London and Frankfurt based recruitment consultancy Dartmouth Partners has released a fascinating survey that dispels several long-held graduate and ‘Gen Z’ recruitment myths.
The Report was based on responses from over 600 ‘Gen Zeros’ and was undertaken to better understand the expectations and driving force behind graduates’ current goals and thinking – and the findings may come as a shock to banking and financial institutions who are perhaps under the impression the talent of tomorrow will be queuing up to join their team. Not so.
Terri Loska, Director Graduate Recruitment, said: “In addition to our first-hand observations, we released a survey to our network of students and recent graduates to get their take on the job search and how they view the recruitment process; what makes them tick and what grinds their gears?
“We had a total of almost 600 responses and, due to the nature of our candidate pool, most of the participants are targeting careers within financial services. The individuals who took part came from various academic backgrounds and are at different stages in their job search, however, despite the diversity in profiles, our results revealed some uncomfortable truths and consensus in opinion.
“The findings certainly provide food for thought and hammer home the ‘dos and don’ts’ in a hiring process, which can easily be forgotten. This report specifically looks at the applicants currently identified as ‘Gen Z’. Those that are born approximately between 1995 – 2012.”
The report reveals that the latest crop of graduates have more choice than ever before, meaning unless they are engaged throughout the recruitment process, they will simply move on to a company who they believe will be a better cultural fit. In fact, it has never been more important to dedicate time and energy to recruiting graduates – get it wrong, and they’ll walk away – something that wasn’t perhaps an option for them in leaner years. The Gen Z generation want to know exactly where they’re at throughout the recruitment process, meaning a high-touch and highly efficient process with quick communication and feedback is essential.
With 44% expecting an update on the application within one to two weeks and 45% expecting the process to be complete with one to two months, the message is clear – recruitment needs to be quicker, more streamlined and transparent than ever before. Among the findings was the fact that 49% of those surveyed indicated a preference to move into investment banking to start their careers. And with a whopping 84%, London still easily tops the working location of choice for graduates indicating the capital as their desired working city.
Terri Loska continues: “For the first time in a long time we’re seeing graduates looking for the right company for the longer term – the bad news is, they won’t stop interviewing until they find it. The good news, however, is that – according to the results from our survey – once through the door, graduates are much more committed to a firm than their media-fuelled reputation suggests. They want to understand the working culture of a firm, its values and its people.
“Barely a day goes by without a news article portraying Gen Z as opportunistic, fair-weather employees who are just biding their time until a better offer comes along. That may be true for some, but consider that of our survey participants, 40% that are graduating in 2017 and 51% that are graduating by 2019, see themselves staying in their first job for 3 to 5 years.
“We think the Gen Z Report not only dispels several myths about the wants and needs of graduates – it blows them out of the water.”
Another fascinating discovery is that career progression ranks higher than salary for graduates – another myth dispelled?
That said, some 43% still expect a minimum starting salary of £45,000+.
Lizzie Louis, Principal of Graduate Recruitment said: “If anything, our results show that it’s career progression that really makes an opportunity stand out from the crowd. It’s no longer enough to rely on track record, or a large pay check alone; graduates placed near to equal weight on the importance of early training and brand – far more than location and salary.
“It’s interesting to see that, on average, students still in their penultimate year of studies took the longest-term view. One reason for this could be the trend of hiring off the back of Spring Weeks and internships, outlining a clear career trajectory,
“Additionally, this mentality could be a result of the increased number of entry-level opportunities on the buy-side. The recent trend of Hedge-funds and Private Equity firms introducing in-house Analyst programmes means that graduates no longer need to go through Investment Banking training as a stepping stone into the buy-side and can side-step straight into a career in the industry.”
It’s also worth noting that Gen Z graduates like to keep their options open, too – 70% ‘keep an eye out’ for other opportunities after accepting a position, though to varying degrees of proactivity.
In summary, The Gen Z Report calls for a change in mindset for the recruitment process from start to finish. Ensuring each candidate is cared for the same way, engaged and updated every step of the way is crucial and transparency throughout the process is essential. The candidate journey should be slicker and quicker than ever before with the future leaders of tomorrow demanding nothing less.