Only 46% of American college students are confident about finding a job after they graduate, while 61% believe they’ll graduate with the skills they need for a successful career.

A report from Symplicity – which helps colleges manage aspects of student life, including career services – found that Gen Z wants to see more realistic expectations and more specifics in job descriptions. Some 59% were concerned they did not have the right qualifications for the types of jobs they wanted. Meanwhile, 65% said they’d be discouraged from applying by unrealistic requirements.

That sentiment was particularly true for women. Sixty-three percent of women, compared to 52% of men, were concerned about their qualifications while they searched for jobs.

Transparency Matters

Overall, the survey suggests that employers should consider revising their job descriptions to make them more realistic and transparent.

Gen Z values transparency across multiple areas of the job application process, particularly around salary and job responsibilities. Out of nine categories examined by Symplicity, pay transparency and equity was the most important students look at when evaluating a company’s DEI efforts. Eight-seven percent said it was important or very important.

When it comes to salary range, Symplicity found that 53% of students would be discouraged from applying to a job if a specific salary range wasn’t included in the job description. Thirty-six percent said they might apply. This follows recent events in states like California and New York, which now require employers to include a salary range in their job descriptions.

In any case, hybrid or remote work is becoming less important to Gen Z, with 42% of students saying it was either important or very important to them. That’s down from the 75% who said it was important last year. Symplicity suggests the decline stems from young workers’ desire to improve their sense of camaraderie with coworkers and superiors.

Image: 123RF

By Mark Feffer

Mark Feffer is executive editor of RecruitingDaily and the HCM Technology Report. He’s written for TechTarget, HR Magazine, SHRM, Dice Insights, and TalentCulture, as well as Dow Jones, Bloomberg and Staffing Industry Analysts. He likes schnauzers, sailing and Kentucky-distilled beverages.


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