New college graduates offer a great barometer by which to gauge the future of the American workplace. Looking at what matters most to recent graduates is a great way to understand how millennials will influence the professional environment for years to come–including helping remote work grow.
A recent survey by AfterCollege, a leading career network for college students and recent graduates, offers some eye-opening statistics on the importance of job flexibility to millennials, and how their aspirations may help remote work grow. The survey was based on answers from college seniors, recent graduates, and grad students who were actively looking for jobs. Even though more than 50 percent had completed at least one internship, most had no offers and were still actively looking for work.
What mattered most to them in their quest for post-college careers and flexible jobs? Employers “that cultivate a flexible, fun, and casual work environment.” Notably, some 68 percent said they were interested in working for a company that offered opportunities to work remotely–a great indicator of how millennials will change the workplace and help remote work grow.
And here’s a stat that’s important to keep in mind: millennials are poised to become the largest generation represented in the U.S workforce. They’re using online platforms, smart devices, and other technology to change the way the world works.
Here are additional insights from the AfterCollege survey that hint at how millennials will drive the job marketplace and help the growth of remote work:
Great Workplace Environment
How important is a great workplace environment for millennials and new college graduates? Some 65 percent hoped for regular social activities, 62 percent wanted a casual workplace dress code, and 62 percent also wanted perks like free snacks and drinks. Companies are already responding by offering an ever-more-creative range of unexpected and sometimes crazy employee benefits.
Social Media Engagement
In the survey, new graduates of both undergraduate and graduate programs said they were heavily engaged in social media sites–but with a caveat. As far as their job-search efforts were concerned, many highlighted three sites as the focus of their job hunt: LinkedIn (73 percent); their school network (62 percent); and Facebook (47 percent).
It’s not just a catchphrase. The survey reported that 52 percent of respondents said work-life balance was a significant factor in their search for post-graduation work. Continuing in that vein, 53 percent said office location was a significant consideration in their job search, while 58 percent noted that a vision of their future career path would play a big role in their search for a career after college.
Finding Where the Jobs Are
The top three sources for finding new jobs that millennials reported were technology-based: email, job boards like FlexJobs, and employer websites. Survey respondents said those three platforms were their “preferred” methods for figuring out the best hiring opportunities and applying for available jobs.
Overcoming Gender Differences
The numbers speak for themselves: men (as well as technology students) reported much greater success in their post-graduation job searches. Students in those categories were much more likely to have a job lined up after graduation, compared to women and non-tech graduates. Some 38 percent said they were having a “difficult” time finding a job, while 24 percent reported having a “very difficult” time getting their post-college career going.
What’s the upshot? Millennials and recent grads–across regions, GPA levels, and school size–cited technology-based solutions as major platforms they used to look for work. And that’s a reflection of the kind of growing comfort level that is fueling the demand for work flexibility, and helping remote work grow.