What Today’s Graduates Expect from Employers

by Marcianne Kuethen
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A new survey from theEMPLOYEEapp has just been unleashed that reveals what today’s graduates expect from employers. Not surprisingly, the results mirror the flexible way these students have lived and operated during their school years.

Keeping Your Hiring Pipeline Filled

You might be thinking, “Not another survey! And why should I have to cater to what these grads expect, anyway?” It only matters if you need to make a new hire or want to keep your hiring pipeline filled for future hires…something Amtec encourages every employer to be doing.

As you’ve undoubtedly experienced, quality candidates are in high demand since unemployment continues to be at a historical low. A strong labor market creates difficulty in hiring top professionals. The goal of the survey is to help employers see things from a new graduate’s perspective. Once you understand what today’s graduates expect from employers, you’ll be able to create a working environment that will attract the right candidates and be successful at retaining them.

What Today’s Graduates Expect from Employers

The graduates surveyed were divided into two groups: 1) 45% are starting deskless positions (jobs in healthcare, retail, transportation, hospitality and manufacturing that don’t require a desktop computer). Of these, 46% were high school grads, and 54% were college grads. 2) 55% are starting jobs in office/desk-bound environments. Of these, 24% were high school grads and 76% were college grads.

For the college grads, 34% are pursuing professional or financial services; 24% are going into healthcare or a hospital; 7% are entering the hospitality field; and 7% are going into manufacturing.

In spite of their different career paths, however, both groups expressed the same three top expectations:

  1. Flexible and remote work options. “What employees desire in a work environment has changed – they are looking for flexible solutions that include not being tied to a desk. Flexible hours and remote work options are some of the most important factors in a new job for nearly half of all graduates.” Not all businesses lend themselves to offering team members remote work or flexible hours, but if yours does, you’re likely to attract more candidates.
  2. High-quality training and onboarding. Today’s graduates expect to be given easy access to the tools and resources that will allow them to succeed in their jobs as well as in their personal lives. To onboard new team members well, Amtec’s CEO, Scott Kuethen, highly recommends that you use a performance acceleration tool such as the Great Start Tool which Amtec includes every time we help a new hire find a job. As a long-time Southern California recruitment firm, we’ve learned that such a tool helps you help new team members get up to speed sooner, understand who can help them, know what is expected of them, and much more.
  3. Communication of important company information and  cultural fit/values that align with their own. Graduates want to hear from their company’s senior leadership frequently and through multiple channels such as in person, emails, texts, company intranet, and mobile apps. In that vein, 54% of these new employees expect that the company will provide them with a laptop or desktop computer, and 31% expect the company to provide them with a mobile device such as a mobile phone or tablet.

When it comes right down to it, except for greater work flexibility, what today’s graduates expect from employers isn’t so far off from what previous generations have hoped for. They want to do meaningful work, be equipped for success, understand how to fit in, and receive feedback along the way so they know whether they’re on track. They just need you to provide them with a digital device that will help them perform as expected.

The Benefit of Hiring Digital Natives

As for their desire to work remotely and have flexible hours, consider this: For the most part, today’s graduates are digital natives, meaning they practically grew up with digital tablets, cell phones, and laptop computers in their cribs, strollers, and classrooms. No wonder these students prefer remote work and flex hours! Their comfort level with such technology can work in your favor. Scott Kuethen is famous for saying, “Everyone needs a technology mentor at least a generation younger than themselves!” The digital tools that are reshaping our world are second nature to younger digital natives, while digital immigrants may be less agile with their use. While both groups bring value to the workforce, you’ll benefit from getting some new grads on your team if technology is a driver of your business.

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