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Survey shows employers are hiring older workers over recent college grads, sparking debate

The 2023 survey involved 800 recruiters laying out why recent college grads are less desirable.

Survey shows employers are hiring older workers over recent college grads, sparking debate
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Sora Shimazaki

Securing a well-paying job is increasingly difficult in today's rapidly evolving job market. Despite excelling in college, graduates face numerous hurdles from recruiters. Gen Z college grads, in particular, are struggling. A survey by Intelligent last December uncovered that nearly 4 in 10 employers prefer not to hire recent college graduates, citing several reasons.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Edmond Dantes
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Edmond Dantes

The survey, which included responses from over 800 employers, highlighted specific reasons for preferring older workers over young graduates. A major concern was that Gen Z grads "struggled with eye contact." Other reasons included that they "asked for unreasonable compensation, dressed inappropriately, used inappropriate language, refused to turn on the camera during a virtual interview and brought a parent to their interview." Even when hired, many employers are dissatisfied with their personality and work ethic. Over 40% of employers believe recent graduates "can't manage workloads, are late to start work, hand in assignments late, and deliver poor quality work." 

Image Source: Reddit | u/EJ2600
Image Source: Reddit | u/EJ2600

According to the survey, 63% of employers believe Gen Z graduates are entitled, and 58% think they get offended easily and aren't ready for the workforce. Nearly half of the surveyed employers have fired recent college graduates. Despite their skills, employers are worried about their lack of professionalism, poor communication, and inability to handle feedback. When u/EJ2600 shared this survey on Fox News, the comment section erupted in debate, with some defending Gen Z and others agreeing with the survey.

"Some of these are legitimate. I also believe there are people out there who do demand more money than they are worth," said u/Tall-Mountain-Man. "I don't know about the last two (we don't do virtual interviews), but the first three have been very common. I've had 'fresh out of school,' 'never had a job in IT,' candidates expect as high as $120k for their first job," added u/Olfa2024. "Eye contact and dressing inappropriately is what I see the most in recent college grad hires. I sometimes think they're seeing something in a distance and I turn around when they're talking. Wearing a dirty wrinkled shirt with a flat bill hat to work events with clients is so wild to see in person and highly disrespectful," said u/GreasyTaints.

Image Source: reddit | u/Lakbob
Image Source: Reddit | u/Lakbob
Image Source: Reddit | u/GirthWoody
Image Source: Reddit | u/GirthWoody

"Struggle with eye contact. If they are doing it over Zoom or Teams, then they are making eye contact with the people on the screen, not the camera," pointed out u/pprow41. "'Asked for unreasonable compensation' is the great red flag. You could substitute it with, 'refuse to be exploited with laughable wages relative to the job's demands,'" remarked u/MetalCid. "Not necessarily the percent of applicants who do it, the percent of employers who have seen it happen, which could mean one time out of a thousand," added u/umassmza.

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