Employers are missing out on the skills of a 'hidden' pool of graduate talent, according to a new report from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).
Graduates who did not start a permanent career job or a graduate recruitment scheme immediately after graduating, but instead chose options such as temporary jobs and gap years, were in danger of slipping under the radar of employers, the organisation said.
Those who belonged to this group rated themselves higher on average than graduate trainees when it came to adapting and coping skills, which possibly reflected their diverse experience.
Although they rated themselves less highly than graduate trainees when it came to leadership skills, in other areas there was little difference between the two groups, the research found.
"This research indicates that many recruiters need to broaden their methods in order not to miss out on this significant and skilled group of graduates," said chief executive of the AGR, Carl Gilleard.
"Particularly worrying is the fact that the majority of the students and graduates surveyed are misinformed about when they can apply to start a graduate training scheme."