Korn Ferry Executive Survey shows an eye to future leaders is the top priority when hiring college recruits


Survey Also Shows Cultural Fit More Important than Past Professional Experience, Identifies Video Interviewing as Key Recruiting Practice

Los Angeles, April 29, 2015Korn Ferry, a Korn Ferry company (NYSE: KFY) specializing in high- impact talent solutions, today announced results of an executive survey that shows more than half of respondents (54 percent) say their college recruiting efforts are designed to develop the next generation of leaders. The responses of “supporting the company’s immediate operational needs” and “building the business/corporate capabilities” trailed at 12 percent each.

The survey also found that more than half (54 percent) of respondents support the notion of hiring for the future by assessing college candidates for leadership potential. Thirty-one percent assess candidates for cognitive ability, followed by 13 percent for cultural fit and 2 percent for technical capability.

“Clearly, today’s executives have an eye toward tomorrow when hiring college recruits,” said Nikki Kay, Korn Ferry general manager and vice president of client services for RPO North America. “That’s why we recommend taking the time to truly assess whether the candidate not only has the right skills, but is a good fit, no matter the job level.”

To further support the concept that it’s as important to consider not only what a candidate has done in the past, but who they are now and will be in the future, nearly half of the respondents (42 percent) said fit with the organization’s culture is the top attribute they look for when hiring college graduates, followed by “drive” at 37 percent and “previous experience” at 14 percent. Only 5 percent cited grade point average (GPA) as the top attribute, with the university the student attended coming in last at 3 percent.

When considering the most effective form of college recruiting, “partnerships with college career centers” and “on-campus job fairs” ranked at the top, with 36 percent and 35 percent respectively.

And while “face-to-face” interviewing is still the top choice for initial interviewing at 57 percent, “video interviewing” came in second at 28 percent. Korn Ferry expects the use of video interviewing to increase as companies continue to learn how this technology enhances the hiring process. For example, at a large telecommunications client that hires 500 college graduates a year, Korn Ferry uses video interviewing to shortlist all applicants. Since this process has been put in place, the interview-to-offer recommendation success rate has increased to 69 percent. Furthermore, virtual technologies allow students to complete a key portion of the screening process on their own time, which has brought average response times under 48 hours, ultimately expediting the entire process.

“Effective recruiters meet graduates where they are, and today that means video, social and digital, in addition to traditional methods,” said Kay. “The key to success is to employ several tactics and methods to find the right graduate for the job.”

About the survey:

There were more than 800 responses to the executive survey, which was conducted from March 30 through April 13, 2015.


What is the top attribute you look for when hiring a new college graduate?

GPA  5%
Previous experience  14%
The university they attended  3%
Drive  37%
Fit with our culture  42%


What do you asses your college candidates for?

Cognitive ability  31%
Technical capability  2%
Leadership potential  54%
Cultural fit   13%

My organization’s college hiring program is designed to:

Support our immediate operational requirements  12%
Develop our next generation leaders  54%
Build on technical capabilities  4%
Build our business/corporate/sales capabilities  12%
We do not have a college hiring program in place  18%

What is the most effective method to conduct college recruiting?

On campus job fairs   35%
Job boards  5%
Social media  19%
Online talent communities  5%
Partnerships with college career centers  36%

What is the best method of initial interviewing when it comes to college recruiting?

Video interviewing   28%
E-mail  2%
Face to face  57%
Phone  14%


For media enquiries please contact:

Tracy Kurschner

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is the global industry leader in high-impact recruitment solutions; offering fully customized, flexible services to help organizations meet their talent and recruitment needs.
Our clients turn to us for proven expertise, a global process and infrastructure, proprietary competency models, innovative sourcing and attraction strategies, and a unique approach to measure and optimize business impact.

As a Korn Ferry Company, Korn Ferry can meet a variety of workforce requirements; from RPO and project recruitment, to search and consulting, our solutions apply a truly world-class capability to deliver talent with impact, providing the experience and global reach to identify, attract and retain the people who drive business success. To learn more, visit www.Korn Ferry.com.

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is the preeminent authority on leadership and talent. For nearly half a century, clients have trusted us to recruit world-class leaders. Today, ware are their partners in designing organizational strategy and developing their people to achieve unimaginable success.

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