Dartmouth’s Gen Z Hiring & Retention Report 2021

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What are the new trends and priorities amongst Gen Z in 2021?

Access our Gen Z Hiring & Retention report here.

The complexities and motivations of Gen Z in usual times are ever-changing; the last twelve months have seen seismic shifts that have had an immeasurable impact. Our 2021 Gen Z Hiring & Retention Report contextualise the aspirations, expectations and priorities of today’s junior talent against the backdrop of the social and political landscape of recent times.

Our findings are reflective of the year of change the world has experienced and we found that 56% of our 1,554 respondents felt their priorities had shifted in the past year. We wanted to understand this movement in expectations and what this means for the future of work, including attitudes towards diversity & inclusion, mental health, and flexible working.

Gen Z are more diverse than any other generation, however our report found that only 28.4% of respondents believe all candidates have equal opportunities, regardless of personal background. We explore what key diversity issues are facing the industry and some long-term solutions. Gen Z are ready to talk D&I, and you should be too.

As digital integrators, we also investigate how Gen Z have found the past 15 months where technology has blurred the lines of work and socialising, education and entertainment, professional and personal life. We’ve relied more heavily on technology than ever before, and this means a firm’s online presence and reputation is critical with 74.6% of respondents considering online reviews before making an application. Gen Z are fact finders and content consumers, therefore, to attract top talent, companies need to ensure their online presence reflects and engages with the attitudes and priorities of Gen Z.

Whilst we have seen many benefits of technology, including the perks of remote working, nearly 90% of candidates would feel more committed to an opportunity if they met their team in-person. Firms cannot rely solely on technology to generate candidate buy-in. This generation cares about human connections and a personalised touch, with a greater prioritisation towards workplace culture compared to previous years.

We know that Gen Z are adaptable, innovative, and hardworking therefore hiring and investing in junior talent will often prove to be your competitive advantage. Graduate recruitment has a long-term positive impact on your brand, future talent pipeline, diversity, and internal skillsets. However, with just under 40% of respondents citing faster progression as a reason to leave a role, firms will need to understand how to incentivise and motivate new joiners to ensure high retention rates and a return on investment.

Our findings from this year have proven there’s been a shift in priorities and expectations amongst Gen Z entering the job market. Being seen ticking the boxes of D&I isn’t good enough anymore, Gen Z want the practices embedded into a company’s day to day activity and throughout the hiring process. Unsurprisingly, there’s a sense of nervousness amongst the generation due to the uncertainty the last 15 months has brought. Remote working is seen as a both a blessing and a curse, due to the difficulty of making connections and building relationships. Employers must put a strong focus on this to ensure Gen Z are assured they won’t feel isolated within their role.

Our report takes a deep dive into the data and provides detailed insight into how you can build an effective junior talent hiring strategy year on year. Book in to speak to one of our Early Career specialists about the findings here; the report is highly detailed and there’s a lot of nuance, we want to ensure the detail is clear and our team will help to make that path clear.

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