Young workers have been disproportionately impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and students are more driven by clear paths for career progression, training and development to ensure secure employment, rather than high future earnings, according to employer branding experts Universum.
The research also found that while salary was less of a priority for most, across all industries, there is an obvious difference in expected salary, with men expecting 10% higher salary, on average than women.
Universum’s Annual Talent Research 2021 surveyed over 40,000 students across the UK to reveal their career expectations and what employer attributes they consider most important. Conducted annually over the last 30 years, it offers insights into the potential long-term impact of Covid-19 on today’s entry-level workforce and how the pandemic could widen the gender divide between men and women.
Students more flexible than ever despite persisting gender stereotypes
A third of students (33%) would move across the UK for a job and four in ten (40%) would move abroad, highlighting that students are more adaptable and willing to relocate due to a candidate rich market and the unsettling impact of Covid-19.
Differences remain in the most attractive industries for male and female students, with the largest discrepancies being between women who voted for Hospital and Health Care (15% more than men), Social Care (13% more than men), and Education (13% more than men).
When compared to the most attractive industries to men, these include Banking (20% more than women), Aerospace and Defence (18% more than women), and Financial Services and Technology (16% more than women).
Young people are changing the way they look for jobs
On average, UK students consider 27 employers when looking for a job.
Social media channels such as LinkedIn and Facebook have become popular tools within the job search which can heavily influence the way in which young people view a company. Men prefer using sites such as YouTube (15% men vs 10% women), and Reddit (6% men vs 2% women), whereas women prefer company websites and job boards, with the largest differences being employers’ corporate websites (49% women vs 46% men) and Totaljobs (12% women vs 10% men).
Steve Ward, Universum’s UK Director, said: “It’s evident that the economic volatility we are witnessing at the moment – as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic combined with Brexit – has clearly contributed to a shift in priorities for students. Now more than ever, students and graduates entering the workforce are concerned with a career path inside a single employer – with training, development and job security – which has jumped ahead of high earning potential, the portfolio career characteristic of their Gen Y predecessors. The pandemic has not only influenced priorities but also highlighted disparities between male and female students when it comes to the platforms they search for roles on, attractive industries, remote working and pay.
“All of which means that, for employers not only is it vitally important to create a structure that provides a clear path to progression and a supportive training and development programme to enable and encourage candidates, but to also tailor that message to the relevant platforms and understand the different needs of male and female talent. Graduates have even more opportunity to gather information on a prospective role than ever before. Ensuring you’re showing up in the right place with a message that’s in line with their priorities will help cut through the competition, increase talent retention and yield better business success.”