travel, or a harbinger of the apocalypse, is still up for debate. Opinions vary depending on who you read.

With AI-powered text generators so easily accessible, almost half (47%) of college seniors are interested in using AI bots, like ChatGBT, to write their cover letters and resumes. And 25% have already used an AI bot to help write their resume or cover letter.

But employers feel much differently about the use of AI during the hiring process. In fact, 39% of HR professionals consider candidates using AI tech in this way a deal-breaker. It may seem convenient, but you may want to think twice before using AI to help you land that dream job.


Get more insights

Want to know what’s top of mind for new grads as they enter the job market? Download our eighth annual iCIMS Class of 2023 Report to learn how to engage Gen Z talent and build your 21st-century workforce.

Take a deeper look into the industry trends and real-time changes in the labor market. iCIMS Insights+ has exclusive access on the metrics that matter.

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About the author

Alex Oliver

Alex is well-versed in content and digital marketing. He blends a passion for sharp, persuasive copy with creating intuitive user experiences on the web. A natural storyteller, Alex highlights customer successes and amplifies their best practices.

Alex earned his bachelor’s degree at Fairleigh Dickinson University before pursuing his master’s at Montclair State University. When not at work, Alex enjoys hiking, studying history and homebrewing beer.

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