July 07, 2015
It's increasingly difficult to understand the generation of today and what they want in their careers. Our friends at Milkround tell us about their Career Confidence Survey findings and how hiring managers can use these results to better attract talented recent graduates, aka Generation Z.
One of the greatest challenges for today’s graduate employers is understanding a youth market that is forever changing. Hiring graduates into a business can bring fresh potential; injecting new ideas and talent into your business, as well as giving you the opportunity to mould new employees to suit your company’s ethos and needs. But what do today’s graduates, proud members of Generation Z, actually want from an employer? What will keep them sticking around? These are questions that Milkround, the UK’s leading graduate recruitment website, has sought to shed light on, by surveying 5,600 students and graduates for their fourth annual Career Confidence Report.
The first step to successfully attracting new graduate applicants is understanding what exactly tomorrow’s talent is looking for. When asked what factors will be most important to them in their future careers, Generation Z discard immediate concerns like recognition, responsibility and prestige. Instead, 48% of respondents favoured opportunities for training and development, preferring to learn and squirrel away a hoard of valuable transferable skills.
Employers looking to attract the best talent should keep this in mind. Many employers are quick to emphasise the prestige of their company in their job advertisements – but an emphasis on personal development for future employees will more effectively resonate with today’s youth.
The younger generation are also turning away from a culture of overworking; rejecting presenteeism in favour of productivity. 53% opted for a good work-life balance & flexibility as the most important factor when considering their future career. Recruiters should seek to highlight their company’s well rounded culture in response to this; using social media to share photos and updates to show that employees’ well-being and happiness is just as important as working hard.
Milkround explored students’ use of social media even further in their 2014 social media survey – finding that LinkedIn was best to keep in touch with potential employers and business contacts. While LinkedIn has a way to go to encourage full uptake amongst the student population, contacting talent via LinkedIn taps into their desire to communicate on their social home-turf. Employers should be taking advantage of this opportunity – if you want to attract young people to join your business, you’ve got to treat them the same way you’d treat potential customers – go where they are and communicate with them there.
Offering your graduates more opportunities to work remotely and flexibly will undoubtedly make your workplace more enticing to fresh talent. Generation Z are very accustomed to working and socialising on the go – and their hunger for work flexibility is undoubtedly fuelled by their diet of 24/7 access to tech. No longer bound to working in one place, online tools such as Skype, Trello and Basecamp, alongside social media, means that Generation Z can communicate with their colleagues and peers not only at all hours, but in all time zones too. Let’s not forget that when it comes to technology there’s hardly any learning curve for this generation – your new grads have grown up in a tech-focused world where they take having the internet and devices that connect to it for granted, having never experienced a world without them.
What the results of this survey have shown us is that in order to attract top talent, employers should put less of an emphasis on communicating the prestige and recognition of their brand and spend more time highlighting the potential for a good work-life balance. It’s no longer all about that starting salary – today’s youth are looking to develop well rounded lives outside of work, as well as within.
For more facts and figures on the graduate market, visit Milkround.com to download the full Career Confidence survey.