3 ways to make a difference to Gen Z career decisions

May 10, 2024 | Attraction & marketing, Home Featured, How-to

New research provides insight to how best support and influence the career decisions of Gen Z, explains Oscar Crickmer at Springpod.

Springpod and Amberjack’s 2023 Gen Z Careers Report sheds light on the challenges faced by Generation Z and their thoughts regarding taking their next steps in their careers.

Findings were shared in our earlier blog on What is influencing the career decisions of Gen Z? as well as at ISE’s Apprenticeship Conference 2024.

Based on our findings there’s a number of areas where employers can make the greatest possible impact to Gen Z career decisions.

1) Salary transparency and career progression

ISE data shows more graduates are leaving jobs for better pay. Cash has become king in career decision making.

Providing clear and transparent information about salary structures and opportunities for career advancement within your organisation is one of the primary ways to help Gen Z understand the affordability to them of applying for your roles.

In instances where salary might depend on experience, it’s important where possible to state this in figures to still give them some understanding of what to expect and plan their lives accordingly. For example, decisions about commuting versus moving for a role will be affected by this information.

Those in industries or organisations which cannot offer the highest salaries can look to highlight success stories of employees who have progressed within the company.

Spotlighting retention and growth is a powerful way to help ease the minds of young people about future job security.

2) Mobile-friendly, exploratory careers content

It’s becoming a necessity for employers to have a mobile-friendly, exploratory content library for careers and employability.

Respondents in our report demonstrated a wide array of available time to dedicate to researching their future career, so it’s critical to cater to both passive and active students.

Mobile-friendly content gives students on the go a chance to learn in small increments. This is how the students who told us they have ‘less than an hour per week’ to dedicate to careers research are more likely to be reached and supported.

Those students who reported spending upwards of five hours per week researching careers are more likely to have a preference for progressing through modular programmes.

A library of content that suits both learning styles is crucial in order to help as many students as possible.

Our report also found that careers sites and company websites are the most popular channels for students to visit when in their active research phase and so this is where content should be hosted.

An audit of your own website could be a great first place to look for an easy way to make a significant difference in generating engagement and helping young people.

3) The real influencers: parents, carers, schools and mentors

The majority (62%) of respondents said they look to parents and carers for careers advice and support.

This was the most popular source of any in the survey and so it’s very important for employers to recognise the influence of parents and caregivers in Gen Z’s career decisions. This means engaging them through dedicated programmes and resources.

Provide parents with insights into your company culture, values, and career opportunities to empower them to support their children effectively. Informed parents lead to informed students and this results in young people feeling more secure in the career decisions they make.

Employers can help further by listening to the needs of teachers and careers advisors in schools, colleges, universities and other special educational institutions.

Staying on the pulse of education news publishers, reading forums and Facebook and Linkedin groups are great ways to remain in touch with the problems these education leaders are trying to solve.

Tailoring outreach initiatives to support these organisations and complement the curricula is a powerful way of reaching the next generation with the support they need at crucial decision-making points in their journey.

For those students who have less readily available access to the internet, particularly from a personal device, parents, carers and school staff are likely to wield even greater influence over their decision-making. So, reaching and informing them is a must for increasing the equity of careers education.

Lastly, the effectiveness of mentorship or ambassador programmes should not be underestimated.

Your current Gen Z employees as well as experienced professionals in your network can serve as invaluable role models to young people, reassuring them that other people who they can relate to have walked the path before them.

There are many options for how to do this effectively including insight days and events (either virtual or in-person), mentoring platforms and through organic social engagement.

You may also be interested in…

Is career readiness in decline?

5 ways to keep Gen Z candidates warm and engaged

What are students and graduates thinking right now?

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