According to a recent survey by Employment 4 Students, an employer that cares about staff wellbeing is the top priority for 16-24-year-olds. Almost 7 in 10 prioritise mental wellbeing, along with work life balance (74%) and flexible working (72%).
This is an increasingly important topic for young people, with Childline revealing last week that it delivered 24,447 counselling sessions, an increase of a quarter over three years. The Youth Voice census report also showed that for 2 in 10 young people mental health is the biggest barrier to entering the workforce.
The survey, which aimed to find out what young people look for in a job advert, also revealed what other factors would attract Gen Z applicants.
Practical information more important than inspiration
Young people are often frustrated by the lack of practical information on job descriptions, the survey found. 53% said they wouldn’t apply for a job if the specific salary was missing, thinking that the phrase ‘competitive salary’ made the organisation seem less honest.
A greater proportion of respondents would rather have practical information, such as specific working hours and location (64% wouldn’t apply if location was missing), over inspiring information about the role and organisation.
Bring the role to life
When asked what the most important feature of a job advert was, there was a strong desire for young people to imagine themselves in a role and to understand what a typical day will look like.
Generation Z is actively looking for video content (74% chose interviews with current employees as the most useful format), an overview of the main duties (presented in an interesting way, not just a repetitive list of tasks) and images showing the working environment. Job adverts should be visual and easy to digest with no jargon or “frilly, waffly rubbish about corporate values”.
Don’t forget the fun factor
Aspirational employer brands for this age group are fun, innovative and ethical. A greater proportion of respondents said they would rather work for a brand they loved and felt passionate about, even if they didn’t get all the benefits they needed. This suggests that even SMEs can compete with larger corporates by showing how they care for staff and align with Gen Z values.
“There are quite a few practical takeaways here for employers that will help to attract young people”, says Chris Eccles, co-director at E4S. “Recruiters need to show how they boost employee wellbeing, bring roles to life through engaging visuals and video, and never leave out essential information!”
Employment 4 Students (e4s.co.uk) is an online student jobs board offering part-time / holiday work, gap years, internships, apprenticeships and graduate roles. Set up in response to tuition fees to help students find flexible and fairly paid work, the site is coming up to its 20th anniversary and has over 14,000 jobs from over 5000 employers, gets 2.6 million visitors and generates half a million applications a year.