What do Gen Z think when choosing careers?

Jun 25, 2024 | Attraction & marketing, Home Featured, Webinars

New research can help employers better understand and reach Gen Z, explains Jasmine Barrett at Amberjack.

The latest research by Springpod in partnership with Amberjack explores the thoughts and opinions of 2,600 students, aged 13-21, across the UK, with 100,000 data points.

This formed the basis of an ISE webinar with Amberjack and Springpod along with a panel of early talent from our Gen Z Advisory Board, and industry experts.

Role of parents, carers and schools

In the research, we asked students who they look to for careers advice and support. Parents and carers came out on top, voted by 62% of students, but interestingly teachers came second at 59%, and careers advisors was third highest at 50%.

Perhaps understandably, the people with whom students tend to spend a significant amount of time are the same people they look to for advice. Though of course, this does mean certain implications for students from lower-socioeconomic backgrounds, and those who grew up in care.

Our guest panellist, Jo Bishop, Schools and Colleges lead from Springpod, spoke to building relationships and trust with schools and the programmes they run, as well as encouraging excitement in students, in order to successfully deliver and show off their opportunities.

Importance of role models

The majority (70%) of students think that having a career role model is important, yet only 50% answered that they had said role model. With a clear mismatch between desire and reality, the role of employers in informing young people and showing the available opportunities could be significant.

Making the most of these opportunities doesn’t have to be an isolating task. Ask the experts in our Attraction Team to learn more about getting your opportunities out to talent, early.

Understanding working environments and culture

When asked if the working environment and culture of an organisation would affect their career choices, students overwhelmingly voted ‘yes’ across all age groups. However, the rate at which students said ‘yes’ increased as students got older, demonstrating the critical importance of getting in early and positioning your organisation as a good one to consider.

Additionally, our Gen Z panellist and university student, Claire, explained that when students start their serious job search, they’re looking at your website to dive into the specific information you provide, daily tasks, choice of photos, etc.

Gen Z want to see authentic representation of the role they’re thinking of applying too, even when this might not be a ‘positive’ aspect of the job. This is also why students like insight days hosted by employers to give a real taste of the working environment, where they can see for themselves what working at your organisation might be like.

Reaching Gen Z

The majority (75%) of candidates begin thinking about their future career before they even start their GCSEs. Not building relationships with schools and young people means missing out on potentially influencing their choices and limiting your potential pipeline.

In their individually led research phase, Gen Z utilise Google, schools, company websites, parents and carers, and TikTok, as their top five channels. Is your organisation utilising these channels? Partnering with organisations such as Amberjack to explore the use of schools and social media can be a critical part of your attraction strategy.

Anecdotally, our Gen Z panellists, Claire and Charlotte, shared that they researched via UCAS, company websites, social media (including LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok), to find out more about organisations and the opportunities they had to offer.

Spreading your strategy across channels, instead of having all your eggs in the job listing website basket, is much more effective at reaching your desired talent pool.

You may also be interested in…

What learning experiences do Gen Z love?

How to empower line managers to better understand and engage Gen Z

3 ways to make a difference to Gen Z career decisions

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