Gen Z Candidates Are Confident About Finding a Good Job or Internship This Fall — But Some More Than Others

Despite economic uncertainty keeping talent teams on their toes, Gen Z candidates remain optimistic about the labor market — though their confidence does depend on how they identify.

While late 2021 and the start of 2022 saw a candidate-driven market, recent layoffs and an economic cool down could spell trouble for candidates this recruiting season. However, when we asked students in August about their internship and job searches heading into the fall, it was clear that an uncertain future had little effect on their confidence in finding a good position this year. But some are more confident than others.

In a recent report on Diversity in the Workplace, we surveyed more than 2,600 juniors and seniors ahead of the fall 2022-23 recruiting season to determine how traditionally underrepresented talent is approaching the new recruitment landscape. That includes what candidates today are feeling ahead the fall recruitment season, and the biggest challenges they are anticipating. 

Read on for some of the highlights on this topic, and download the full report to delve into other aspects of the job search and hiring process, such as reneges, candidates experience, and company D&I policies here

Women are less confident than men in finding an internship or job this fall

Overall, when we asked candidates about how confident they feel about securing a position based on the current job market & economy, 85% said they were either neutral or confident about finding an internship or job that meets their standards this fall. Broken down even further, we found that of those 85% of candidates, 45% said they are neutral about finding an internship or job that meets their standards this year, and 40% said they were confident in their search for employment based on the current market. 

Taking an even closer look at how different candidates today feel about their internship and job search in the current economy, we discovered a confidence gap between men and women. Specifically, while 46% of male candidates said they feel confident in their search for employment this year, only 36% of female candidates said they felt similarly. And while just 12% of men said they are confident heading into their job search this year, 16% of women are not optimistic ahead of the fall. 

That being said, talent teams looking to attract women should ensure they are prepared to nurture female talent this season — beginning with being strategic about the initial qualifications in their applications. 

Candidates are worried about standing out in a sea of applicants this season — especially women

In addition to asking candidates about their confidence in finding an internship or job this year, we also asked what they expect their biggest challenges to be as they conduct their search. We found that a majority of all applicants are concerned with having their applications stand out to recruiters this year — with women being the most concerned. Specifically, 66% of Black women and 63% of Hispanic women are concerned about standing out this season, compared to 51% of Black men, and 56% of Hispanic men. 71% of Asian women and 63% of White women are concerned about standing out this season, compared to 61% of Black men, and 56% of Hispanic men. 

To show all candidates you are invested in their success, your talent team may want to offer resources to help them understand what you’re looking for in a candidate, such as info sessions with Q&A about open roles and programs.

Black women are the most concerned about roles meeting their salary expectations

Looking further down the list of what candidates expect their greatest challenges to be this year, we discovered that women are more worried about finding a role that meets their salary expectations than men this year — and especially Black women. Specifically, a little more than a third of White, Asian, and Hispanic women anticipate that this will be a challenge for them this year, compared to 44% of Black women. 

With that in mind, talent teams can make progress on their D&I efforts by openly discussing salary expectations with candidates, and putting forward their best offer.

How can your company better prepare itself to support candidates across genders, races & ethnicities as they look for jobs and enter the labor market? By understanding how they are approaching their job search, and what hurdles they expect to face during that process. Armed with that knowledge, you can make real changes to your policies and procedures to better attract and nurture candidates across different genders, races & ethnicities. Want to learn more about traditionally underrepresented talent entering the workforce? Download our full report here.


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