New data reveals the expectations that Gen Z graduates in the UK have towards their first job after graduating, including pay, priorities and what preferences they have for work models. 

A new report by iCIMS, a global HR technology company, reveals what graduates are looking for and actively expect in a job after they finish university.

In the UK, graduates stated that their main priorities when looking for a job would include the type of work (53 per cent) and the location of employer (50 per cent) – indicating that the return to offices is being factored into plans by new graduate hires.

Other considerations included competitive pay (50 per cent), work perks and benefits on offer (48 per cent) and a flexible work schedule (41 per cent).

As such, over four in five (87 per cent) graduates stated they were keen to be in the office in order to get to know their colleagues and network.

Whilst many said they did have a dedicated workspace in which they could remote work (64 per cent), just over a third reported having the correct equipment to carry out their role from home (37 per cent).

However, the remote working world and the wider impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labour market weighed heavily on the minds of graduates.

Although the hiring process has turned remote for many companies, four in five graduates (80 per cent) believed that they would present themselves better to a potential employer through an in-person interview.

87 per cent of the Class of 2021 confessed they have uncertainty about landing a job due to the economic
impact of the pandemic, leading them to apply for more jobs in different industries (47 per cent).

Another key concern for this group included diversity and inclusion. 96 per cent expected their future employer to be committed to diversity and inclusion in its hiring practices. A further third (33 per cent) reported actively looking at diverse and inclusive workforces and initiatives when considering an organisation.

Marie Artim, Vice President of Enterprise Holdings, a global talent acquisition firm, said:

A commitment to future leadership is foundational to organisational success, especially now.

This begins with a focus on the candidate experience, continuously engaging with talent to ensure they feel connected with throughout the hiring journey with your business. This year’s college graduates face a unique job market surrounded by challenging circumstances.


*This research was obtained from the iCIMS report ‘Class of 2021 Report’.