Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




This thesis describes and analyzes the hiring practices of North Dakota based firms. The term, North Dakota based firms, is defined as those firms organized, incorporated or originating in North Dakota. The data were obtained from firms employing a minimum of 50 individuals. It was felt that firms of this size or larger were most likely to hire college graduates. A mail questionnaire was sent to 86 firms and a 60 per cent return was received. The main topics discussed in this thesis concern the extent of demand for college graduates in North Dakota and the ways in which the North Dakota firms included in the investigation obtained college graduates for employment.

North Dakota is primarily an agriculturally-oriented state. Compared with the United States as a whole, manufacturing in North Dakota is still in an early stage of development. For this reason many firms may not have realized the need for college educated personnel.

Seventy-five per cent of the firms included in the survey indicated they hired college graduates. Most graduates hired by these firms were graduates of North Dakota colleges and universities.

Graduates were hired for a variety of positions. Manufacturing firms did not place their recruiting and hiring emphasis on any particular area. They hired graduates for sales, production, accounting and for training programs for managerial supervisory positions. Non-manufacturing establishments placed most of their emphasis on recruiting graduates for positions in sales.

Those firms that did not hire college gra°duates indicated they could not afford to pay the salaries expected by graduates.

Sixty-five per cent of the responding firms reported that they employed persons who had not graduated from college for positions which they considered primarily for college graduates.

Almost 60 per cent of the firms surveyed anticipated recruiting and hiring some college graduates within the period 1971-1973.

Firms recruited college graduates when the need arose to find a college graduate to fill a position vacancy.

To locate sources of supply of college graduates outside the company, respondent firms utilized a variety of methods. Both manufacturing and non-manufacturing firms depended primarily upon recommendations from acquaintances and employees to locate possible job candidates.

Employees were obtained from a number of different sources. Firms obtained most of their employees with college degrees from names furnished by public employment agencies and college placement centers.

Starting salaries paid newly hired college graduates in North Dakota were lower than salaries paid graduates on a national level in 1971.