In a recent national survey conducted by Resource Solutions, a leading provider of workforce and advisory solutions, it has been revealed that an increasing number of Generation Z candidates are meticulously screening potential job opportunities based not only on the companies themselves but also on the employees who already work there.
The survey, which polled 2,000 working adults, found that a staggering 71 percent of Gen Z individuals admit to “stalking” potential colleagues on LinkedIn before accepting a job offer.
This percentage is nearly on par with the 72 percent who scrutinize employers’ social media accounts during their job search.
Interestingly, this trend is not exclusive to Gen Z, as nearly half of Millennials (48%) and a third of Gen X (33%) also acknowledged considering their future teammates’ social media profiles when making decisions about job opportunities.
However, what sets Gen Z apart is the degree to which they value the profiles of their potential colleagues.
They are the first generation to view their future co-workers’ social media presence as equally important as the reputation of the employer itself. This divergence becomes more pronounced with each succeeding generation.
The role of social media
Kristen Buckheit, Managing Director EMEA at Resource Solutions, commented on the findings, saying, “It’s no surprise that digital-native generations are using social media in their job hunting – but our data reveals that this extends beyond a quick sweep of the corporate Instagram page. Candidates are also researching their would-be co-workers on social media, before agreeing to join the ranks – a tell-tail sign that although vacancies are down on last year, the job market continues to be candidate-led and company culture is an important factor for this set of job seekers.”
The research also uncovered that in addition to assessing the professional and educational credentials of their future co-workers, 63 percent of Millennials and 73 percent of Gen Z individuals consider the average age of a workforce before making a decision. In contrast, a fifth (20%) of Boomers reported paying no attention to the age of their potential colleagues when joining a new company.
How important is socialising with work colleagues?
Furthermore, the study highlighted that over a third (35%) of Gen Z individuals are socializing with their colleagues at least once a week, highlighting the importance of finding a compatible after-work crew for workplace happiness. Interestingly, a third of Gen Z respondents indicated they would consider returning to a previous workplace if they had friends working there.
Buckheit concluded, “The takeaway is that recruitment strategies must extend beyond putting your best foot forward on corporate accounts. Instead, business leaders and HR teams should encourage everyone to showcase their individual employee experience on their own personal LinkedIn and other social channels – be it capturing behind-the-scenes at a work event or highlighting personal career wins and learnings. This works best if employees are using their own words, beyond merely repeating official corporate messaging. The more personality that shines through, the better the chances of attracting bright young talent.”
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.