More than 70% of employers would welcome more applications from doctoral researchers

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Employers are keen to recruit researchers both for their technical skills and for their ‘first class brains’, according to responses to a new study into the experiences and attitudes of employers towards doctoral graduates.

Vitae, an organisation championing personal, professional and career development of researchers, surveyed over 100 employers who represent a diverse mix of sectors, organisation size and orientation towards doctoral graduates. It found that three quarters of the respondents have some interest in recruiting doctoral graduates and would welcome more applications from them. 

Four groups of employers emerged from the analysis of responses. The groups describe  organisations’ orientation to doctoral graduates from those who actively target doctoral graduates to those with no current engagement with this group.

 ‘Over one-third of the employers surveyed are already actively targeting doctoral graduates and their approaches will be interesting for other employers who want to increase their recruitment of doctoral researchers,‘ said Dr Janet Metcalfe, Chair and Head of Vitae.

Employers who are recruiting doctoral graduates typically have a specific recruitment process as well as offering placement, internship schemes and enhanced salary. These employers are also more likely to develop closer links with universities.

Employers ranked doctoral graduates’ competence highest in data analysis and problem solving. Next came their drive and motivation, project management and interpersonal skills.  Leadership and commercial awareness were ranked lowest relative to the others.

A seminar later in the year will show case employer practice in recruiting doctoral researchers.

Read the full report here

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