The coronavirus pandemic has completely transformed the work experience in America, thanks to newly implemented guidelines around telecommuting and remote learning. For young adults, these changes have made a huge impact on their career expectations as well.
In a recent Handshake survey of just over 1,000 Gen Z college students, participants shared what’s currently working in virtual recruitment and what isn’t. The survey also revealed ways that employers can improve their virtual hiring experience in the years ahead.
As Gen Z candidates enter the job market for the first time, they’re also the first generation to do so virtually. Not only are they learning how to take control of their job search and navigate employer expectations, they’re also observing if and how companies are offering their support through these uniquely challenging times.
Today’s young adults have new professional expectations
Many of Handshake’s survey participants thought that going virtual is the way of the future, with 41.2% believing that employers will have to adopt virtual job fairs and other recruiting tools at some point.
After all, if companies are already considering more remote work options in response to increased employee interest, then virtual recruiting practices are simply a natural extension of the hiring process for these opportunities.
Meanwhile, employers that don’t adapt to the changing times may soon encounter a new set of challenges. Handshake found that 19.4% of students thought that employers that don’t use virtual recruiting tools will soon fall behind. Another 11.8% predicted a greater disconnect between Gen Z job candidates and companies that don’t keep up with virtual recruiting practices.
These findings reflect an overarching belief that companies must make a greater investment in their employees in order to attract new talent and remain competitive.
Companies looking for new means of attracting Gen Z talent should also keep the high cost of education in mind. With many families now unable to afford the cost of higher education, another survey conducted by ECMC Group discovered that 38% of Gen Z high school students believe that their future employers should foot the bill for their college education while 37% thought that companies should at least help pay for their student loans.
Gen Z requests transparency in the virtual job search process
With over 17,000 companies expected to sign up for more than 700 virtual job fairs on Handshake this spring, more organizations may begin to incorporate virtual recruiting practices into their hiring process.
However, it’s important for them to know what this year’s pool of candidates expects from their prospective employers if they want to recruit the best talent possible.
With the state of work and conditions at home still in a constant state of flux, many students in Handshake’s survey thought that companies could do more to make the job search process easier. Most of all, survey participants are looking for more transparency in the hiring process, including specifics on:
- What companies are looking for in their ideal candidates
- What the interview process is like
- The best way to approach virtual job fairs and other virtual events
Methodology: Between Jan. 12-18, 2021, Propeller Insights conducted an online survey of 1,003 American college students aged 17-24 years old in conjunction with Handshake.