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CRI Releases Its 2003-2004 College Graduate Survey


Upper Saddle River, N.J. - May 2004 - Compensation Resources, Inc. has released the results of its 2003-2004 College Graduate Salary Survey. The purpose of this study was to obtain compensation data and information on recruiting and hiring trends for recent and new college graduates. The survey sampled compensation data from 71 organizations, including 1,253 jobs.

The results do not indicate any startling or unexpected results, and for the most part, they are consistent with other studies covering broader employee compensation trends.

Among the most significant findings was that total cash compensation, which consists of salary and bonus/incentives, increased by a respectable 6.1%, even though salaries only increased by a modest 0.8%. This is consistent with the trend of increased use of variable pay elements by many organizations. Variable pay allows companies to offer competitive pay with upside potential, while controlling fixed overhead for payroll costs, and to some degree, lessening the impact of higher salaries on benefit costs (i.e., vacation and time off benefits, retirement, some insurances, etc.).

Some additional highlights:

  • Findings for 2004 indicate that the financial services industry is the top paying industry for recent college graduates ($60,900).
  • Companies are currently utilizing a wide variety of methods to recruit recent college graduates. The three most equally popular methods are College Career Centers, Employee and Business Associate Referrals, and Internet Job Boards.
  • The majority of responding companies have turnover rates of recent college graduates of 15% or less.

Paul R. Dorf is the Managing Director of Compensation Resources, Inc. He is responsible for directing consulting services in all areas of executive compensation, short and long-term incentives, sales compensation, performance management systems, and pay-for-performance, salary administration. He has over 40 years of Human Resource and Compensation experience and has held various executive positions with a number of large corporate organizations. He also has over 20 years of direct consulting experience as head of the Executive Compensation Consulting Practices for major accounting and actuarial/benefit consulting firms, including KPMG, Deloitte Touche (formerly Touche Ross), and Kwasha Lipton.


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