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Gen Z workforce

Employers avoid hiring ‘entitled’ Gen Zs

38% of U.S managers, directors, and executives prefer hiring older employees

Content Insights

60% are offering enhanced benefits to attract older workers.
Employers who did hire Gen Z employees reported negative experiences.
Young graduates faced challenges in their transition to the workforce.

Table of Contents




In a recent survey conducted by Intelligent.com in December 2023, 38% of 800 U.S. managers, directors, and executives admitted a preference for hiring older employees over recent college graduates. The findings shed light on the reasons behind this trend and the measures employers are taking to attract experienced professionals.

Hiring Preferences Revealed

Nearly half of the respondents (46%) expressed a willingness to hire overqualified older employees to avoid working with the younger generation. The survey also disclosed that 60% are offering enhanced benefits to attract older workers. Notable strategies include paying higher salaries (59%) and allowing remote or hybrid work arrangements (48%).

Challenges with Gen Z Employees

The survey identified several reasons why employers are hesitant to hire recent college graduates, particularly from Generation Z. Some of the challenges cited include unpreparedness during job interviews (20%), unrealistic compensation expectations (50%), and various behavioural issues:

– Struggled with eye contact (53%)

– Dressed inappropriately (47%)

– Used inappropriate language (27%)

– Refused to turn on the camera during virtual interviews (21%)

– Brought a parent to an interview (19%)

Workplace Behaviors and Negative Experiences

Employers who did hire Gen Z employees reported negative experiences, with 63% stating that these recent grads struggle to handle their workload. Additional issues raised included frequent tardiness (61%), missed deadlines (59%), and poor quality work (53%). A significant 63% of employers considered recent college graduates entitled, and more than half found them easily offended (58%) and overall unprepared for the workforce (58%).

Impact of the Pandemic on Gen Z

Diane Gayeski, a professor of strategic communications at Ithaca College, emphasized the need for employers to acknowledge the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on recent college graduates. Due to disruptions in education and professional development, young graduates faced challenges in their transition to the workforce.

Addressing the Gap with Gen Z

To bridge the gap with Generation Z employees, experts suggest prioritizing soft skills advancement in workplace training. James Micklethwait, VP of Kahoot! At Work, emphasized the importance of innovative and mindful approaches to communication and training to address social discomfort among Gen Z workers.

Advice for Recent College Graduates

Professor Gayeski advised recent college graduates to research potential employers thoroughly and be informed about salary expectations. To ease the hiring process, she recommended participating in mock interviews and job preparation workshops offered by colleges, emphasizing that familiarity with the process can enhance confidence and professionalism.


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