From Gen A to Z: decoding the mindsets of the generations

Jul 11, 2024 | Attraction & marketing, Home Featured, Research, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Unifrog shares insight into the differences and similarities between Gen A and Gen Z in researching their next steps, and highlights how to tap into this knowledge to engage students.

At Unifrog, our mission is to level the playing field when it comes to young people choosing their post-school pathways. Working with 57% of state schools and colleges in the UK, our platform helps students compare every further education, higher education and apprenticeship opportunity, and then apply successfully.

To help us do this, we work with 80+ employer partners across the UK, connecting them with engaged students who are looking to apply for opportunities, and providing insights into the ways students are interacting with their content on the Unifrog platform.

At the ISE Student Recruitment Conference, Unifrog’s Head of Employer Partnerships, Caroline Collins, delved into our survey of 21,000+ students and data from our platform of 1.9+ million UK students, to explore the mindsets of Gen A (people born between 2010 and 2025) and Gen Z (people born between 1997 and 201) as they research their next steps.

Timing is key

When it comes to communicating opportunities and getting content in front of students, timing is everything.

Unifrog platform logins tell us that Gen Z and Gen A show significant differences in their research timelines.

The best time to engage with current Gen Z students is between September and January, whereas current Gen A students show most engagement between January and July.

This insight is a great reminder to consider not just how you’re getting your opportunities out there, but when. Take a look at your school engagement plan to check your timeline fits with the students you are trying to engage.

An important point to note however is that across both groups, another key trend comes to light: apprenticeships research is starting earlier. Students are making decisions sooner than you think!

Consider your channels

While timing is crucial to connect with the right students at the right time, making these connections is easier when you use the most effective channels to share your opportunities.

Unifrog’s survey findings indicate that Gen Z students are interested in a variety of mediums when actively researching their next steps. Top choices for this age group are ‘opportunity searching tools such as Unifrog’ and ‘webinars/online events’.

In contrast, while platforms such as Unifrog remain at the top of the list, other top picks for Gen A are both ‘longer videos’ and ‘short video content’, demonstrating a more passive research approach among Gen A. Keeping apprenticeship content diverse is therefore a great way to ensure engagement from students of all ages.

Despite their differences, there are two key trends across the board – all students value in-person events and email communications. To make sure the connections you are making with students are meaningful, consider using these channels to get your content out there.

Involve parents and caregivers in the journey

Perhaps the most significant finding from Unifrog’s student survey is the importance of indirect influences on young people’s decision-making.

When we asked Gen A and Gen Z where they turn to for advice about their future, both groups told us that they are most likely to seek advice from their parents and caregivers. This suggests that what young people hear at home will play a big role in the decisions they make about their future.

Unifrog sees high engagement from parents and caregivers, particularly in apprenticeship-related content. For instance, the highest open rates (60.8%) of Unifrog’s parent newsletter, ‘Next Steps’, have come from subject lines mentioning apprenticeships, with high numbers of clicks on apprenticeships related content.

As an employer, it’s key not only to connect with students, but to deliver content for parents and caregivers. Supporting these influential figures in helping their young people through the decision-making process may indirectly result in greater engagement with students.

Overall, employers can tap into the differences and similarities between Gen A and Gen Z to effectively engage students. In particular:

– Consider student timelines and remember that decision-making is happening earlier.
– Understand that Gen A and Gen Z enjoy diverse content, but overall value emails and events.
– Make sure to educate parents and caregivers as well as students.

You may also be interested in…

Recap: ISE Student Recruitment Conference highlights

What do Gen Z think when choosing careers?

3 ways to make a difference to Gen Z career decisions



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