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Workplace PR—what do 2019 graduates expect from employers?

by | Sep 5, 2019 | Public Relations

As the Class of 2019 is about to hit the workplace this fall, new research from theEMPLOYEEapp of 1,000 high school and college graduates reveals what these new employees expect from their employers when it comes to flexible work options, company communications and technology.

“This is a very interesting time for employers when it comes to understanding the needs and desires of employees entering the workplace for the first time,” said Jeff Corbin, CEO and founder of theEMPLOYEEapp by APPrise Mobile, in a news release. “Given historically low unemployment rates and a strong labor market, it is important for employers to understand what employees expect from them to ensure their success not only when it comes to employee retention, but also to create the most attractive working environment.”

When asked what type of job they plan to start following their graduation, nearly half of the graduates surveyed (45 percent) classified themselves as starting or pursuing deskless employment (not requiring the use of desktop computers in their daily work) in industries such as healthcare, retail, transportation, hospitality and manufacturing. The remaining respondents (55 percent) plan to work in office environments in industries such as professional services.

For graduates starting deskless positions:

  • Nearly half (46 percent) were high school graduates and 54 percent were college graduates.
  • The most important things they want in their new position are flexible and remote work options (49 percent); high quality training and on-boarding (48 percent); and communication of important company information and cultural fit/values that align with their own (both at 33 percent).
  • When it comes to technology, only 40 percent expect to receive a laptop or desktop computer from their new employer and 31 percent expect that they will be provided with a mobile device from their company.
  • When asked what information is most important to them and that they expect to receive from their employers, top responses were HR information, such as benefits and 401K (47 percent); payroll (45 percent); and shift schedules/information (42 percent).
  • As for how they want to receive information, top responses were in-person communications (46 percent), personal email (44 percent), text or SMS (35 percent), mobile app (19 percent).

For graduates starting jobs in office/desk-bound environments:

  • 24 percent were high school graduates and 76 percent were college graduates.
  • The most important things they want in their new position are high-quality training and on-boarding (51 percent); flexible and remote work options (45 percent); a cultural fit/values that align with their own (38 percent).
  • When it comes to technology, 66 percent expect to receive a desktop or laptop computer from their new employer; 63 percent expect to receive a company email address; and 40 percent expect that they will have access to their company’s intranet.
  • When asked what information is most important to them and what they expect to receive from their employers, top responses were HR information, such as benefits and 401K (54 percent); payroll (47 percent); and training materials (43 percent).
  • For those entering deskbound positions, 62 percent said it’s “very important” to receive communications and hear from company senior leadership, and expect these communications either at least once a month to several times a year.
  • As for how they want to receive information, top responses were in-person communications (44 percent), via intranet (34 percent), and via text or SMS messages (30 percent).

“Graduates entering the workforce, no matter which career path they intend to pursue, expect similar—if not the same things—from their employers. As our survey shows, the incoming generation of employees expects greater flexibility in their ability to work remotely and via mobile. They want to have greater and transparent communications from their employers. They need easy access to the tools and resources that will allow them to be successful in their work as well as in their personal lives,” Corbin added.

“The reality is, the way in which today’s employees are accustomed to working is no different than what they experienced in high school and college. If employers want to stay competitive and to attract and retain talent, they need to adapt their work environments and communications efforts accordingly. We are hopeful that the results of our survey set the stage for this,” he concluded.

Review the survey findings here.

The findings are based on a Google Consumer Survey of more than 1,000 high school and college graduates in the United States who are either seeking employment or currently have job offers, aged 18 and over. Google Consumer Surveys automatically fields a validated, representative sample of respondents, which was weighted against the U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey for age or gender of the United States to be representative of the adult Internet population.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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