Small business owners are turning their backs on the graduate employee market and instead choosing to hire school leavers and other non-graduates, a new survey has found.
The study by DealJungle.com <http://www.DealJungle.com> a money saving site targeting SMEs, found that a majority of small business owners who had hired graduates in the past found that they represented less value to the company than non-graduates.
The survey of DealJungle’s 20,000 registered members found that almost two thirds of respondents had hired graduates with over half of these (54%) claiming it had turned out to be the wrong decision.
More than three quarters (77%) had also hired non-graduates with six out of ten claiming hiring the non-graduates had been a better investment than hiring a graduate.
A spokesman for DealJungle.com said that small businesses require productive employees but many found graduates required more on the job training than non-graduates.
They are usually more expensive to employ and often feel they are above basic day to day tasks – making them less useful to an SME than a non-graduate with a “can do” attitude.
The spokesman said: “Many of our members tell us they have been burned by employing graduates in the past. The picture we are getting is that graduates often turn up for work with lofty ideas about a glamorous career.
“When they learn they have to start at the bottom many will resent the tasks they are asked to carry out and as a result they become far less productive than a less qualified school leaver.
“SMEs are struggling in this current economy. They are providing jobs and in many ways they are still the engine room of the economy, but they certainly can’t afford to carry expensive passengers.
“That’s why many are telling us that they actually prefer to hire non graduates than their university educated counterparts. Non graduates often have more real work experience, they can be more down to earth and more willing to get stuck in and get their hands dirty, even with the most routine of tasks.
“Of course there are exceptions that break the rule and undoubtedly there are many great graduate trainees out there helping SMEs to grow.
“But only 46% of our members who told us they had hired a graduate said it turned out to be the right decision for their company.”