Employers are Avoiding College Graduates, According to Study

By: Ben Campbell | Published: Jan 19, 2024

A survey carried out by Intelligent finds that employers are avoiding recent college graduates and instead opting to hire older professionals.

The study finds that the younger generation, many of whom are Gen Zers, have failed to make an impression on potential employers for various reasons, including a lack of motivation, seeking absurd compensation, and many even bringing parents to interviews.

Intelligent Study Brings Forth Shocking Results

Over 800 business managers, executives, and directors who play an active role in the hiring process were asked various questions by the team carrying out the survey.

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An older gentleman dressed in a white shirt sits at a desk with a pen in hand

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According to the survey results from Intelligent, nearly 40% of those involved in the hiring process claim to prefer hiring older professionals as opposed to college undergrads.

Trying to Win Over the Older Professionals

The survey was funded by an online magazine, Intelligent, which typically focuses on the life of students.

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Surprising results show that companies across the nation are willing to offer higher salaries and greater benefits to older professionals as they aren’t happy with the younger candidates.

Gen-Z Aren’t Making A Great Impression

Much of the younger generation entering the workforce for the first time are Gen Zers.

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A young man holds his hand over his face as he fails to make a good impression during the interview

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According to the employers who participated in the survey, they prefer older professionals, as many Gen Zers continuously fail to make a good impression during interviews.

Problems Arising With the New Generation

Employers claim that a large portion of Gen Zers typically want to be overcompensated for the position they’re applying for, even if they lack experience.

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A young interviewee dressed in a yellow shirt holds up his hand to cover his face

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Others claim many of the younger college graduate applicants have difficulty making eye contact.

Bringing Parents to Interviews

While most employers are relatively lenient during interviews, many admit they were surprised by the number of younger applicants who showed up in entirely inappropriate clothing.

A young woman sits on a small seat alongside her father before an interview

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Some of the younger generation even went as far as to bring a parent to sit in during an interview.

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Gen Z Struggles With Professional Behavior

According to Intelligent, it appears many employers are frustrated with the lack of professional behavior in the younger generation.

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But, according to Diane M. Hayeski, there could be a reason behind the unprofessional behavior experienced by potential employers.

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Pandemic Has Brought On Anti-Social Behavior

Hayeski believes employers “need to recognize that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, young people graduating from college had more than two years of disruption in their education as well as their social and professional development.”

Three people, each wearing a black face mask during the pandemic, wait by the side of the road.

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She continued, “Current seniors were in their freshman year at the height of COVID. They likely took classes online and were unable to participate in clubs, internships, or summer jobs.”

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Difficult to Work With

While Hayeski may have a point with her explanation for the social behavior of the younger generation, some employers believe they are just hard to work with.

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According to the survey, over 65% of employers claim that college graduates struggle to handle a challenging workload and come off as fairly entitled in the workplace.

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Younger Generation Is Easily Offended

A large portion of the survey’s participants also agree that many of the younger generation have poor communication skills and struggle to accept constructive criticism.

A young woman wearing a blue jean jacket appears to be offended by a recent comment made by a friend

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Nearly 60% of employers also argue that it’s difficult to joke with college graduates as they are easily offended.

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Major Companies Concerned for Gen Z

As more and more Gen Zers enter the corporate world, some of the largest companies have voiced their concern about the new era of employees.

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Deloitte, KPMG, and PWC all argue that many potential employees who graduated from college during the COVID-19 pandemic struggle with office etiquette and basic communication.

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Offering a Helping Hand

This has led to larger firms offering specific classes to help the younger generation become more accustomed to working in an office setting.

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Many of the classes are centered on simple skills such as how to write emails and work as a team member, and some even help employees follow the dress code.

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