Hiring may have slowed, but many college graduates on Long Island are finding a welcoming job market, experts say.
“The job market has been incredibly active – it’s still very strong,” said Cliff Weinstien, senior vice president-director of Permanent Placement Services at Robert Half Recruiters & Employment Agency, which, on Long Island, has offices in Uniondale and Hauppauge. “The rebound of the post-COVID shutdown is still very much apparent.”
Projections show that employers across the country plan to hire 3.9% more graduates this year than in 2022, according to the most recent findings from National Association of Colleges and Employers.
There are 9.6 million job openings, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, making now “a great time to launch a career,” Weinstein said.
For entry-level positions on Long Island, there is demand in accounting and finance, manufacturing, healthcare and technology, experts say.
For Hofstra University graduates, the “strongest hiring sectors remain healthcare and technology, even in the face of large tech companies having to lay off employees.” That’s according to a news release from the university’s Center for Career Design and Development.
For example, online shopping became more popular during COVID, increasing the need for online sales and related roles, including online personal shoppers, according to the center’s executive director Michelle Kyriakides and director of external relations Darlene London Johnson.
An increasing number of companies are defying the national trend of layoffs and are actively recruiting locally, Kyriakides said. Those companies include Port Washington-based Modorama Media, an internet-marketing agency, and Milwakee-based Techtronic Industries, which designs, manufactures and markets power tools and accessories. Both firms participate in Hofstra’s “Employers in the Classroom” program, career fairs, and other events, and have hired Hofstra students both for internships and full-time roles locally.
Hiring managers seeking qualified entry-level employees should consider that candidates are less apt to have the relevant technical skills yet, Weinstein said. Instead, managers are often served well by focusing on candidates with good communication skills, and who are both self-motivated and good problem-solvers.
When interviewing, consider “how passionate is the person?” Weinstein said. Gauge whether the person is “hitting the ground running, wanting to succeed in this world.”
Right now, college graduates are finding employment.
Already, graduates of Adelphi University’s Robert B. Willumstad School of Business, for example, are starting new jobs. These graduates include a marketing associate at Haugland Group in Melville; revenue and finance hires at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park; tax assurance hires at Ernst and Young in Jericho, a tax consultant at Baker Tilly in Melville; a senior account executive at Spark 451 in Westbury; and a human resources coordinator at Compass Workforce Solutions in Hauppauge.
Over at Stony Brook University, graduates have scored jobs with a number of employers, running across the gamut from healthcare to nonprofit and other sectors, according to David Mora, assistant director of the university’s career center. These employers include Altice USA, BDO, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Canon USA, EAC Network, Enzo Life Sciences, Family Service League, Henry Schein, KPMG, National Grid, New York Edge, Newsday, North Atlantic Industries, Northwell Health, NY Cancer & Blood Specialists, Options for Community Living, PSEG Long Island, PwC, Stony Brook Hospital, Suffolk County Executive’s Office, YAI and Zebra Technologies.
And at Molloy University, graduates from its School of Business will be working at such employers as KPMG, Ernst and Young and Catholic Health. Graduates from the School of Arts and Sciences are getting jobs in radio and television, research organizations, non-profits and government. Graduates from School of Education and Human Services will be working at school districts, clinics, hospitals and other agencies. And graduates of its School of Nursing and Health Sciences will be working in health systems across the region.
Farmingdale State College reports that its graduates have found employment at Northwell Health, The Home Depot, Catholic Health, CVS Pharmacy, CVS Health, NYU Langone Health, H2M architects + engineers, Bethpage Federal Credit Union and Farmingdale State College.
Support from school career centers can go a long way toward forging a career path and making the right connections.
“The Stony Brook University Career Center provided multiple industry-focused in-person job and internship fairs with over 400 companies, with nearly half of these operating on Long Island,” Mora said.
“The return to in-person fairs and events greatly improved the access to and quality of engagement with these local companies,” he added. “These face-to-face networking opportunities have been especially helpful for those fields which are experiencing increased hiring needs.”
Yet for some students, when it comes to finding the right job, broadening their search outside of New York is a worthwhile endeavor.
At Hofstra, for example, one student is moving in June to Indiana for a position as a forensic scientist for the state toxicology lab. Another is moving to California to work in medical physics.
Many of the larger employers are requiring that their employees return to the workplace, either full-time or hybrid, according to Hofstra’s career center. Still, remote work remains popular, including with new college graduates, Johnson said. Although postings for remote or hybrid jobs have decreased, the number of people working remotely has increased. That could be because companies that offer remote and hybrid schedules are seeing reduced job turnover.
While positions are still hybrid, “very often, the first interview takes place via Teams or Zoom,” Weinstein said. Candidates still seeking jobs should be sure to have a great internet connection and a neutral background, Weinstein said.
“Interview as if you’re going in person,” he said. Make sure there’s “nothing encumbering the ability to give a positive first impression.” That includes conducting due diligence about the employer in order to demonstrate “potential – you show that by being engaged.”
Entry-level employees value access to colleagues and supervisors, even while virtual, Johnson said. They want to be trained and mentored, and employers should establish plans to provide that support in a virtual environment. Still, because remote work is not for everyone, college grads should be “self-aware enough” to understand whether they would thrive in a virtual environment.
Meanwhile, hirng remains competitive.
Right now, Weinstein said, hiring managers who wait too long to extend an offer may find that the ideal candidate they met with earlier may have already accepted another offer. That scenario is not uncommon at a time when employers may feel compelled to see a certain number of interviewees before making a hiring decision.
While there is a “shortage of candidates available of all different levels, don’t hesitate” to hire “if the candidate interviewing has the right skills,” Weinstein said.
“A lot of new graduates,” he said, “especially in accounting and finance, are getting scooped up in seconds.”