It has been a year since the world of recruitment and hiring was upended due to COVID-19, leaving employers, students and higher education institutions in need of new ways to connect. With the spring recruiting season on the horizon, Handshake, the leading site for college students to find jobs, surveyed Gen Z to better understand what is working, areas for improvement, and how recruiters and employers can better support them in the job search process moving forward.
When asked to share what they like most about the virtual job search process, nearly half of students said that they feel less intimidated meeting with potential employers (48.7%), they appreciate the reduction in scheduling barriers (44.5%), and feel they are better able to prepare for interviews (42%). When it comes to preparing for virtual internships, a majority (69.1%) of students said they research companies and/or the interviewer, 46.7% of students conduct mock interviews with friends and family, and 41.8% say they practice meditation and deep breathing.
“The past year pushed all of us to rethink every aspect of our lives, and as students navigate this new way of finding jobs and internships it’s essential that they not only have the right tools and resources but also the appropriate guidance along the way,” said Christine Cruzvergara, Handshake’s VP of Higher Education and Student Success. “As we partner with our network of over 1,000 schools to support students’ job searches this spring, we’re going to continue to remove barriers and ensure they have the support needed throughout the search.”
Improving the Virtual Job Search Process
Forty one percent of students surveyed believe that all employers will eventually adopt virtual recruiting tools. This spring, there are 17,000 employers expected to sign up for virtual fairs at over 700 schools on Handshake, and as virtual recruiting becomes more prevalent, it is essential that employers and recruiters have a good understanding of how to improve the process.
While students recognize the value of virtual events, more than half of those surveyed also expressed concerns about their ability to effectively communicate in an online setting (52.2%) and shared that they worry about not making a connection with recruiters (52.8%). As a result, they would like employers to be more specific about what they are looking for in candidates, to detail out the interview process ahead of time, and receive guidance on how best to navigate virtual events and fairs. Handshake’s suite of virtual solutions helps address these challenges by providing purpose-built mobile and web video experiences as well as the ability for employer ambassadors to engage with students at their alma maters, enabling authentic personal engagement through the recruiting process.
“As more and more employers rely on virtual tools to recruit, hire and build a diverse and inclusive workforce, we’re continuing to develop innovative solutions, including virtual events and fairs to better support students of all backgrounds in finding opportunities and securing jobs,” said Handshake CEO, Garrett Lord. “We are committed to empowering our employer and higher education partners with technology, insights and information to best support early talent during the recruitment process and easing the process for all involved.”
For more information about Handshake’s 2021 survey click here.