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The Ins and Outs of Today’s Early Talent: What You Need to Know

Jennifer Olvera
June 13 ․ 7 min read

With the school year ending, there's a treasure trove of early talent waiting to be tapped. That also means facing the reality that the pandemic had a profound effect on the trajectory of many college students, some of whom opted not to return once school closures were lifted and everyone returned to in-person learning. Still, others, statistics show, are taking longer to complete their degrees.

There’s an interesting story at play, to say the least.

Graduation timeframes have changed.

According to Forbes, less than half of college students graduate on time. Six years in, less than 60% of students at four-year colleges have even earned their Bachelor’s degree. Another sobering one? More than one million students drop out of college annually.

Of course, a few things increase the likelihood a degree will be secured. For one thing, a good, old GPA matters. Forbes notes more than 80% of students with a 3.5 to 4.0 unweighted high school grade point average (GPA) graduate with a Bachelor’s degree within six years. Meanwhile, 49% of students with a 2.0 to 2.9 GPA complete their education within the same time frame and just 25% of students with less than a 2.0 GPA do.

Wondering what else increases the odds?

  • Taking math past algebra 2
  • Living on campus
  • Private scholarships

On the flip side, things that reduce the likelihood of timely graduation are:

  • Part-time enrollment
  • Independent learning
  • Gap years
  • Full-time employment

Ultimately, the statistics suggest colleges and policymakers should be doing more to help college students succeed and complete their education.

The future of 2022 graduates is bright

The news isn’t all glum, though. According to Fortune, the graduating class of 2022 is likely to earn more in their first job than last year’s cohort— two years’ worth of graduates.

That undoubtedly comes as a relief to students with hard-earned degrees after the pandemic caused a hiring slowdown and salaries below what many of their predecessors felt they deserved.

Interestingly, when it comes to getting questions about their futures answered, they are ‘a changin’. Nowadays, when a grad is looking for advice, it’s probably not their campus career center—or an expert like Salemi— they’ll turn to. It’s social media—46% of today’s graduates said they consulted YouTube or TikTok for answers to job-search–related questions. 

How You Recruit Matters

This presents a real opportunity on the talent acquisition front. But it means differentiating their experience, not to mention enlisting the right recruitment marketing technology to ensure you’re offering a consumer-like experience. 

And it’s particularly important you do because college grads can now be more selective than ever, knowing employers are desperate to hire. 

Want to learn more about getting early talent in the door?

Download “3 Steps to Shape Your Future With Early Talent.” 

And be sure to visit our Early Talent Hub, where you’ll find resources— from webinars and blogs to infographics— to help shape your hiring strategy and get this talent in the door.

Free Early Talent Resources