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What students want from their first job
What students want from their first job
By Anna Hammond | 20th June 2017
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If you’re planning to recruit graduates into your business, there is a high chance that your newest member of staff will sit within “Generation Z”. This is the age group who was born between the mid 1990s until the early 2000s.

Generation Z has been linked up to technology from the moment they were born. They’re “ambitious and engaged. They are active rather than passive. They don’t dream of being Beyonce or feeding into the world of the Kardashian clan. They want to create, connect and make a positive impact in the world” (Campaign, 2017).

But knowing what exactly they want from employers? Well, that is a different kettle of fish. Below we break down exactly what we know about employing graduates into your business and how to make your job opportunities most appealing to them.

What do Generation Z want from employers?

TheBigChoice asked university students what aspects to their first job are going to be most important to them. The top ranking answers all focused around being ambitious and hard working:

  • 57% said career progression was important
  • More than half of respondents were striving for job fulfilment
  • 48% wanted to ensure that they were given access to learning & development opportunities

VIDEO DISCUSSION: Watch the focus group talk about what they want from their first employer.

This generation of workers are also more concerned with having a healthy, feel-good state of mind than a large salary:

  • 42% wanted a strong work and life balance
  • 38% of respondents wanted a fun work environment
  • 36% required that their first job be an ethical place to work
  • Less than third of respondents valued a high salary the most

How to get the most out of Generation Z in the workplace:

Stephen Divers, Head of UK Education & Recruitment at TheBigChoice, explains how employers can translate these findings into the workplace when recruiting Generation Z:

  1. Have two-way conversations
    It might feel unconventional but give them a chance to contribute toward how your work environment runs. This is the generation of people who are in charge of so many creative aspects of their lives – be it their Instagram account or writing their own blog. Take away their ability to co-create and they’ll quickly feel deflated. Try running monthly ideas sessions or carry out regular internal feedback surveys.
  2. Give them recognition
    Always acknowledge when they’ve done a good job - be it incentives, bonuses or even just something simple like an email or shout out.
  3. Make them feel trusted
    It’s about getting rid of the rules that have no reason for being there, demolishing the hierarchy culture and scrapping micro-management. This generation want you to feel like you can rely on them.
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