7 In 10 Gen Z Job Applications Were Rejected Cancelled During COVID 19 LinkedIn

51 per cent of Gen Z Indians want employers to value skills when hiring and 85 per cent of Gen Z Indians embrace online learning as COVID19 disrupts academic plans.

On World Youth Skills Day 2021, LinkedIn has launched the ‘Career Aspirations Gen Z India’ study by research firm GfK that focuses on insights of 1,000 Gen Z students and professionals in the age group of 18 to 24 years, across June 2021. Top findings from the survey reveal that 72 per cent of students and 65 per cent of Gen Z Indians were professionally impacted during the second wave of COVID-19.

90 per cent of Gen Z job applicants are demotivated after job offer rejections

The study shows that nearly 70 per cent of Gen Z job applicants didn’t get a positive response after waiting for long periods, while a similar proportion said their applications were either cancelled or delayed indefinitely. Due to these setbacks, 90 per cent of Gen Z job applicants are demotivated. When asked what they felt was the biggest barrier to get ahead in the pandemic, Gen Z Indians cited ‘fewer opportunities’, followed by ‘slower recruitment’ and ‘higher competition’ as the top 3 reasons affecting their job search today. 

Echoing this travesty, 72 per cent of students stated that internship opportunities had also greatly reduced during the pandemic’s second wave. Among those who are currently employed, 32 per cent of Gen Z Indians experienced a pay cut while 25 per cent lost a job opening because the company cancelled the job role due to the pandemic.

85 per cent of Gen Z Indians turn to online learning despite challenges

The second wave of COVID-19 has disrupted the education plans of nearly 75 per cent of students and Gen Z Indians. In fact, 40 per cent of those with higher academic aspirations have postponed or cancelled their plans due to safety concerns, financial constraints, and travel restrictions. Such is the disruption that every fifth (20 per cent) Gen Z Indian is now pivoting to a different learning program than originally planned.

A majority of Gen Z Indians are redefining their academic plans to cope with the changes at such a career-defining juncture. Consumer sentiment from the report shows that 85 per cent of Gen Z Indians are willing to take up online learning, despite ‘too many distractions at home’, ‘connectivity issues’, and ‘limited interaction with peers’. When asked how they choose their online courses, more than half of Gen Z Indians said they look for the quality of faculty (58 per cent), affordability (56 per cent), and accessible content (52 per cent).

Given today’s dynamic job market, India’s young professionals are sharpening their focus on developing the right skills to stand out in their job search. The report shows that 46 per cent of Gen Z Indians are looking for mentors who can guide them towards the right skilling pathways.

51 per cent of Gen Z Indians want employers to make skill-based hires today, as work experience remains a challenge

As upskilling and collaboration have become workforce essentials in today’s challenging professional landscape, every second Gen Z professional (51 per cent) wants employers and leaders to make skill-based hires today. 

In fact, Gen Z Indians are sharpening their focus on upgrading their skills to improve their self-confidence (47 per cent), widen career opportunities (45 per cent), and fast-track growth (34 per cent) and productivity (32 per cent). 

While tech skills remain a strong priority in today’s rapidly digitising economy, India’s youth is also recognising the growing importance of human skills today. Interestingly, the survey finds that among those who are learning soft and hard skills today, 2x more Gen Z Indians are learning the top 5 soft skills (~60 per cent) than the top 5 hard skills (~30 per cent).

The top 5 soft skills pursued by Gen Z Indians include Creative Thinking, Problem Solving, Time Management, Leadership, and Effective Communication; while the top 5 hard skills include Data Science, Marketing, Engineering, Financial Management, and AI & Automation.

The pandemic has also caused a great shift in employee needs and priorities, as more than half of Gen Z Indians want organizations to offer flexible schedules (52 per cent), more time off for upskilling (48 per cent), and equal access to physical and emotional healthcare provisions (48 per cent). Beyond job perks, Gen Z Indians are also rooting for an inclusive workplace culture where employers communicate transparently (55 per cent), offer customized career growth plans (48 per cent), and make professional growth an experience, not a process (44 per cent).

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