Understanding the wants and needs of early talent are some of the most valuable resources to any recruiter. Much like other generations, Gen Z is a generation that has set expectations for their future careers and employers. During the fall season, Symplicity Recruit conducted a student survey to get a sense of what’s important to students nearing graduation.
Symplicity Recruit surveyed 2,477 students currently enrolled in 130 different colleges and universities across the United States in October 2022. All students attend schools that are part of the Symplicity network, with a vast majority of the students on track to complete a Bachelor’s Degree between the summer of 2023 and the summer of 2024.
Here are three key takeaways from our 2022 student survey.
Both Salary and Work-Life Balance Remain Top Priorities
Our student survey findings show that roughly 90% of internship candidates and 92% of full-time candidates marked salary as “important” or “very important” in their job search. Similarly, work-life balance was ranked as “important” or “very important” by 88% of students seeking internships and full-time positions.
These stats are not surprising. As Gen Z is a generation joining the workforce post-pandemic, their expectations for salary and work-life balance surpass those of millennials and Generation X. Students nearing graduation hope to find opportunities that can offer them a sense of stability and enough flexibility for their work to not be everything. Research shows that 77% of workers experience burnout at their current jobs. Because Gen Z is a generation that values being able to make a positive impact on the organization, having flexibility in their role prompts them to be more efficient and productive.
Salary is always going to be important, but money isn’t the only driver that tips the scale. Consider ways your company can promote work-life balance and make sure to highlight those efforts when recruiting.
Gen Z Is on the Hunt for Meaningful Work
Graduating early talent cares about making a meaningful impact in the organizations they work for. Our student survey shows that 82% of respondents said that a company’s mission and values were either “important” or “very important.” Gen Z is looking for job opportunities that are more than a paycheck. They want to know that the organizations they work for align with their own personal values and goals. Graduating students entering the workforce are ready to work hard for the right employer – that means they want employers that will offer them the right growth opportunities and the right tools to achieve the company’s mission successfully.
Make sure you’re emphasizing your company’s mission when you’re talking to students. In particular, talk about how the student’s role will help achieve that mission now and in the future.
In-Person Events Are Still Preferred
Despite a rise in virtual events at the height of the pandemic, a large percentage of the students surveyed are in favor of in-person events over virtual ones. 69% of respondents cited in-person career fairs as their preferred choice of engagement with recruiters. This doesn’t mean that virtual career fairs lose value. Instead, what this should signal to recruiters, is the value that in-person interactions add to the recruitment process. Engaging with early talent is all about providing comfortable settings in which students can have meaningful conversations with employers about their future careers. By interacting with students during in-person events, recruiters get a chance to reach a diverse group of candidates outside of digital spaces.
To ensure maximum engagement with students, make sure your presence at the career fair is well-marketed. Reach out to students beforehand to come and speak with you at the career fair to encourage open conversations.
Recruiting trends are ever-changing. It’s important for recruiters to try to remain active in their understanding of what graduating generations want and need in future careers. As you start incorporating new strategies into your recruiting approach, don’t forget about some of the main takeaways from our student survey.
To learn more about the state of recruiting and download the full report, click below to head over to our website.