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Class of 2022 is Canceling Remote Work: Here’s What they Want Instead

Our newest report, “What the Class of 2022 Wants and How it will Influence the Future of Work,” shares year-over-year data comparisons on what each class for the last seven years has been looking for in their first role and company after graduating, as well as tips for how to maximize hiring efforts for this valuable talent group. Download the full report today. 

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LaSalle Network recently surveyed more than 2,500 upcoming 2022 graduates to learn what they want in their first job post-graduation. 89% of survey respondents stated they want to work in the office either part of the week, or full-time. This is in comparison to a separate LaSalle Network survey to current professionals (not students) in today’s workforce where 41% stated they wanted to work remote full-time. 

This drastic increase in 2022 graduates’ desire to work on-site at least part of the time means companies that emphasize remote-first work in recruiting efforts are missing the mark for attracting this talent pool. 

Below are some of the reasons this graduating class may prefer on-site jobs and how to use this information to better attract them. 

1. Company Culture 

Company culture was reported as one of the top priorities graduates consider when applying to a position. While a fully or partially remote company can still have a strong company culture, an in-office culture with in-person interactions and hands-on learning may be more enticing to this talent group.  

Note that company culture is not the same as in-person perks. It cannot be achieved by offering free drinks, ping pong tables, and catering meals. While these ‘freebies’ are intriguing, they are not a replacement for true culture. 

After spending half of their college career locked down due to COVID-19, the class of 2022 is craving community and connection. One of their top concerns about entering the workforce was they wouldn’t feel a sense of belonging within the organization. They want to work for a company that accepts them for who they are. Focus on creating and promoting a strong culture that encourages authenticity and provides connection opportunities. A strong in-person culture can help this talent group gain some of the connection and camaraderie they missed out on in college due to the pandemic. 

 

2. Mentorships 

When on-site, employees can connect not only with formal mentors but other leaders and peers they look up to. They can pull up a chair next to someone to ask questions or shadow certain projects. They can bump into leadership in the kitchen pouring a cup of coffee. They can observe how leaders interact and communicate with others and see how top performers present themselves. Those small, casual interactions can help develop them both personally and professionally. 

Overhearing and observing their peers and leaders work is a key way employees learn. They also can get to know colleagues they wouldn’t regularly interact with if remote, opening them up to more diverse viewpoints.  

If not already doing so, consider implementing a mentorship program or setting up opportunities for new employees to meet a more tenured teammate. Encourage new hires to ask questions and learn from those around them. 

 

3. Development Opportunities 

This class wants to grow. According to our data, 40% of respondents stated they want to earn a promotion in their first year in the role. This class is looking for companies that invest in and prioritize training and development. While formal training can still happen remotely, in-person employees can easily shadow top producers and managers or ask questions and get on-the-spot feedback.  

If providing continual training & development on-site like Lunch and Learns or other sessions, highlight this in job descriptions. Include tenured members of the team in interviews to discuss how they’ve developed and grown their career. Encourage new hires to get lunch with peers one to two levels above them to ask questions and get advice on how to progress. 

 

Companies that emphasize remote-first in recruiting efforts are missing the mark when it comes to attracting 2022 graduates. A strong in-office culture could be the key to attracting and retaining this talent group. 

 

Looking for talent? Let us help. Get connected with us here.  

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