The Top Reasons College Graduates Accept Job Offers
What really matters to Gen Z job seekers when they assess their offers?
What motivates a new graduate to accept a job offer? With levels of student debt and the cost-of-living in major cities climbing, one might think that money would be the main motivator for young people starting out their careers. However, today’s top graduates are making their professional decisions based on factors like career growth opportunities and company culture, rather than compensation alone.
According to a survey conducted for our report The State of the Gen Z Job Search, the top reason new graduates accepted a job offer is because of a company’s available professional development opportunities. Surveying over 1,100 class of 2019 graduates hailing from a diverse group of universities and varying academic backgrounds, we found that money was not a particularly strong motivator for today’s entry-level job seekers to accept a job offer. While money did influence a candidate’s decision to accept an offer, professional development, opportunities for advancement, and company culture were equally important – if not more so – to compensation.
There were also some notable differences between why male and female graduates accepted job offers. Both groups valued professional development equally and company culture still ranked within the top 3 influential factors for accepting an offer, however, compensation packages, opportunities for advancement within the company, and company prestige mattered more to men when they considered their offers, while company culture, work-life balance, and social impact initiatives were more important to women.
Download our infographic “Why Gen Z Men Vs. Gen Z Women Accept Job Offers” for a more in-depth comparison.
The variances between men and women have shown up in our other data collected on Gen Z candidates entering the workplace. Results from our survey of tens of thousands of Gen Z job seekers (conducted when candidates sign up for RippleMatch) show that professional development is equally important for Gen Z men and women, but there are slight differences in the importance of community, work-life balance, and upward mobility. The largest difference stems from the importance of a company’s social impact initiatives – Gen Z women, especially women of color, value a company’s social good initiatives significantly more than Gen Z men do.
Despite the variances between Gen Z men and women, it’s clear that new graduates are considering much more than compensation when deciding where to start their careers. With Gen Z candidates evaluating several job offers at a time, employers that successfully showcase their great opportunities for career growth and inclusive company culture will have an advantage in recruiting top college graduates.
Want to know how Gen Z candidates are faring during COVID-19? Download our report here to understand how employment was affected during the onset of COVID-19, and download our report The Gen Z Job Seeker to understand how this generation's approach to the job search has fundamentally changed.