Bulletins

The graduates are coming: What Gen Z expects out of work

iCIMS released its Class of 2022 Report examining job trends, career expectations and aspirations of the latest college grads entering the workforce.

Graduates tossing caps

What entry-level job applicants expect out of their new jobs.

Photo: Emily Ranquist/Pexels

Recent college graduates expect more out of their jobs — approximately $70,000, to be exact.

Recruiting software company iCIMS released its Class of 2022 Report on Wednesday. The latest edition of the annual report examines job trends, career expectations and aspirations of the most recent college grads entering the workforce. Researchers at the recruiting software company surveyed 500 HR and recruiting professionals and 1,000 recent college graduates to better understand their sentiments about workplace expectations.


This year's entry-level job applicants have some pretty high salary expectations, as well as a slew of other unique needs to keep them loyal to a job. But while expectations of employers among this class of Gen Z workers were high, Christy Spilka, VP and global head of Talent Acquisition at iCIMS, said she doesn’t blame them.

“Recent grads are entering a workforce of immense possibility, but they are also entering an economy where inflation is at an all-time high, and the shadow of student loan debt looms large. Their salary expectations reflect all those various factors,” she said in a statement to Protocol.

What’s perhaps more surprising in the data is their anticipated loyalty to their employers. The research found that while entry-level workers as a whole have been known to job hop, 91% of recent graduates responded that they care how long they stay with an employer, and nearly 70% said they see themselves staying with an employer long term.

But that loyalty comes with a few stipulations. Gen Z workers want a workplace that shares common beliefs, supports their mental health and allows them to pursue and prioritize their personal passions, said Spilka. Two in three survey respondents said they expect their job to not only support their mental health, but also participate in open conversations about it.

They also value flexibility, but perhaps not in the way you think. Most Gen Z workers don’t actually want to work in fully remote jobs. Though nearly 70% of college seniors and recent grads would like their employer to accommodate remote work, 90% said they would go into the office.They’re still craving the connection and learning that comes from being in person with their colleagues. That being said, some Gen Z workers may be disappointed to find that only 42% of their entry-level positions will be fully in person, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

So how seriously should you and your team be taking Gen Z’s desires for the world of work? According to Spilka, pretty seriously.

“While recent grads have new ideals for the workplace and many organizations may not be ready to completely reinvent the way they work and operate, organizations should be mindful of their expectations and create personalized hiring and employee experiences to attract and retain talent,” she said. “Otherwise, Gen Z talent will leave in search of a company that better supports their unique needs.”

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