While remote roles continue to grow in almost all countries, 20-24 year olds are the age group making the fewest applications to fully remote roles, finds new data from LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network.
LinkedIn analysed the labour market for career starters in the U.S., U.K, France and Germany – including job applications and hiring data – to understand which sectors offer the most opportunity for Gen Z job-seekers and employers looking to attract them.
Gen Z want flexibility but that doesn’t necessarily mean remote
LinkedIn research of 4,000 Gen Z (18-25 year olds) career starters in the UK, US, France and Germany finds that the vast majority (70%) want access to an office, preferring either a mix of office and remote working, or being in the office full-time, compared to just being fully remote. Gen Z respondents surveyed say that office working offers a separation between work and home (30%), a better environment to work productively (24%), and the opportunity to build closer relationships with colleagues (23%). A fifth of Gen Z (21%) say they value the in-person training, mentorship, and access to more senior colleagues that working in an office brings.
These findings build on previous research from LinkedIn among business leaders which found that young people in the UK who worked from home during the pandemic were hit by a ‘development dip’. Leaders felt younger workers had missed out on learning by “osmosis” by not being around more experienced colleagues (36%), developing essential soft skills (36%), and building professional networks (37%).
Allen Blue, Co-founder and Vice President, Product Management, at LinkedIn, said:
“The last two years have been an incredibly challenging time to start a career. Gen Z will soon make up 30% of the global workforce and employers must keep their newest recruits front of mind and create working environments where they can thrive. It’s clear that Gen Z want flexibility but LinkedIn’s data shows that doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to be fully remote. Offering flexibility isn’t just critical in terms of attracting and retaining Gen Z talent, but it also represents a huge opportunity to make workplaces fairer, more inclusive and equitable. That means recognising the realities of people’s personal situations, including that they may not have an ideal set-up to work from home full-time.”
Top Industries and Jobs for Career Starters
LinkedIn’s data also shows that the labour market for career starters has improved since the start of the pandemic, when hiring fell significantly. People at the start of their career are being hired at a faster rate than the rest of the labour market in Germany and France, while in the UK and the US hiring is slightly behind overall hiring. LinkedIn’s analysis shows that the digitalisation of the economy continues to drive career opportunities for young people, with Technology and IT consistently strong sectors globally. Software Engineer was the number one job that graduates were hired into in the US, UK and Germany.
Helping career starters navigate the labour market
To help people who are starting their careers, LinkedIn has launched the 2022 Guide to Kickstarting Your Career, which offers the latest insights on labour market trends – including the top jobs hiring career starters and the skills needed to get the jobs.
And to help those at the beginning of their career stand out to potential employers, LinkedIn is making it easier for new job-seekers to set out their skills more clearly, which helps recruiters to identify qualified candidates more quickly. This includes giving people ways to present their skills in the context of a specific job or experience on their LinkedIn Profile, such as Excel skills learned during an internship or time management skills developed while volunteering.
Rosie Billyard from London graduated last summer and has just started a new role in an events management software company. Her previous role was fully remote. “For me, the challenge of working fully remotely as a graduate in a new job is that I don’t know what I don’t know. A lot of learning when you start a new role comes from observing other people and being able to ask them questions, which is difficult when you’re not with people in person – you don’t always want to bother your colleagues, especially if they’re senior. Working remotely can make it harder to get to know the office etiquette and how colleagues like to work, and at a basic level understand what is expected of you.
“I do understand that other people find it more convenient to work from home. They can see more of their family, look after their pets and save time on the commute. But for people like me who are starting out – especially those who live alone or with their parents – being in an office environment can be so important for doing the job well and getting the most out of it, and also for the social aspect – making friends and building a network.”