- Gen Z continues to lead the pack in what LinkedIn calls the Great Reshuffle. The job platform shared tips from one of its Generation Z-aged engineering recruiters, Madison Vitug, on May 18, recapping study insights and offering an inside scoop on Gen Z attitudes. A stand-out finding: Gen Z is the most likely age group to have either left or have considered leaving a job because their employer failed to offer a flexible work arrangement.
- The youngest generation in the workforce appears to be moving with conviction: they are changing jobs at a rate “134% higher than in 2019, according to LinkedIn data. That compares to 24% more for millennials and 4% less for boomers."
- As highlighted in a previous article, the vast majority of Gen Z employees are keen on learning. LinkedIn’s most recent Workforce Learning Report revealed that 76% of this age group say learning is instrumental to a successful career, watching 50% more hours of content per learner between 2019 and 2020.
Gen Z’s desire for learning opportunities may have something to do with the underlying, generational career anxiety that researchers have uncovered over the past year. Washington State University’s Carson College of Business reported in February 2022 that 67% of Gen Z employees surveyed felt “behind” some of their co-workers since they never had experience working onsite. The next month, a survey by HR advisory and consulting firm Lee Hecht Harrison revealed that 34% of Gen Z respondents felt their skill set was unusable in the workplace.
HR Dive also covered the report “What The Class of 2022 Wants,” wherein 48% of new graduates surveyed by the LaSalle Network said they feel underprepared for the workforce. This is within a group where 38% of respondents also said they had completed three or more internships prior to graduation.
The youngest generation in the workforce is arguably demanding by comparison to other generations. For this group, flexibility and a thorough commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion are non-negotiable benefits, and investments in mental health and wellbeing are top of mind. For the Gen Z age cohort, kindness is a company value. But ultimately, this new segment of the workforce is hungry for the best of what prior generations have to offer.
“As a recruiter at LinkedIn and a Gen Zer myself, I can tell you that, for the most part, this new cohort of workers is creative, adaptable, values-driven, and intentional in their career choices. And as I chat with fellow career starters about their career goals, one thing is clear,” Vitug wrote. “Gen Z is unwilling to compromise our career vision to fit into a work model that doesn’t work for us.”
An interesting concept from Vitug’s blog post that can provide fruitful discussion for HR teams is the idea of “experience inflation.” In essence: How can a job candidate gain work experience, if job descriptions call for years and years of experience as a prerequisite? (Looking at about 4 million jobs postings published between December 2017 and August 2021, LinkedIn determined that employers asked for at least three years of relevant work experience on 35% of their entry-level postings.) Vitug pointed out that many entry-level jobs aren’t always labeled as such, and “often ask for more years of experience than is realistic for someone just starting out in their career,” she added.
“While it might feel nice to swing for the fences on every entry-level hire, you could wind up missing out on a top prospect simply because they didn’t check every box,” the LinkedIn engineering recruiter said. This is a poignant school of thought, considering other LinkedIn data indicating Gen Z’s zest for learning.